For the second time in four years, Siena Basketball Head Coach Jimmy Patsos will lead a young Saints delegation on an international trip to Montreal. Siena is set to head north of the border for a six-day expedition August 26-31.
"We're excited to have the opportunity to travel to a great international city like Montreal," said Patsos, who enters his fifth season leading the program. "After graduating four key seniors, having the chance to play three games in five days will give us an additional opportunity to get some early games under our belt and also build team chemistry. We hope some of the fans will be able to make the short trip up to some games and watch us play."
Complete coverage of the Saints' six-day trip to Montreal can be found on this page. The Game Information section below includes pertinent details for fans making the trip north, as well as links to follow the action from all three contests. Social media coverage - including courtside updates from all three games - will be provided through the men's basketball twitter page @SienaMBB. Fans can join the conversation by using the official trip hashtag #SaintsinMontreal. Photos, videos, and blog entries will be added to the page daily in descending order below.
Siena is scheduled to play three games during its international trip to Montreal. The Saints open vs. national power Carleton at Champlain College Saint-Lambert Monday, Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. Siena will then face McGill on Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. in a game which will be webstreamed online, before concluding play at Concordia the next evening to round out the trip.
Siena's 2017-18 squad, which features 10 underclassmen, should gain some valuable experience with three games in five days against some of the area's top college teams. The travel party will also have the opportunity to take in the many sights and sounds of the aptly named "The City of Saints."
The trip will also serve as a homecoming of sorts for the three Canadian players on Siena's 2017-18 roster in red-shirt junior Kadeem Smithen and freshmen Christian Bentley and Prince Oduro, who all hail from the neighboring province of Ontario. Last month Oduro led Canada to the country's first-ever basketball gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt.
Game One: Siena vs. Carleton (at Champlain College Saint-Lambert)
Date: Monday, August 28 (8 PM)
Address: 900 Riverside Drive, Saint-Lambert, Quebec, J4P 3P2
Tickets: Purchased at door - prices TBA
Coverage: TWITTER UPDATES
Game Two: Siena at McGill
Date: Wednesday, August 30 (7 PM)
Address: 475 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec, H2W 1S4
Tickets: $15 adults, $10 staff, students and seniors, FREE children 12 and under
Coverage: BUY TICKETS | WATCH | TWITTER UPDATES
Game Three: Siena at Concordia
Date: Thursday, August 31 (7 PM)
Address: 7200 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, Quebec, H4B 1R2
Tickets: $8 adults, $5 seniors, students and youth
Coverage: BUY TICKETS | TWITTER UPDATES
After arriving in Montreal early Saturday evening and settling in, the Saints began their first full day in the aptly "The City of Saints" Sunday. Coach Patsos attended mass with several member of the travel party in the morning at Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral nearby the team hotel. In the afternoon, the Saints departed for their first practice on Canadian soil. On the way, the travel party stopped to visit Olympic Stadium, which served as the former home of the now defunct Montreal Expos Major League Baseball team and the 1976 Summer Olympics. The team then held practice at McGill's G. Donald Love Competition Hall, sight of Siena's second game of its international trip Wednesday against the host Redmen.
The Saints will now prepare for the first game of their international trip on Monday with a stiff test against Carleton at Champlain College Saint-Lambert at 8 p.m. The Ravens have won 13 of the past 15 men's basketball National Championships in Canada, including seven straight. Carleton has posted an 8-2 record this summer against Division I opponents, which includes a pair of wins over Vanderbilt as well as one against Alabama. The Ravens defeated MAAC foe Canisius 77-65 last week, and posted an 89-55 triumph over Saint Francis Brooklyn earlier today.
The Saints opened their second full day in Montreal with some light sightseeing before preparing for the first game of their trip later that evening. The team made a visit to the Parc du Mont-Royal, which provided the team with a spectacular picturesque view from high above downtown Montreal. The Saints then continued on to hold their pregame shoot around on and outdoor court in a downtown park.
In the evening, it was finally game time. The team made the trek across the river to Champlain College Saint-Lambert to open their international trip with arguably the toughest test they could schedule in Carleton. Winners of 13 of the past 15 Canadian National Championships, the Ravens entered play with an 8-2 record on the summer against NCAA Division I opponents which included a pair of wins over Vanderbilt as well as a victory over Alabama.
Carleton came out looking every bit like the seven-time defending national champions as they scored the final 13 points of the first quarter to open a commanding 24-6 lead. The game was played under FIBA rules, which included four, 10-minute quarters and a 24-second shot clock being amongst the most noticeable differences.
But a young, largely untested Siena squad showed tremendous resiliency to shake off their slow start and put together a monster second quarter. The Saints wiped out their early 18-point deficit in nearly the blink of an eye, scoring the first 12 points before ultimately rallying to reclaim a 33-32 lead on a three-pointer by junior guard Nico Clareth with 2:31 remaining in the half. After missing his first five shots in the opening quarter, Clareth shot 7-10 from the field in the second quarter to account for 18 of Siena's 30 points in the stanza. Following a 3-16 first quarter, the Saints collectively shot 12-16 from the field in the second period to claim a 36-35 lead at intermission.
The second half would be more tightly contested with the sides exchanging leads four times. The most notable moment of the third quarter came when Clareth went down with what appeared to be a serious left leg injury with 7:22 remaining. But after missing the remainder of the quarter and receiving treatment, Clareth returned for the final period with Siena leading 53-51.
However, the Ravens ended the game similarly to how they began it, opening the final stanza on a 19-7 spurt to build a 10-point lead at 70-60 with 3:01 remaining. The Saints would get no closer than four points down the stretch as Carleton held off a spirited opening effort by Siena, 73-66. Cameron Smythe led the Ravens with 19 points, while Eddie Ekiyor and Emmanuel Owootoah added 17 apiece for Carleton which had upended Saint Francis Brooklyn by 34 points the night before and MAAC foe Canisius by 12 last week.
The Saints saw a lot of positive signs in the first game of their international trip, most notably with a young squad persevering to overcome a sizeable early deficit against a highly touted foe. Clareth led all scorers with 22 points on 8-18 shooting including 4-7 from three. Junior forward Evan Fisher started and contributed a solid eight points and seven rebounds, while classmate Kadeem Smithen came off the bench to add a solid five points, five rebounds, and four assists. The newcomers made their mark as well, with freshman forward Prince Oduro scoring seven points while adding five rebounds and three blocks, and classmate Jordan Horn chipping in nine points in 16 minutes off the bench.
Siena will have an opportunity to recuperate Tuesday, before playing the second game of their three-game trip Wednesday at McGill at 7 p.m.
Rest and recovery were on the itinerary for the Saints' third full day north of the border, following a late-night, hard fought, tightly contested 40-minute battle the evening before against seven-time defending Canadian National Champion Carleton. The Saints began the formal part of their day with a light team practice at the same outdoor court in downtown Montreal which they had held their pregame shoot around at the day before. The team then had the treat of traveling through "Old Montreal" and enjoying a nice lunch at an authentic Polish restaurant.
The Saints will now rest up and prepare for the middle game of their trip Wednesday at McGill at 7 p.m. The Redmen are 4-4 this summer against NCAA Division I opponents, and enter the matchup winners of three straight. McGill edged UTEP twice in Costa Rica - by two and four points, respectively - and defeated Saint Francis Brooklyn 80-67 in their most recent game Monday. Their other DI win is vs. Kent State, while their four losses have come at the hands of Alabama, SMU, Towson, and Lamar. This matchup should provide another strong test for a young Saints squad as they look to continue to improve and build team chemistry on this highly beneficial trip.
Gameday number two for Siena began once again with a shoot around at the outdoor practice court which they have utilized all week. The Saints then made a stop by the Jackie Robinson mural before pregame meal. Robinson played in Montreal for the Los Angeles Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate Montreal Royals in 1946 before breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier the following season.
In the evening it was back to business. Two days after taking the seven-time defending Canadian National Champions Carleton to the wire, the Saints faced last year's national runner-up McGill at sweltering G. Donald Love Competition Hall. The Redmen entered the matchup riding a three-game winning streak and with a 4-4 overall record this summer against NCAA Division I opponents, with victories over Kent State, UTEP (two), and Saint Francis Brooklyn.
For the second straight game the Saints started out slow, digging themselves an early 10-point hole at 13-3 less than four minutes into the contest. But Siena quickly responded to pull within 22-17 through the first quarter of action. The contest was once again played under FIBA rules, which included four, 10-minute quarters and a 24-second shot clock.
The game would be tightly contested thereafter, with neither team leading by more than eight points. The Saints rallied to reclaim their first lead late in the first half at 33-31 following a 15-foot jumper by junior forward Evan Fisher with 3:48 remaining, and took a 35-31 lead into the break. Fisher continued his strong start to the international trip, finishing with 17 points.
Meanwhile the third quarter belonged to Fisher's frontcourt mate in freshman forward Prince Oduro. The Toronto native reeled off the Saints' first six points of the second half to give the squad its biggest lead of the night at 41-33 with 7:52 to play. Oduro led all scorers and posted a double-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks in a monster performance. But McGill, which made nine threes in the contest, hung around thanks to the deep ball and ended the quarter on a 14-6 spurt to reclaim a 58-55 lead.
The Redmen extended their lead to a modest six at 65-59 with 6:48 remaining. And, despite being without its leading returning scorer Nico Clareth who sat out due to precautionary reasons after suffering a left quad strain in Monday's game, this young and resilient Siena squad battled back. Sophomore guard Khalil Richard picked up the slack, scoring eight of his 16 points in the final quarter including the go-ahead put back to move the Saints back in front 68-67 with 3:36 remaining. Siena finished with a strong defensive effort down the stretch and made their free throws - hitting 12-13 in the final quarter while shooting 22-27 (81.5%) overall - to finish the game on a 20-6 run and claim their first win of the trip.
Siena was led by a balanced scoring attack as all five starters scored in double figures. In addition to Fisher, Oduro, and Richard's efforts, freshman guard Jordan Horn added 11 points, and classmate Roman Penn scored 10. Four scored in double figures for McGill led by Francois Bourque and Noah Doust who scored 14 apiece.
The Saints will now look to close out their international trip with a victory and clinch a winning record when they make the quick turnaround to face Concordia Thursday night at 7 p.m., before heading back home following the game to the Capital Region. The Stingers are winless so far this summer against NCAA Division I schools, including an 82-69 loss to MAAC foe Canisius ten days ago, and a 75-66 setback in their most recent matchup vs. Saint Francis Brooklyn Tuesday.
Siena began its final full day north of the border with another outdoor shoot around followed by lunch downtown. Then it was time to take on Concordia and try to end the trip on a high note with a winning record.
The Saints would return home happy as Siena rallied from a 17-point second quarter deficit to defeat Concordia 86-77 in Montreal. With the victory, the Saints wrapped up their six-day, three-game trip to Montreal with a 2-1 record.
Freshman guard Jordan Horn scored all 13 of his game-high 25 points during a game-ending 25-4 run over the final 7:54. Amongst those who saw action in all three games, Horn led the Saints averaging 15.0 points while shooting 53% from the field north of the border.
Classmate Roman Penn added 16 points and four assists for a young Siena squad which recorded its third straight double-digit rally on the trip. The Saints erased an 18-point deficit before eventually suffering a hard fought 73-66 defeat in their opener Monday against seven-time defending Canadian National Champion Carleton, and wiped out an early 10-point hole in a 79-71 triumph over last year's national runner-up McGill last night.
Adrian Armstrong scored 14 points to lead the Stingers, which opened a 40-23 lead midway through the second quarter, and harbored a 12-point cushion at 73-61 with just over eight minutes remaining.
Horn drained one of his four threes to knot the score at 77-all with 3:13 to go, and red-shirt junior guard Kadeem Smithen capped a solid trip by putting the Saints in front for good with the go-ahead, old fashioned three-point play with 1:56 remaining.
Junior forward Evan Fisher concluded a breakout trip with 15 points and eight rebounds, to finish with averages of 13.3 points and 6.7 rebounds for the week. Sophomore forward Thomas Huerter, Jr. narrowly missed a double-double in adding 10 points on 4-5 shooting and nine rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench.