ALBANY, NY -- Red-shirt junior guard Kadeem Smithen finished a home run inbounds pass from sophomore forward Thomas Huerter, Jr. with 11.4 seconds remaining to seal a 68-65 victory for Siena Basketball over I-87 rival Marist at the Times Union Center. Freshman guard Jordan Horn led four Saints in double figures with 15 points to go along with season-highs of four assists and three steals.
Freshman guard Roman Penn scored 12 points for Siena (6-14, 2-5) which has captured 19 of the past 24 meetings against Marist (4-14, 2-4), including 10 of the last 11 in Albany. Sophomore guard Khalil Richard returned from a one-game absence due to illness to add 12 points off the bench for the Saints, which shot a solid 48% from the field including 9-22 from three-point range.
David Knudsen led all scorers with 17 points, and Ryan Funk contributed 13 for the Red Foxes which have dropped nine of 10 away from McCann Arena this season.
Knudsen scored 15 of his points in the first half on the strength of four triples for Marist which shot 9-13 from distance in the stanza to claim a 40-36 lead at the break. However, Siena responded with the first eight points to open the second half, and led for all but 31 seconds thereafter.
After the Red Foxes rallied back within a point with 12:02 to play, the Saints rattled off 10 unanswered points to take their biggest lead of the game at 60-49 with 6:35 remaining. Freshman forward Prince Oduro, who scored all 11 of his points in the second half, tallied six during the run.
Siena still maintained a double-digit cushion following a Penn three with 4:17 to go, but Marist made one final push with a late 10-3 spurt to close within 66-63 on an Austin Williams three-point play with 77 seconds left. However the Saints, which played in their fifth of seven MAAC contests decided by five points or less to open the league slate, held on down the stretch to improve to a stellar 33-10 all-time at home against the Red Foxes.
Huerter stuffed the stat sheet with six points and career-highs of seven rebounds and five assists to go along with two steals and a block for Siena, which clamped down defensively in the second half. The Saints limited Marist to just 25 points in the stanza, including only 2-5 from three-point range.
Siena continues its challenging stretch where it plays four of five away from home when the Saints travel to Quinnipiac for a 2 p.m. tip Sunday.