Aug. 26, 2008
Siena, Italy - Alex Franklin's two free throws with three seconds left were the difference as Siena erased a 13-point first half deficit and rallied from four down with 54 seconds left to top their namesake, Virtus Siena, 91-89 Monday night in the third game of their foreign tour.
Trailing 87-83 with 49 seconds to go, Edwin Ubiles sunk a 3-pointer from the left wing to pull the Saints within a point. Danielle Casadei and Franklin then traded baskets making the score 89-88 with 30 seconds left.
Virtus Siena elected to work the 24 second shot clock and settled for an off balance shot by Gino Cuccarolo with 10 seconds remaining. Siena grabbed the rebound and raced the length of the floor where Kenny Hasbrouck was fouled with 5.8 seconds left on a driving layup. Hasbrouck made the first free throw to tie the game, but missed the second. Franklin corralled the board and was fouled setting up the decisive free throws.
The furious finish served as the climax for a well played game that the Saints trailed the majority of the way.
Virtus Siena built a 30-17 lead two minutes into the second quarter using a 14-3 run to bridge the first two periods. The Saints closed the first half on a 7-0 spurt, highlighted by a three-quarter court buzzer beater by Hasbrouck to cut the deficit to 45-41 at the break.
Siena turned up the pressure in the second half and forward Edwin Ubiles benefited with several transition layups following turnovers.
Jubilees scored 17 of his game-high 26 points in the second half, finding his range from the outside after getting into rhythm with explosive drives to the lane. Hasbrouck had 19 points and Franklin added 18.
The Saints were the aggressor throughout, but were plagued by poor outside shooting. As a team, Siena was 3-17 from distance and again struggled at the line making just 14 of 23 tries.
Virtus Siena meanwhile executed well on offense, shooting 55% from the floor. But the home team managed just 65 field goal attempts compared to 82 for the Saints.
Casadei led five players in double figures with 18 points for Virtus. Ryan Rossiter rounded out Siena's double-digit scorers with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Alex Franklin collected 10 of the Saints' 40 individual rebounds to complete his double-double.
The game was third of five on Siena's 13-day tour of Italy and San Marino. The travel party moves to its final destination, Rome, tomorrow where it will play Wednesday and Thursday before returning to the States on Friday morning.