Siena grinds out tough win over Hofstra

Siena was the tougher team physically and mentally Wednesday night.
Marquis Wright of Siena nearly loses the ball to Juan'ya Green of Hofstra at the Times Union Center in Albany Wednesday, December 9, 2015.
Marquis Wright of Siena nearly loses the ball to Juan'ya Green of Hofstra at the Times Union Center in Albany Wednesday, December 9, 2015.

Siena was the tougher team physically and mentally Wednesday night.

Dominating in the paint, on the boards and defensively, the Saints defeated an extremely talented Hofstra men’s basketball team 81-68 in a non-conference test before a crowd of 5,099 at the Times Union Center.

Junior forward Brett Bisping produced 22 points and nine rebounds, and junior point guard Marquis Wright netted 15 points to go along with six assists and seven rebounds as Siena improved to 6-4.

Junior center Javion Ogunyemi chipped in with 12 points and two blocked shots, and freshman Nico Clareth added 10 points, five rebounds and two assists in just 19 minutes.

Hofstra (6-3), coached by former Niagara head coach Joe Mihalich, entered the game featuring four double-digit scorers. But the Pride couldn’t cash in from 3-point range (6-for-26) and shot just 33 percent from the floor.

“Brett and Javion were excellent inside,” Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos said.

“Javion did a lot of things that didn’t show up in the stat sheet. He made maybe 20 plays against their big guys that didn’t show up.”

“We saw on film that they didn’t have a lot of guys, so part of our game plan was to go inside,” said Ogunyemi. “We had an advantage inside, and on the boards, and we took advantage of that.”

Bisping was proud of the way he and his teammates played defensively against a team with so many good shooters.

“Our coaches have been working on defense with us every day in practice,” Bis­ping said. “We had a lot of guys who stepped up defensively, and offensively in spurts tonight. We couldn’t have won the game without the job Javion did inside early on. Then Marquis made some big shots for us, and even Nico hit a couple of shots at the end.”

Siena led by 13 (45-32) at the half, and still owned a comfortable 69-56 edge with 8:05 to go after Clareth made back-to-back baskets.

But Hofstra used a 1-3-1 zone defense to get back into the game. The Pride sliced the deficit to 71-64 with 4:17 left.

That’s when Bisping took control of the game, grabbing two key rebounds and making four straight foul shots. He added a short baseline jumper during the 6-0 run, and helped the Saints build their lead back to 77-64 with 3:06 left.

“Brett just didn’t grab those rebounds, but he also made the free throws. That was the key,” Patsos said. “We’ve worked on the 1-3-1 zone defense, but I guess we’ll have to do a better job.”

“Our man-to-man defense certainly wasn’t working against them, so we tried the 1-3-1 zone,” Mihalich said. “It worked for a short period of time.

“The toughest team won the game. “They competed harder, and they did what they wanted to do. That was one of our poorest efforts. Siena dominated the game, and he [Bisping] set the tone for them.”

“That was a good game for us,” Patsos said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Hofstra won the Colonial Athletic Association title. They are one of the best mid-major teams. A lot of guys played well for us tonight. Lavon [Long] had eight points and eight rebounds, and Marquis picked up a rebound here and a rebound there. Marquis is sneaky and quick.

“Now here comes Albany next. They are the three-time defending America East champions, and another big test for us to get ready for the MAAC again.”

The Saints meet UAlbany for the Albany Cup Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Times Union Center.


Tanksley 6-16 8-10 22, Gustys 2-4 0-0 4, Koon 3-11 5-10 12, Green 4-12 3-6 12, Bernardi 3-13 0-0 8, Nicholas 3-4 2-4 8, Wright-Foreman 0-2 0-0 0, Buie 1-4 0-0 2, Walker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-66 18-30 68.

SIENA (81)

Long 2-6 4-4 8, Bisping 7-15 6-6 22, Ogunyemi 6-9 0-1 12, Wright 6-12 2-2 15, Wormley 3-4 1-2 7, Oliver 1-1 0-0 3, Clareth 4-9 2-2 10, Paige 0-0 1-2 1, Fisher 1-1 0-0 3. Totals: 30-57 16-19 81.

Halftime: Siena 45-32. 3-point goals: Hofstra 6-26 (Tanksley 2-6, Koon 1-3, Green 1-6, Bernardi 2-9, Buie 0-2); Siena 5-15 (Bisping 2-6, Wright 1-2, Oliver 1-1, Clareth 0-5, Fisher 1-1). Rebounds: Hofstra 34 (Tanksley 8, Koon 8); Siena 41 (Bisping 9). Assists: Hofstra 10 (Green 4), Siena 14 (Wright 6). Personal fouls: Hofstra 22, Siena 22. Fouled out: Gustys, Nichols. Officials: DJ Cartensen, Larry Scirotto, Ron Turburski. Attendance: 5,099.

Categories: College Sports

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