ALBANY, NY – Sophomore guard Ahsante Shivers scored the go-ahead basket with 32.4 seconds remaining as Siena Basketball grinded past Saint Peter’s 59-57 in triple overtime at the Times Union Center. Freshman guard Roman Penn tallied a game-high 18 points in a gutty 51 minutes for the Saints which have won three straight in Albany.
Shivers posted his second career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Siena (7-16, 3-7) which played in its fifth triple overtime game in program history, and third in the past five seasons. Only the Saints’ six-overtime game vs. Niagara on Feb. 21, 1953 at the Armory featured more extra sessions.
Samuel Idowu also recorded his second collegiate double-double with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for Saint Peter’s (8-13, 2-8) which has lost six straight, albeit four have been by four points or less. Elijah Gonzales and Nick Griffin added 11 points apiece for the Peacocks which have also dropped six straight road contests.
The matchup featured the MAAC’s top-two scoring defenses during league play, and points would be at a premium. Siena prevailed in a game where the Saints shot just 27.3% from the field including only 5-22 (22.7%) from three, and gutted out a hard fought victory despite being without the services of their leading scorer during conference action in freshman guard Jordan Horn and a key reserve in sophomore guard Khalil Richard. Meanwhile Saint Peter’s shot just 31.3% from the floor including only 5-23 (21.7%) from distance.
The Peacocks led for more than 32 minutes during regulation and by as many as 11 points late in the first half. Saint Peter’s held a 24-16 lead at the break, and harbored as much as a nine-point advantage early in the second half.
But the Saints clawed their way back, and used a 7-1 spurt to reclaim a 37-36 with 4:43 remaining in regulation. Junior forward Evan Fisher accounted for the final points of regulation on a pair of free throws with 96 seconds left, as red-shirt junior guard Kadeem Smithen’s look at the potential game-winning layup on the final possession was blocked by Idowu to send the game to overtime tied at 40-all.
Siena opened overtime with the first five points, but the Peacocks responded with the final five. Gonzales converted the tying free throw with 51 seconds left, however his look at the potential game-winner was off the mark as the buzzer sounded to end the first overtime with the score knotted at 45 apiece.
Griffin drilled a three to put Saint Peter’s back in front 50-47 with 2:14 to go in double overtime, but Penn responded with an old fashioned three-point play of his own to pull the Saints even once more at 50-50 with 1:24 remaining in the period.
Siena opened the third and final overtime session with a 6-1 run, highlighted by a Penn three and a trio of free throws. However, in a game which featured eight ties and nine lead changes, the Peacocks responded with the next six points to take their final lead at 57-56 on a Cameron Jones jumper with 47 seconds left. But Shivers’ basket on the ensuing possession would be the decisive score, as the Saints made two stops late to secure the program’s first-ever triple overtime triumph at the Times Union Center.
Fisher and freshman forward Prince Oduro added eight points apiece for Siena which has captured five of the past six meetings between the programs in Albany. Oduro and sophomore forward Thomas Huerter, Jr. each contributed nine rebounds apiece for the Saints which held a 53-37 rebounding advantage.
Siena returns to action Friday when they host Manhattan at 7 p.m. at the Times Union Center.