Saints’ inexperience shows in loss to St. Bonaventure (with photo galllery)

Siena almost ran out of players on Monday night, but never ran out of gas. Still, St. Bonaventure di

Siena almost ran out of players on Monday night, but never ran out of gas.

Still, St. Bonaventure did just enough to beat the Saints, 64-58, in front of 6,067 at the Times Union Center, Siena’s first loss in three games.

Freshman point guard Evan Hymes (18 points) was Siena’s leading scorer for the second game in a row before fouling out with 1:10 left, and classmate Davonte Beard wasn’t far behind, leaving head coach Mitch Buonaguro with no scholarship players available on his bench.

St. Bonaventure (2-1) made three of four free throws in the final 24.8 seconds to keep the Saints at bay.

“The kids played with tremendous effort and intensity,” Buon­aguro said. “We did make some critical mistakes down the stretch. There were two bad fouls that we committed that hurt us, and we didn’t foul once when we wanted to. Those are the things that happen with a young team. We had freshmen out there late, they were competing and they made some mental errors.”

“I thought it was a great college game,” St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt said. “Hymes did a terrific job in the first 10 minutes of the first half. We couldn’t keep him in front of us. He was a big, big key. Our second group came in and gave us great energy the last seven, eight minutes of the first half. We found a way to stop Hymes a little bit in the second half. That was the key, getting out and making sure they didn’t get open shots.”

The Bonnies’ All-America candidate, 6-foot-9 forward Andrew Nicholson, had 14 points and 12 rebounds, but it was Eric Mosley (17 points) and Demitrius Conger (15 points) who did more damage on the outside.

Siena led for most of the first half as the 5-8 Hymes scored 14 points, before surrendering the lead in the closing minutes.

Then St. Bonaventure put the clamps on Hymes, who scored 30 in a win over Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday, and held him to 1-for-9 shooting in the second half.

“They played great defense in the second half,” Hymes said. “I felt like I rushed a couple shots.”

“I thought some of his shots were good shots,” Buonaguro said. “He was aggressive. Those are shots he can make. I have no problem with them.”

“As the game progressed, we got used to his quickness,” Schmidt said.

Siena’s freshman-heavy lineup was bound to make some errors out of inexperience, which happened in the last minute and a half.

Hymes picked up his fourth foul with 3:44 left when he got the roll on a tough driving shot that would’ve tied it at 54-54, but he was called for a charge and subsequently picked up a technical foul for jawing with Matthew Wright, who also drew a technical.

Hymes committed his fifth out by the three-point line with 1:10 left, and Mosley made two free throws for a 57-52 lead.

Beard scored to bring the Saints within 59-56, but neglected to foul Conger, a 66.7 percent free-throw shooter.

Freshman Rob Poole then fouled Mosley, sending a 77.8 percent shooter to the line.

Buonaguro was apoplectic on the sideline.

“I was upset about a couple of things,” he said. “We were fouling the wrong guy. You want to foul Conger or [Da’Quan] Cook, and we never did. Davonte said he heard me say ‘foul,’ and I didn’t say ‘foul.’ It was just a miscommunication. And Evan’s foul was tough because it was his fifth. Those are things that happen with a young team.”

Kyle Downey made two free throws for Siena, then Wright made one with 24.8 seconds left for a 62-58 lead.

Beard missed a runner, Downey missed a three and Beard fouled out with 3.2 seconds left. Nicholson made two free throws for the final score.

“Offensively, it was pretty ugly, but in the end, we found a way,” Schmidt said. “They played zone, so he [Nicholson] was bundled up a little bit. He had some good looks and missed some. He’s got to do a better job kicking it out when he gets triple-teamed, but he did a great job on the backboard and played really, really hard. He shrunk the defense, and that’s why we got some open shots, because of his presence.”

The Bonnies tough interior defense gave junior forward OD Anosike problems.

He had just four points, but grabbed 10 rebounds, nine of which came in the second half.

Senior center Brandon Walters had another strong game, with 12 points and eight rebounds.

“I’m just here to do the little things that count,” Walters said. “We didn’t do enough to get the win tonight, so we’re definitely going to have to work on executing and getting everything down pat for the Georgia Tech game.”

Siena senior starting forward Owen Wignot was in uniform, but did not play for the second game in a row after getting banged in the back of the head in the first half of the Navy game last Wednesday.

He said that, although an eval­uation on Monday ruled out a concussion, he’s still feeling groggy. He’s scheduled for an MRI later this week and won’t make the trip for Wednesday’s game at Georgia Tech.

Poole started for him.


Conger 5-10 3-3 15, Cook 1-7 1-3 3, Nicholson 6-12 2-4 14, Mosley 4-7 6-6 17, Davenport 0-2 0-0 0, Kloof 0-0 0-0 0, Gathers 0-1 0-0 0, Ndoye 1-2 0-0 2, Johnson 2-6 0-0 4, Wright 3-7 1-2 9, Houseknecht 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-55 13-18 64.

SIENA (58)

Anosike 2-8 0-1 4, Poole 3-7 0-0 8, Walters 5-11 2-3 12, Downey 4-9 2-2 10, Hymes 5-15 5-6 18, Hopper 0-1 0-0 0, Beard 2-5 2-3 6. Totals: 21-56 11-15 58.

Halftime: St. Bonaventure 29, Siena 26. Three-point goals: St. Bonaventure 7-19 (Conger 2-4, Nicholson 0-2, Mosley 3-6, Davenport 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Wright 2-5); Siena 5-16 (Poole 2-5, owney 0-4, Hymes 3-5, Hopper 0-1, Beard 0-1). Rebounds: St. Bonaventure 36 (Nicholson 12); Siena 35 (Anosike 10). Assists: St. Bonaventure 16 (Davenport, Kloof, Wright 3); Siena 8 (Downey 3). Total fouls: St. Bonaventure 18; Siena 21. Fouled out: Hymes, Beard. Technical fouls: Hymes, Wright. Attendance: 6,067.

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