Saints ‘board’ up the Greyhounds

After losing its first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game of the season on Saturday, Siena boun
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It was a ragged game that ended in bizarre fashion, with Siena head coach Fran McCaffery livid at the kid who just had 18 rebounds, and Jamal Barney stripping Kenny Hasbrouck for a breakaway dunk while Hasbrouck was talking to one of Barney’s teammates and winding down the final seconds.

It looked like a thing of beauty to the Saints, though.

After losing its first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game of the season on Saturday, Siena bounced back with a 73-60 victory over Loyola on Monday night in front of 5,984 at the Times Union Center.

Sophomore Ryan Rossiter (14 points, 18 rebounds) and junior forward Alex Franklin (23 and 11) destroyed the smaller Greyhounds inside, and Siena (13-1, 19-6) got back to the tight, conscientious defense it had been playing before the loss at Rider two days prior.

“We needed to regroup,” Franklin said. “You’ve got to bring it for 40 minutes, and we did that.”

“It was definitely good that we had a game two days after that one, and get right back out on the court,” Rossiter said. “And just move on. You don’t want to turn one loss into two, and two into three.”

With the game well in hand, McCaffery got after Rossiter in the closing moments when the forward failed to get out at Brian Rudolph, who was open.

It might have been the only time Siena didn’t identify a shooter, which was a big problem against Rider.

Rossiter’s rebound total was a career high, and he and Franklin were a combined 11-for-13 from the field and were 15-for-18 from the free-throw line. In fact, Edwin Ubiles was the only other Saint to attempt a free throw, but Siena got in the double bonus early in each half, and finished 24-for-32.

“I told Rossiter, ‘You didn’t miss a shot, you got 18 rebounds and four blocks,’ and I’m killing him at the end there when he didn’t close out on Rudolph, but the kid’s been just unbelievable,” McCaffery said. “He seems to get better every day, and not a better player can you coach than Ryan Rossiter.”

“He came in and made a joke about it [afterward],” Rossiter said. “I appreciate that he’s getting on me, because when he stops yelling at you, you have to be worried.”

Siena outrebounded Loyola (6-8, 11-15), 47-35, and had 16 offensive rebounds, six by Rossiter.

“Ryan had 18 boards. He took some of mine, but I’m not going to say anything,” Franklin said with a chuckle.

Loyola was able to stay close in the first half by pressing the Saints, but Siena used a 15-5 run to start the second half and take a 50-33 lead with 13:19 left.

Clarence Jackson came off the bench and scored two straight baskets to make it 54-34, and Siena pretty much put the game away when Ubiles made a difficult up-and-under to make it 60-40 with 9:07 left.

Hasbrouck was dribbling out the clock at the end of the game when Barney, who was leading the MAAC in scoring at 18.8 points per game, stole it from Hasbrouck and went in for an uncontested dunk with 2.7 seconds left, as McCaffery was already on his way down the sideline to shake hands with Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos.

Everyone except Hasbrouck, who refused to shake hands with Barney, a sophomore transfer from Providence, shrugged off the play afterward.

“It was real ignorant,” Has­brouck said. “In my mind, he’s an ignorant player now. That was it. He just made Loyola look bad. It’s a boneheaded play. I don’t know why he did it. People might say it could’ve been for the [scoring] average or something, but I really don’t care why he did it. It was just an ignorant play.”

“He made a mistake,” Patsos said. “I don’t think there’s many people in this room who haven’t. I know that I’m probably the gold-medal winner of mistakes in my life. He was just competing, and didn’t realize what was going on.”

“The kid made a mistake,” McCaffery said. “You’ve got to let the kid off the hook. Not that big a deal.”

Loyola gave Siena, which had an uncharacteristic 19 turnovers, problems with its press in the first half.

By the opening moments of the second half, the Greyhounds had scored three uncontested layups off steals on inbounds passes from under their basket.

Siena’s defense didn’t allow Loyola’s shooters much breathing room, though, and the Greyhounds didn’t have an answer for Rossiter and Franklin.

“It was hard to stay in a great rhythm, because every time they scored, they ran up and were scrambling, and everybody was getting double-teamed,” Hasbrouck said. “You could say it was sloppy, but we got the job done, and that’s all that really counts.

“This time, we didn’t turn our backs to the shooters when the ball went in the paint. For the most part, we locked up [Marquis] Sullivan, [Brett] Harvey and Barney.”

“I saw the press as a way to keep my young team going,” Patsos said. “We’re not going to execute and grind.”

“This game was important for us in a lot of ways,” McCaffery said. “After the defensive performance we had on Saturday, it was important to come out and play better. Whether it was perfect, we needed to play better defensively, and we did. Our attention to detail was better, and we contested and paid attention to who their key personnel were.”

“I really wish they had not lost at Rider,” Patsos said. “I was hoping we could sneak up on them.”

LOYOLA (60)

Wright 2-7 1-2 5, Lewis 2-2 0-0 4, Harvey 0-6 2-2 2, Sullivan 6-12 0-0 15, Barney 8-22 3-4 19, Winbush 0-0 0-0 0, Reid 1-8 0-0 2, Hall 0-0 0-0 0, Ficke 0-0 0-0 0, Rudolph 6-8 1-2 13, Farrell 0-2 0-0 0, Kelly 0-0 0-0 0, Wiegand 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-67 7-10 60.

SIENA (73)

Rossiter 4-4 6-6 14, Franklin 7-9 9-12 23, Ubiles 4-13 9-14 17, Moore 1-9 0-0 2, Hasbrouck 5-14 0-0 11, Downey 1-2 0-0 2, Jackson 2-5 0-0 4, Wignot 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 24-58 24-32 73.

Halftime: Siena 35, Loyola 28. Three-point goals: Loyola 3-17 (Harvey 0-3, Sullivan 3-9 Barney 0-3, Reid 0-2); Siena 1-11 (Moore 0-3, Hasbrouck 1-5, Downey 0-1, Jackson 0-2). Rebounds: Loyola 35 (Reid 7); Siena 47 (Rossiter 18). Assists: Loyola 11 (Rudolph 5); Siena 12 (Moore 7). Total fouls: Loyola 23; Siena 10. Attendance: 5,984.

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