LOUDONVILLE — His team still seeking its first road win, Siena men’s basketball head coach Carmen Maciariello’s squad is set to play its next three games away from its home floor.
The latest chance for the Saints to score their first win away from Albany comes 2 p.m. Sunday at Manhattan, while a trip to western New York follows with a Friday game at Canisius and a matchup at Niagara two days later.
“When it’s all said and done, we’ll crack through,” Maciariello said after the Saints’ MAAC win Thursday in Albany against Saint Peter’s. “It’s all about that persistence. It’s all about that effort.”
With the exception of a couple games, Siena (3-1, 7-6) has competed well on the road despite its 0-6 mark away from Times Union Center, a venue where it’s 7-0. Two of Siena’s road defeats were by four points or fewer, another came in triple-overtime and the Saints were within a possession in the final minute of Rider in an eight-point loss.
Siena’s only road loss in MAAC play was its defeat at Rider. Siena heads into its game at Manhattan in second place in the conference, only behind 3-0 Quinnipiac. Maciariello, though, seemed to suggest he’s not interested in his team looking at the standings any time soon.
“My job is to make sure we don’t come out complacent,” Maciariello said. “We think we’ve accomplished something, and we haven’t accomplished anything.”
While not 100% certain, Maciariello wrote in a text message Saturday that his expectation is fifth-year senior Elijah Burns should be able to play at Manhattan after missing Siena’s win against Saint Peter’s with an illness.
On the season, Burns is averaging 15.2 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Without Burns available against Saint Peter’s, senior Sammy Friday and freshman Kyle Young each played season-high minutes totals, and combined to contribute 16 points and 10 rebounds.
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Siena has averaged 21.5 free-throw attempts per game this season, and the Saints should be able to earn plenty of trips to the foul line at Manhattan.
Opponents this season against the Jaspers are nearly shooting one free throw for every two attempts they take from the field. For every attempted field goal, opposing offenses are shooting 0.46 free throws — which the kenpom.com rankings show as the 11th-most in the country this season through Friday’s action.
Siena is shooting 69.3% from the foul line this season.
After sweeping its road trip to play Canisius and Niagara, Manhattan (2-1, 6-6) fell Friday at Fairfield.
Its game against Siena will be its first at Draddy Gymnasium in MAAC play. On the season, Manhattan is 2-1 on its home court in Riverdale.
Tykei Greene is averaging team highs in points (12.1) and rebounds (5.8) per game, while Pauly Paulicap is averaging 9.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.
Reach Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.
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