Nico Clareth and Javion Ogunyemi combined for 43 points in Siena's 90-67 rout of Canisius Thursday night in Albany. The Saints improved to 11-1 at home, and 10-5 in the MAAC, with all 10 wins coming by double figures.
"You have to keep working, you have to keep getting better," Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said. "It was a real tough game, because they shoot threes and they're well coached. When you lose to a team (six) times in a row, you never feel your safe."
The Saints had lost six straight to Canisius entering this season, but they've turned the tables in a big way. Siena averaged 94.5 points and shot 59% from the field in its convincing sweep of the Griffs this season.
Siena used an early 14-6 run to take a 26-16 lead with 8:18 left in the first half and led by double figures the rest of the way. When Canisius cut the lead to 11 on three straight threes by Isaiah Gurley in the second half, Siena scored the next seven and sailed home.
"We withstood the rally," Patsos said. "I thought Lavon (Long) was really good in the huddle. He said, `Let's get some stops and we'll be alright.'"
Clareth had 22 points, five assists and three steals in 24 superb minutes. He's averaged a team-high 19.3 points and shot 55% from the field over the last seven games, while scoring 13 or more in 12 straight.
"Nico is great for college basketball," Patsos said. "I'm very proud of him, but he has to keep getting better. He's as good of a team guy as I've ever coached."
Ogunyemi was equally impressive, posting 21 points and a career-high five assists. Brett Bisping shook off illness to score 15 points and grab nine rebounds in 22 minutes, and Ryan Oliver made 3-6 threes on his way to 14 points.
Siena dished out 20 assists on 31 made field goals, and torched the nets in shooting 64% in the second half. The Saints also made 9-19 three-pointers and 19-22 free throws.
Canisius shot just 37% from the field. Kassius Robertson paced the Griffs with 19 points. Siena improved to 13-0 this season when holding its opponent to 70 points or fewer.
The Saints will get their first look at Iona Saturday in New Rochelle. The third place Saints and second place Gaels meet twice in nine days.