Saint Bonaventure scored 15 of the final 18 points in the game to keep possession of the Franciscan Cup with a 58-43 win over Siena in a nationally televised game Tuesday night at the Reilly Center. The Saints lost their fifth straight game heading into their MAAC opener Friday night at Times Union Center against Rider.
"Really, I think our kids need to be commended for their effort," head coach Mitch Buonaguro said. "That's a veteran team that won the Atlantic 10 last season, and we held them to 58 points. We're really, really close."
The Saints were in fact very close with eight minutes left, trailing just 43-40 after a Trenity Burdine jumper, but they managed just three points the rest of the way.
The 43 points Siena scored marked their fewest since dropping a 61-40 decision at Manhattan on January 25, 1996.
Bonaventure took advantage of 13 first half Siena turnovers to take a 33-26 lead at the break. Siena scored the first seven points of the second half to tie the game, but Bonaventure scored the next four and never trailed again.
Siena shot just 6-31 in the second half after making 11-21 field goals in the first half. Bonaventure didn't fare much better, misfiring on 18 of 20 3-point tries and shooting just 35% from the field for the game.
Burdine scored a career-high 16 points for the Saints and grabbed seven rebounds. O.D. Anosike finished with seven points and 14 rebounds, missing out on a double-double for the second straight game after posting one in each of the first seven games this season.
The game got away from the Saints when Evan Hymes missed a 3-pointer that would have cut the lead to five points with six minutes to play, and Eric Mosley grabbed two offensive rebounds on the other end allowing Demitrius Conger to push the lead to double figures with an easy lay-in.
Conger led the way for Bonaventure with 14 points. Marquise Simmons posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
St. Bonaventure improved to 28-6 all-time against Siena. The Saints have never won a game at the Reilly Center.