Let the record show that Siena led Mount St. Mary’s for all of five minutes and 12 seconds on Saturday night.
It was the right five minutes and 12 seconds, though.
The Saints scored the first six points of overtime and held on for a 79-76 victory over the Mountaineers before 6,516 at the Times Union Center, running their record to 10-4 and their record home winning streak to 28, the third-longest current streak in the country.
Senior point guard Ronald Moore made two free throws with 32 seconds left in regulation to send it into overtime, and Edwin Ubiles made two big jumpers early in overtime to prevent the upset.
Mount St. Mary’s lost its eighth straight and fell to 3-10.
“We kept going after it, going after it,” said Moore, who has a national reputation for having made the two three-pointers that helped beat Ohio State in double overtime in the NCAA tournament last season.
“It did feel like it took forever,” Ubiles said. “Once we got it, we just tried to keep it. We made some tough plays down the stretch and then into overtime.”
“The whole game was like that,” said Ryan Rossiter, who scored a career-high 29 points, including 21 in the first half to bail out his ice-cold teammates. “There were times where I thought we were on an 8-0 run and maybe it was a four-point lead, and I look at the clock and we’re down 11.
“I think we were able to take a lot out of the Marist game last year, to be honest. All the guys on the floor at the end played in that Marist game, and it was a very similar game, we were down and kept fighting and kept fighting.”
Siena won in overtime at Marist last season, despite the fact that captain Kenny Hasbrouck fouled out early and was replaced by Kyle Downey, then a freshman. Downey came up big in that game, and played well in place of starting shooting guard Clarence Jackson late in Saturday’s game, making the game-clinching free throws with 8.7 seconds left.
Mount St. Mary’s point guard Jeremy Goode launched a three that missed everything. Teammate Jean Cajou rebounded and missed a layup, and there was enough time to get it to Will Holland, but he missed a three as time expired.
“It’s kind of fun after,” Downey said. “During it, you never want to be in those positions, you always want to be up by enough where you don’t have to make those free throws.
“When I play with these guys, I don’t feel like I’m one of the bench players. I feel like I’m just on the team. That always helps, and I’m kind of used to big situations from high school. Experience is a big thing.”
Siena fell behind at the start, 18-4, and needed almost the rest of regulation to climb back into it.
The Saints trailed by seven with 1:36 left after Goode made a layup in transition.
“When Goode got the runout and got it to seven, it didn’t look real good there,” Siena head coach Fran McCaffery said.
Siena scored the last seven points, as Rossiter finished a three-point play and Moore weaved his way through the whole defense for a drive that made it 69-67 with 52.7 seconds left.
After a timeout, the Saints took advantage of a 10-second violation when Moore and Ubiles forced Holland to pick up his dribble just before the halfcourt line.
“It felt like the 10-second call was taking forever,” Ubiles said with a laugh. “He tried to back me down, and all I was thinking was it’s got to be close to a 10-second count and not let him get past the line. That was a huge play.”
Moore, who came into the game making 55.3 percent of his free throws, was fouled and got the roll on the first one, which clanked around the rim. He made the second to tie it at 69-69.
“I wanted to keep my composure and not be rattled,” Moore said.
“Is there anybody that doubted that he was going to make those? Not me,” McCaffery said. “As soon as he got fouled, I thought, let’s plan what we’re going to do defensively.
“There’s always, do you want to foul [Shawn] Atupem? He’s 42 [percent]. He [Moore] made one, would you foul a 42 percent shooter in a tie game and go to get the ball back? And we said, no, we’re going to play for the stop. Downey did a really good job there.”
Downey defended Goode, who temporarily lost the handle, gathered the loose ball, and launched a three from the left wing that banked and hit the rim, but went just wide enough to bounce out at the buzzer.
“In the huddles, we actually did mention the Marist game from last year,” Rossiter said. “When coach McCaffery says the shots are going to fall and we’re going to win, we truly do believe it. He does a great job of keeping us calm and settled.”
MOUNT ST. MARY’S (76)
Beidler 8-12 1-2 19, Atupem 4-10 1-2 9, Barber 0-2 0-0 0, Cajou 4-10 0-0 9, Goode 7-16 0-2 14, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Holland 7-15 0-0 18, rice 2-2 0-0 5, T. Jackson 0-4 2-2 2, Thompson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 32-74 4-8 76.
Franklin 6-13 5-10 17, Rossiter 11-19 7-8 29, C. Jackson 1-8 1-2 3, Ubiles 7-13 1-3 15, Moore 2-9 3-4 7, Anosike 0-0 0-2 0, Downey 3-5 2-2 8, Martens 0-0 0-0 0, Wignot 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 30-69 19-31 79.
Halftime: Mount St. Mary’s 37, Siena 31. Regulation: 69-69. Three-point goals: Mount St. Mary’s 8-18 (Beidler 2-3, Cajou 1-2, Goode 0-5, Holland 4-7, Trice 1-1); Siena 0-9 (C. Jackson 0-4, Ubiles 0-1, Moore 0-2, Downey 0-1, Wignot 0-1). Rebounds: Mount St. Mary’s 42 (T. Jackson 8); Siena 45 (Franklin 16, Rossiter 13). Assists: Mount St. Mary’s 12 (Goode 6); Siena 9 (Moore 9). Total fouls: Mount St. Mary’s 21; Siena 16. Attendance: 6,516.
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