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FINAL: Siena 65, Radford 57 (OT)

By Michael Mac Adam
Sunday, February 24, 2013

ALBANY -- It wasn’t pretty, but when you’ve already lost 20 games weeks before the conference tournament starts, you can’t get picky.

Siena outscored Radford, 10-2, in the final 57.8 seconds of regulation, then outscored the Highlanders, 11-3, in overtime to pull out an improbable 65-57 win at the Times Union Center this afternoon.

The Saints (7-21) started a walk-on freshman at point guard and lost star forward O.D. Anosike to fouls with the game still up for grabs in overtime, but persevered to stop a five-game losing streak and win for the first time since Feb. 1.

In fact, the Saints didn’t even have the point guard, CBA graduate Chris Leppanen, for overtime, after he went down with a leg cramp late in regulation.

Cue Bill Murray leading “Meatballs” campers in the “It just doesn’t matter” chant.

Siena figured out a way to win, anyway, getting two big baskets from sophomore Rob Poole in the final minute of regulation, and six points in overtime from reserve forward Davis Martens, who had his best game in a Siena uniform, with 18 points and nine rebounds.

“It was a dig-deep win,” head coach Mitch Buonaguro said. “To win this game with Poole and O.D. going 5-for-27 is pretty amazing.”

Poole continued to suffer through his shooting slump, but made the two that mattered, a tough runner and a three that cut it to 54-52 with 16 seconds left. Siena forced a five-second call on an inbounds pass, and Anosike, a 52 percent free throw shooter, made two from the line with 4.8 seconds left to send it into overtime.

Radford (12-17) scored on a pull-up by R.J. Price (18 points) early in the overtime, but managed just a free throw the rest of the way.

“This game showed our resiliency,” Poole said.

It was an especially sweet moment for Leppanen, even though he spent the final 22 seconds of regulation and all of overtime sidelined with a leg cramp. He started for Evan Hymes (ankle injury), who missed his first game of the season.

Leppanen, of Troy, had seven points and seven assists against just two turnovers in 35 minutes, after having played a total of 52 minutes in the previous 27 games. His mother brought his grandparents to watch the game for the first time this season.

“Neither can see too well, so I don’t think they saw too much action, but I know they heard the crowd going crazy and stuff, and my mom was probably telling my grandmother what was going on, so it was very special,” Leppanen said.

RADFORD (57)
Green 3-3 2-4 8, Noreen 1-3 1-2 4, Holcomb 3-4 2-2 8, Davis 2-9 0-1 5, Price 7-21 0-0 18, Brown 0-1 0-0 0, Owens 0-1 0-0 0, Anderson 3-13 0-0 8, Dickerson 0-3 0-0 0, Dyer 0-3 4-4 4, Murphy 1-1 0-0 2, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Wells 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 20-65 9-13 57.

SIENA (65)
Anosike 3-13 5-9 11, Burdine 4-6 3-4 13, Silas 2-2 0-0 4, Leppanen 3-5 0-2 7, Poole 2-14 7-12 12, Audu 0-1 0-0 0, Martens 6-10 6-7 18. Totals 20-51 21-34 65.

Halftime: Radford 25-23. End Of Regulation: Tied 54. 3-Point Goals: Radford 8-28 (Price 4-12, Anderson 2-7, Noreen 1-2, Davis 1-4, Wells 0-1, Dickerson 0-2), Siena 4-12 (Burdine 2-2, Leppanen 1-1, Poole 1-6, Martens 0-1, Audu 0-1, Anosike 0-1). Rebounds: Radford 33 (Green 5), Siena 42 (Anosike 14). Assists: Radford 13 (Davis 4), Siena 10 (Leppanen 7). Total Fouls: Radford 26, Siena 15. Fouled Out: Anosike, Dyer, Green. Attendance: 5,768.

Follow Mike MacAdam on Twitter at @Mike_MacAdam

 

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