Saints’ Big Four buries Stags

Siena’s Big Four were a big headache for Fairfield on Thursday.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Siena’s Big Four were a big headache for Fairfield on Thursday.

Senior Kenny Hasbrouck and juniors Edwin Ubiles, Alex Franklin and Ronald Moore scored all but 13 of the Saints’ points in an 87-81 victory over the Stags before 6,469 at the Times Union Center.

Ubiles had 22 points, Franklin scored 13 of his 15 in the second half and Moore ran the show with nine assists and 20 points, including 14 in the first half, when he made three three-pointers.

The four players combined to shoot 26-for-49 from the field, and the rest of the team took 13 shots.

Moore stood out, since he was averaging 7.6 points per game coming into the game, while his counterpart at point guard, Jon­athan Han, scored 22 points and had seven assists for the Stags. Han was picked to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason first team, and Moore didn’t even make the third team.

“Definitely, any MAAC game now, there’s more focus for me, not being picked on any teams,” Moore said. “I want to go out there and show that I should be put somewhere. Any motivation you can get is a good thing.”

“He gets his mouth busted up the other night, and goes for 20 and nine . . . that’s a tough kid, right there,” Siena head coach Fran McCaffery said. “His focus and concentration is on engineering a victory. Whatever it takes to get us home. That’s why I love him.”

“Kenny’s playing much better, and that makes them a very dangerous team,” Fairfield head coach Ed Cooley said. “I thought Moore controlled the whole game, and the rest of the guys did what they do. He and Han are two of the better point guards in the league. He felt the challenge, and answered the bell.”

Siena improved to 3-0 in the MAAC and 9-4 overall, and Fairfield fell to 2-1 and 8-5. The Saints have won four straight and seven of their last eight heading into Sunday’s home game against Saint Peter’s.

Moore, sporting stitches on his chin after getting hit in a win at Holy Cross on Tuesday, hit a three with 15.9 seconds left in the first half to give the Saints a 45-40 lead.

The game was close for much of the second half, especially after Han made back-to-back threes to give the Stags a 62-59 lead with 12:06 left, but he picked up his fourth foul less than two minutes later, and Cooley shuttled Han in and out for the rest of the game.

In the meantime, Siena took the lead for good, 63-62, on Hasbrouck’s layup right before Han’s fourth foul, and the Saints continued the scoring run until they led, 68-62.

The Saints got in the double bonus with 2:19 left, and made 11 of 14 free throws down the stretch.

“He’s [Han] played very well against us over the years,” McCaffery said. “He shot it well against us today. He’s somebody that they’re going to want on the floor the last 12 minutes of the game, and they kind of had to go in and out with him.”

Moore scored six points and had four assists in the second half, a sure sign that Siena’s offense was running smoothly.

All four of the Saints’ top players took at least 10 shots, and shot at least 50 percent from the field.

“He’s the best point guard in the MAAC, by far, to me and the rest of this team,” Hasbrouck said. “When he’s hitting jump shots like that, it’s almost impossible to stop him. He has great court vision, he’s always under control, and when his shot’s falling, you have no choice but to try to jam him, and you can’t do that to him because he’s too quick.”

“We pushed the ball really well, and we shared the basketball,” McCaffery said. “We had 21 assists on 31 baskets. That’s the stat that jumps out at me. We weren’t settling for the first easy, quick shot that showed.

“He [Moore] was phenomenal. When he’s controlling the game like that, that takes all the pressure off everybody else.”

FAIRFIELD (81)

Edney 3-7 0-0 6, Johnson 5-9 2-4 12, Nero 7-15 6-6 21, Han 8-16 2-4 22, Allen 3-11 0-0 7, Turner 0-3 0-0 0, Hawkins 1-3 2-2 4, Jordan 0-1 0-0 0, Crawford 0-1 0-0 0, Olander 0-1 0-0 0, Evanovich 3-6 2-2 9. Totals: 30-73 14-18 81.

SIENA (87)

Rossiter 1-4 0-0 2, Ubiles 8-15 5-6 22, Franklin 5-10 5-7 15, Moore 6-10 5-7 20, Hasbrouck 7-14 2-4 17, Downey 0-0 0-0 0, Duell 1-2 1-2 3, Jackson 1-5 1-2 4, Wignot 2-2 0-0 4, Priestley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 31-62 19-28 87.

Halftime: Siena 45, Fairfield 40. Three-point goals: Fairfield 7-21 (Nero 1-2, Han 4-8, Allen 1-5, Hawkins 0-1, Jordan 0-1, Evan­ovich 1-4); Siena 6-18 (Ubiles 1-3, Moore 3-6, Hasbrouck 1-4, Duell 0-1, Jackson 1-4). Rebounds: Fairfield 41 (Nero 12); Siena 39 (Ubiles 11). Assists: Fairfield 16 (Han 7);

Siena 21 (Moore 9). Total fouls: Fairfield 25; Siena 14. Attendance: 6,469.

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