Dec. 23, 2013
Siena led for the final 36 minutes and 51 seconds, and got several key plays down the stretch to fend off Hofstra 67-59 in front of 5,941 fans in Albany Monday night. Rob Poole, Lavon Long and Maurice White each had 14 points for the Saints.
Siena led 53-51 when Marquis Wright hit a right-wing three-pointer off an Evan Hymes' feed with 4:30 left to push the lead to five. Hymes scored his only three points at a huge time, converting a conventional three-point play off a hard drive with 2:05 left, putting the Saints up 61-55. Hofstra got no closer than four the rest of the way.
The Saints had trouble scoring against Hofstra's zone defense most of the night, but they turned in their top defensive effort of the season to keep control of the game throughout.
Hofstra shot just 35% from the game - 28% in the first half - and scored just 59 points. Siena hadn't held a team under 70 in its first 11 games. Hofstra's leading scorer Zeke Upshaw shot just 2-17 from the field and finished with four points. He entered the game averaging nearly 20 per game.
Siena led by as many as 13 with 4:04 left in the first half, but the Pride closed the half on a 10-2 run to close the gap to 28-23 at the break. Long had 10 of his 14 points in the first half for the Saints, and White provided a great lift off the bench with eight points and eight rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
Poole scored 11 of his 14 in the second half, finding his most success off the bounce.
Hofstra closed to within a single point twice in the second half, but Siena scored the next four points each time to maintain control.
The Saints out-scored Hofstra 15-10 at the free throw line, and made them when it counted. Siena shot 10-12 in the second half and made its last seven, including four in the final 33 seconds.
Jamall Robinson led Hofstra with 16 points. Chris Jenkins and Dion Nesmith each had 11 off the bench. The Pride settled for three-pointers all night, and never found their rhythm sinking just 5-24 from distance.
Siena hadn't played at Times Union Center in 35 days, but the Saints will be back home next Monday night to face Atlantic 10 foe Fordham at 7 p.m.