Without Clareth, Siena men’s basketball falls to 0-3 in MAAC

Horn offers 29 points in loss
Siena's Jordan Horn shoots during Friday's game against Niagara.
Siena's Jordan Horn shoots during Friday's game against Niagara.

ALBANY — Three games into MAAC play, the Siena College men’s basketball team is the league’s only winless team.

And not long before the Saints fell 84-76 Friday to Niagara, they found out that they don’t know when their leading scorer will rejoin them.

Siena played Friday without junior co-captain Nico Clareth. Thirty minutes before Friday’s game, the school released a statement saying, in part, that Clareth “informed the team this morning that he would be traveling home to his native Baltimore to attend to a family issue. Clareth’s status is day-to-day.”

Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos didn’t elaborate much about Clareth’s status after the game — “I don’t mess with that. That’s family stuff,” Patsos said — and didn’t say if the junior would return to the team in time for Sunday’s 3 p.m. game against Canisius back at Times Union Center.

“We’ll find out a lot more [Saturday] morning and we’ve got to play Canisius,” Patsos said. “That’s what’s got to go on here.”

Last season, Clareth missed a dozen games. At different points, he missed action because of a leave of absence, suspension and injury. For his career, Clareth is 24 points away from 1,000, but he’d only scored nine points in Siena’s first two MAAC games of the season.

“I hope he’s doing alright,” Siena sophomore Ahsante Shivers said of Clareth. “I haven’t had a chance to talk to him.”

Without Clareth, Siena (0-3, 4-12) was able to stay within striking range of Niagara (1-2, 8-8), but the Saints never could catch the Purple Eagles. Down 37-31 at halftime, Siena got within five points on five separate occasions in the second half, but never could pull closer than three. Niagara led for the final 22:43.

“They didn’t panic or nothing,” Siena freshman Roman Penn said. “We’d make a run and, then, next thing you know, they’d make another shot.”

Siena did a relatively good job against Niagara’s top duo, keeping each of senior Matt Scott (18 points on 17 shots) and fifth-year senior Kahlil Dukes (17 points on 12 shots) under their Nos.-1-and-2-in-the-conference scoring averages — but Niagara junior Marvin Prochet offered 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Purple Eagles.

For Siena, freshmen Jordan Horn and Prince Oduro each registered new career-high scoring outputs in the loss. Horn had 29 points off the bench on 10 of 13 shooting, while Oduro had 19 points and five rebounds. No other Siena player had more than junior Evan Fisher’s eight points.

“Their two best players are seniors,” Patsos said of the Purple Eagles. “Today, our two best players were freshmen.”

Siena sophomore Thomas Huerter gave the Saints a spark after not playing in their previous five games. In 16 minutes, Huerter had five points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

“When I got in, I just wanted to try to make something happen,” Huerter said.

Friday’s game against Niagara was the Saints’ lone time playing the Purple Eagles during the regular season. With the MAAC’s change from a 20-game regular season to an 18-game one, Niagara and Rider are the two league opponents Siena will only see once before the MAAC tournament starts.

Siena’s game Sunday comes against the lone team at 3-0 in the MAAC, but the Saints still are not panicking.

“We still have a lot of time to fight back,” Horn said.

“It’s a process, you know?” Oduro said. “Try to stay patient with it and not get too impatient with it. It’s frustrating, but you got to just keep working hard.”

Especially if Clareth does not make it back soon.

“It’s definitely tough, but, at the same time, you’ve got to be next man up,” Shivers said. “He’s averaging about 16 points, so that’s 16 points we have to account for.”

But, Patsos said, the Saints still have “got enough pieces” to stay with Canisius.

“The team we have,” Patsos said, “we can win with.”


Prochet 8-14 1-1 20, King 1-2 1-1 3, Barton 2-3 0-0 4, Dukes 6-12 1-2 17, Scott 5-17 8-13 18, Larkin 0-2 0-0 0, Tate 0-1 0-0 0, Towns 2-5 2-4 6, Kuakumensah 1-1 0-0 2, Robb 5-6 4-4 14. Team: 30-63 17-25 84.


Oduro 9-19 1-4 19, Fisher 4-7 0-0 8, Richard 1-8 0-0 2, Penn 2-6 0-0 5, Shivers 3-11 0-0 7, Bentley 0-1 0-0 0, Smithen 0-4 0-0 0, Huerter 2-2 0-0 5, Horn 10-13 4-6 29, Degnan 0-0 0-0 0, Friday 0-0 1-2 1. Team: 31-71 6-12 76.

Halftime score: Niagara 37, Siena 31. Three-point shooting: Niagara 7-20 (Prochet 3-4, Barton 0-1, Dukes 4-7, Scott 0-5, Larkin 0-1, Tate 0-1, Towns 0-1), Siena 8-19 (Fisher 0-1, Richard 0-2, Penn 1-3, Shivers 1-3, Smithen 0-1, Huerter 1-1, Horn 5-8). Rebounds: Niagara 41 (Prochet 11), Siena 39 (Fisher 9). Assists: Niagara 15 (Dukes 5), Siena 14 (Richard, Penn, Shivers 3). Turnovers: Niagara 9, Siena 9. Total fouls: Niagara 14, Siena 18. Attendance: 5,848.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter. For more college basketball coverage, head to

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