Dec. 30, 2013
Siena went on a game-changing 22-0 run, turning a 53-40 deficit with 12:06 to play into a 62-53 lead with 5:47 left in a 79-69 home win over Atlantic 10 foe Fordham Monday night in Albany. Junior Rob Poole scored a career-high 28 points for the Saints.
"I know Poole played well, but I thought Evan Hymes won us the game emotionally," Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said. "He started attacking the rim. I said `You gotta stop holding back.'"
Hymes had four of his 12 points and two of his three assists during the decisive run.
The Saints (5-8) used a zone defense to hold the Rams (7-6) scoreless for the six minutes and 19 second stretch.
"We lived and died with three a little bit," Fordham coach Tom Pecora said. "I think some of them were decent looks, but I thought their zone did a good job. They did a great job of making it one shot. We didn't get any offensive rebounds. They have a talented team. They have good players here. I think they're going to win a lot of games in their conference."
Poole scored 20 of Siena's first 40 points keeping the Saints within striking range. Siena missed its first 12 shots of the game and made just 30% (11-36) of their tries in the first 28 minutes, but shot 55% (13-21) in the final eight. The 6,131 fans at Times Union Center were a key factor in the comeback.
"It just started getting electric, and then we made a few plays and it got noisy," Patsos said. "Believe me, I was on the other end for nine years. It starts getting loud. This place can be a big court and a small court; it's kind of a funny building. It can seem spacious because it's an arena, but then when the crowd gets into it, and you start pressing, it seems to get tight. It closes in on you quick. I thought our fans just did a great job of helping our energy."
Siena point guard Marquis Wright
finished with 14 points, five assists and four steals. Brett Bisping
scored eight of his 10 points at the foul line, where Siena went 27-34 for the game and 19-24 in the second half.
Fordham also had four players in double figures, led by Mandell Thomas' 20. Thomas scored six straight early in the second half to help the Rams build on their lead. Jon Severe added 17 points, but shot just 5-20 from the field and 1-8 from distance.
Siena has won three straight at home for the first time since the 2011-12 season, and improved to 2-2 against the Atlantic 10 this season. The Saints play their only road game in a 38-day stretch Thursday night when they return to conference action at Monmouth.