Jan. 24, 2010
For the second straight season Siena has opened league play with 10 straight wins. Alex Franklin and Ryan Rossiter each had double-doubles and the injury-depleted Saints surfed past Manhattan 66-58 Sunday at Draddy Gymnasium.
It was Siena's 11th consecutive win, and the 33rd win in the team's last 35 contests against MAAC opposition. The Saints also won for the 36th straight time when holding their opponent to fewer than 70 points, a streak that dates back to January 8, 2008.
As consistent as the Saints have been, the box score featured some new names playing key roles on this day. Kyle Griffin scored all 12 of his points on first half threes to help makeup for the loss of injured leading scorer Edwin Ubiles and sixth man Kyle Downey. Freshman guard Jonathan Breeden played seven first half minutes, his first action in 20 days, and classmate Davis Martens also saw time in the first half.
But when push came to shove, the Jaspers had no answer for the league's premier frontline. Franklin finished with a season-high 27 points and added 10 rebounds, while Rossiter went for 16 points and 13 boards - his sixth consecutive double-double and MAAC-leading 11th of the season.
The Saints led for the final 33:34 and carried a 35-28 lead to the lockerroom. Manhattan kept within striking range and pulled within 61-58 with 1:23 to go, but Siena made four straight free throws in the final minute to seal the deal.
Rico Pickett led Manhattan with 20 points and was the only Jasper in double figures. The Jaspers shot just 37% from the field but stayed in the game by holding the league's top offense to just nine second half field goals.
The win was the Saints second over the Jaspers in six days. Siena beat Manhattan 83-68 Monday night at Times Union Center.
Siena returns to the New York Metropolitan area Thursday to play red-hot Saint Peter's, winners of five straight, in Jersey City. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.