ALBANY, NY – Junior guard Nico Clareth poured in 29 points to lead Siena Basketball to a 71-65 victory over Holy Cross at the Times Union Center. Freshman guard Roman Penn added 13 points for the Saints which wrap up non-conference play with a 4-9 record.
Clareth shot 8-14 from the floor in moving to within 33 points of 1,000 for his career. He also connected on 10 of his 11 free throw attempts for Siena which shot 26-36 overall from the foul line to tie for both the program’s most makes and attempts since going 35-45 in the 2016 MAAC Quarterfinals vs. Manhattan.
Patrick Benzan led three in double figures with 12 points off the bench for Holy Cross (3-8) which has dropped eight of nine. Connor Niego added 11 points and Jehyve Floyd scored 10.
The Saints spotted the Crusaders the game’s first 10 points. But Siena shot an even 50% in the stanza, and ended the half on a 12-3 run to claim a 40-33 advantage at the break. Clareth scored seven of his 18 first half points during the spurt.
The Saints used a 10-1 second half run to push their lead to as many as 12 at 62-50 on a Clareth three with 8:47 to go. Holy Cross hung around down the stretch, but was unable to rally any closer than four points in the waning seconds as Siena improved to a perfect 7-0 all-time at home in the series.
Freshman forward Prince Oduro returned following a one-game absence to add nine points off the suddenly potent Saints’ bench which added 47 more to their tally. Siena’s reserves have totaled a whopping 147 points spanning three games over the past week.
The Saints will now break for Christmas before returning to action for the start of conference play next Friday, Dec. 29 when they travel to MAAC rival Marist for a 7 p.m. tip.