Nov. 22, 2013
Imoh Silas had a career high 17 points, none bigger than his dramatic putback with 6.5 seconds left as Siena erased a 10-point deficit with 3:54 left to pull out a 71-70 win over Cornell Friday night in Ithaca. It's the second game this week Siena has won in the final seconds.
Silas rounded out a monster double-double with a career-high 14 rebounds in his first start this season.
Cornell had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but Dwight Tarwater's 3-pointer hit off the right iron.
Siena's comeback seemed improbable after the Big Red bridged the two halves with a 24-3 run, turning an 11-point deficit into a 56-46 lead with 11:54 to play. The lead remained 10 at the final media timeout, but that's when things took a dramatic turn. Devon Cherry was whistled for his fifth foul on an Evan Hymes' drive with 3:54 to play, and then Cornell coach Bill Courtney was called for a technical during the break. Hymes made all four free throws, starting Siena's sprint to the finish.
After a Nolan Cressler jumper put Cornell up three with 39 seconds left, Hymes hit a tough layup in traffic with 26 seconds remaining. Cressler, who poured in a career-high 25 points, then missed a pair of free throws, setting up the final sequence.
Marquis Wright drove hard to the right on Siena's final play, looking for his second game-winner of the week, but his layup missed long and Silas grabbed the board and went right up with the decisive shot.
Rob Poole came off the bench to score 19 points and make 4-7 three-pointers for the Saints. Wright finished with 12 points, four assists and just one turnover. Cherry had 17 points and four assists before fouling out for Cornell.
Siena led 43-37 after an entertaining first 20 minutes that saw both teams shoot 56% from the field and 50% from three-point range. There were just two lead changes in the game, as Cornell took its first with 16:47 left in the second half and Siena regained it on Silas' winner.
The Saints take their two-game win streak to Purdue Sunday. The game airs on the Big Ten Network at noon.