Siena Silences Manhattan; Advance to MAAC Semis
March 6, 2010
Alex Franklin scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Ryan Rossiter added 10 points and 12 boards to help Siena rally past Manhattan 78-61 in the MAAC Quarterfinals Saturday in Albany. The Jaspers scored the first nine points and led until the 15:26 mark of the second half before Siena closed the game on a 30-12 run to move on to the semifinal round for the fifth straight season and 11th time in 13 years.
The Saints advance to play fifth-seeded Rider which defeated Saint Peter's, 69-57, in the first semifinal today.
Manhattan controlled the action for the majority of the first half, building two 10-point leads. They then scored eight straight points after Siena closed to within 32-31, but the Saints answered with the final four of the half, including a buzzer-beating putback by Franklin to take some momentum to the lockerroom.
Rico Pickett and Darryl Crawford each had 10 points at the break for the Jaspers which shot 55% from the field before the break and held a 40-36 lead.
Siena out-scored Manhattan 42-21 in the second half and out-rebounded them 25-14 thanks to Franklin and Rossiter.
The Saints took their first lead, 48-46, on a Clarence Jackson 3-pointer. After Pickett answered with a long three, Franklin gave Siena the lead for good with a driving layup. Five minutes later, reserve Owen Wignot's three made it 59-52 and the crowd of 8,914 began to breathe easier.
Wignot made 4-5 field goals and 3-4 3-pointers to finish in double figures for just the second time this season. The sophomore made all six of his field goals in last year's MAAC Tournament. Classmate Kyle Downey played 20 active minutes after returning to the rotation for the first time in over two five weeks (broken foot) Sunday against Marist.
Edwin Ubiles rounded out Siena's double-figure scorers with 10 points. He also grabbed six rebounds, dished out three assists and did not turn the ball over.
Point guard Ronald Moore became Siena's all-time career assist leader, surpassing Marc Brown's total (796). Moore now has 802 helpers in his career, 11 shy of Jared Jordan's all-time MAAC record which ranks 25th in Division I history.
Siena plays Rider at 4 p.m. Sunday. The Saints defeated the Broncs 84-62 in Albany December 23 and 80-54 in Lawrenceville last Friday. A victory would give Siena a berth in the MAAC title game for the fourth straight season.