Siena vs. Brown: Moore powers Saints

Ronald Moore got the ice; the Brown Bears got the heat.

Ronald Moore got the ice; the Brown Bears got the heat.

One day after rolling his ankle against St. John’s, Siena’s point guard scored 19 points on 9-for-12 from the field and had 11 assists and five steals against only two turnovers as the Saints defeated Brown, 99-79, in a Philly Hoop Group Classic game at the Palestra on Saturday.

The Bears (4-4) were able to efficiently run their high-low offense at times, but for the most part, Siena (4-2) smothered Brown with pressure defense.

Meanwhile, Moore, with his right ankle heavily taped with what he called “a mini-cast” after spending most of Friday night and Saturday morning getting iced and treated, was able to get free for pullup jumpers from around the free-throw line.

“I thought I’d probably play limited minutes,” Moore said. “I knew I was going to play just because of my competitive nature, and I knew coach and the team needed me out there. Hammer [trainer Greg Dashnaw] does a great job taping my ankle, and I played smart on the defensive end, even though I wasn’t 100 percent.”

After Clarence Jackson hit four three-pointers in a span of three minutes to give Siena an 86-60 lead, the only question left was by how much the Saints would top 100 points.

They failed to do so, despite reaching 94 with 6:51 to play, but the offense had by far its most productive game of the season, mak­ing 54.4 percent from the field.

Siena was especially adept in two areas that have been lacking, free throws and three-pointers.

The Saints made 15 of 18 from the line, and 10 of 19 from long range, including five of eight by Jackson, who led Siena with 23 points, followed by 21 inside from Alex Franklin.

One day after committing seven turnovers, Moore had a nearly flawless game, scoring 11 points in the first half as Siena took a 50-38 lead.

Brown was within 13, 68-55, but the Saints scored 10 straight points, including two threes by Jackson, to go ahead, 78-55, with 11:05 left.

“We encouraged him [Moore] to do what he always does, but I tried to encourage him to shoot that

pullup,” Siena head coach Fran

McCaffery said. “He’s relying more on the three these last couple of games.

“He’s a pretty good three-point shooter, particularly out of the corner, but his pullup game is as good as anybody in the country. And he can get to that elbow, he can get to that free-throw area pretty much against anybody. Then once we started setting ball screens and they weren’t coming up, we knew that shot would be there for him.”

Big men Matt Mullery (23 points) and Andrew McCarthy (18) did most of the damage for the Bears, combining to make 19 of 25 shots.

Siena’s plan was to stay up close to the Bears’ shooters, though, and the Saints were able to make it just uncomfortable enough to keep Brown from making any threatening runs.

“Our defensive intensity was way better than it was last game,” Franklin said.

“The key against a team like Brown is heat; you’ve got to keep the heat on,” McCaffery said. “If you let them run their stuff, they will absolutely carve you up. You have to stay after them.”

Brown held a 17-12 lead early as both teams came out firing.

Siena answered with a 17-0 run that included six points off the bench from Kyle Downey, who finished with 11 points in 14 minutes.

“I really wanted to force myself to play our bench tonight,”

McCaffery said. “We had two games back-to-back, one less than 24 hours after the other, plus our key guys last night played a lot of minutes. We’ve got a couple of nicks and bruises, and I was really happy with the way Kyle Downey played in the first half.”

Downey started the run wth a floater along the left baseline, and Moore hit a pullup to bring Siena within 17-16.

He also had a steal and a layup, and found freshman O.D. Anosike inside for a 21-17 lead.

After a timeout, Moore made a long jumper and finished the run by finding Downey in transition to make it 29-17.

“Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve been so focused on making plays and finding other guys,” Moore said. “I’ve got a lot of great players surrounding me. As the year’s been going on, I’ve been trying to juggle both, knock down the little 15-foot jump shot, but also be able to find guys. Tonight, it really worked out for me. I was able to knock it down when they gave it to me.”

The Bears were still hanging around when Franklin delivered an emphatic dunk in transition on a perfect lob upcourt from Moore.

Franklin also drew a foul on the play, and the free throw gave Siena a 42-28 lead.

“I was running, I got ahead of the pack and Ron always sees me on that,” Franklin said. “I was looking for the ball, and was just trying to finish hard at the rim.”

“It gave us a little bit of a cushion, a little bit of confidence,” McCaffery said. “We started slowly, but we got it going, we get a couple of steals, a runout dunk … it changes the complexion of the game.”

The only sore spot for Siena was another quiet night for Edwin Ubiles, who was 2-for-9 from the field for four points.

He said he hurt his knee during warmups before the Northeastern game, and although it was by far his best game of the season (26 points), he has been wearing a black brace on his right knee ever since.

“It’s hard. Obviously, I don’t like playing with it,” he said. “It’s a little harder to move the way I want to move, but I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team, and hopefully, it’ll get better soon.”

“Eddie’s struggling, right now,” McCaffery said. “He’s got a little problem with his knee; we’ve got to get that straightened out. He’s got tendinitis, as far as I know, and that can be very, very painful, depending on where it is. We just have to treat it and take it day by day with him.”

BROWN (79)

P. Sullivan 3-8 2-4 9, McCarthy 9-12 0-0 18, Mullery 10-13 3-5 23, Williams 0-2 0-0 0, M. Sullivan 3-11 0-0 8, Taylor 0-2 0-0 0, Gruber 0-2 0-0 0, Coleman 0-0 0-0 0, Leffelman 5-8 0-0 13, Halpern 3-7 0-0 8. Totals: 33-65 5-9 79.

SIENA (99)

Rossiter 1-4 4-6 6, Franklin 7-10 7-8 21, Jackson 8-12 2-2 23, Ubiles 2-9 0-0 4, Moore 9-12 0-0 19, Anosike 2-4 0-0 4, Yard 2-3 0-0 6, Downey 4-8 2-2 11, Wignot 2-5 0-0 5, Breeden 0-0 0-0 0, Priestley 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 37-68 15-18 99.

Halftime: Siena 50, Brown 38. Three-point goals: Brown 8-20 (P. Sullivan 1-2, Mullery 0-1, Williams 0-2, M. Sullivan 2-4, Leffelman 3-5, Halpern 2-6); Siena 10-19 (Rossiter 0-1, Jackson 5-8, Ubiles 0-3, Moore 1-1, Yard 2-3, Downey 1-2, Wignot 1-1). Rebounds: Brown 37 (McCarthy 11); Siena 28 (Rossiter, Franklin 6). Assists: Brown 24 (M. Sullivan 6); Siena 21 (Moore 11). Total fouls: Brown 12; Siena 13.

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