Gameday Central: Monmouth at Siena (2 PM)

Steven Cruz

March 1, 2014

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The Last Meeting
January 2, 2014
West Long Branch, N.J.
Monmouth Gets By Siena, 63-59
Monmouth started a tide-turning 17-4 run one minute into the second half and led the rest of the way in a 63-59 MAAC win over Siena Thursday night in West Long Branch, N.J. Rob Poole had a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds in a losing effort for the Saints.

Siena looks to close regular-season play strong and send its only senior - fan favorite Steven Cruz - out in style when it hosts Monmouth Sunday at 2 p.m. at Times Union Center. The game will be telecast across New York State on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel.

Use the links above to purchase tickets and follow all the action live. Also, make sure you check out the Cruz tribute video embedded at the top of the page.

Here's 10 things you need to know heading into Sunday's game:

1. Siena has clinched the No. 5 seed in the MAAC Championships. The Saints will play the loser of Sunday's Canisius/Manhattan game in the second Quarterfinal Saturday, March 8 at 2:30 p.m.
2. Rob Poole is just three points shy of 1,000 for his career. He will become the 40th 1,000-point scorer in Siena history and the 15th to eclipse the benchmark in just three seasons. Poole and Evan Hymes would become just the second set of junior teammates to reach 1,000 points in the same season (Alex Franklin and Edwin Ubiles in 2008-09)
3. Siena's last six contests, and eight of the last nine, have been one possession games in the final minute. The Saints have won three straight contests for the second time this season.
4. Siena has had the lead in the final minute of regulation in 10 of its last 11 games (7-4). Two losses came in overtime, and a third came when the Saints blew a four-point lead with seven seconds left at Marist.
5. Siena is looking for its first four-game win streak since the 2009-10 season. Siena has won consecutive MAAC road games for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
6. Siena had its 11-year win streak on Senior Day snapped by Marist last season.
7. Lavon Long was named MAAC Rookie of the Week for the first time Monday. Long scored all of his game/career-high 16 points in the second half of the Saints' win at Rider and added nine rebounds. He followed that effort up with 13 points at Quinnipiac Thursday, marking the 16th times this season he's scored between 10 and 16 points.
8. Siena went 0-4 and was out-scored 90-75 in its first four games against teams in the top-four in the MAAC. The Saints went 2-2 with two overtime losses in their last four games against the top-four teams in the conference and were outscored just 82-80.5.
9. Marquis Wright is averaging 11.2 points and 4.4 rebounds over the last 14 games while shooting 48% from the field. Wright leads the MAAC in assists (5.5) and is second in the conference in steals (1.7).
10. Siena's 19-21 (91%) performance from the free throw line Thursday night was its best since going 17-18 (94%) in a 73-67 home win over Iona on January 3, 2011 (110 games).