Aug. 18, 2003
Michael Haddix scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half and all 10 Siena players registered at least five points as the Saints defeated Poly Rob 105-95 in Mexico City Monday evening to begin competition on their foreign tour. Siena overcame 37 personal fouls and 34 points from Hario Boglioni to emerge with the victory over the semi-pro team ranked in the top-30 in the state.
Playing by international rules for the first time, the Saints jumped out to a 27-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter. By the half, the home team had trimmed the advantage to 48-38, and the game would remain competitive the rest of the way. Tommy Mitchell and Justin Miller each scored all of their points in the initial stanza, as Mitchell connected on 4-of his-8 field goal attempts to finish with 11 points and Miller made good on all five of his first half shots from the floor (including two thunderous dunks) to finish with 10 points.
Aided by 51 free throws, Poly Rob closed the gap to as few as six points late in the game, as Iglesias Sergio converted a four-point play to the delight of the approximately 50 vocal spectators in attendance. The game was contested at the 1960 Olympic Village training center, and the intimate facility was filled to capacity with anxious viewers.
Haddix turned out to be the difference in the game, as the Saints committed to feeding the post after settling for outside shots throughout the first half. In addition to his 24 points, he pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds. The 6-6 power forward made good on 6-of his-7 second half field goal attempts and 7-of-9 opportunities from the charity stripe. Austin Andrews played well on the perimeter, knocking down 4-of-7 three pointers to finish as Siena's second-leading scorer with 15 points. Jamal Jackson also played a solid game running the point off Lanier's initial rotation and showed an explosive offense not seen in his first season with the Green and Gold. Jackson finished with 11 points (10 in the second half), connecting on 4-of-7 field goal attempts including a three-pointer.
Among the international rules used by the two teams was an extended three-point arc, trapezoid lane, 24-second shot clock and 10 minute quarters. Perhaps the most dramatic change was the officiating, as no traveling violations, or five second calls (one can break the count by turning their back to the play) were enforced.
The Saints will continue their five-game slate Tuesday evening against National University (one of the largest public universities in the world with an enrollment of 200,000 students).