Albany County

The Outlet: Siena men’s basketball 1 win from matching program record

Carmen Maciariello, left, and Fran McCaffery. (Gazette file photos)
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Carmen Maciariello, left, and Fran McCaffery. (Gazette file photos)

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, College Sports, Sports

He likened it to “garbage” that could only clutter things up for his Saints.

So, no, Siena men’s basketball head coach Carmen Maciariello isn’t all that interested in considering, discussing or elaborating on his program’s current winning streak or the record it’s approaching.

“We’re trying to do this thing, and do something that hasn’t been done before,” Maciariello said after Sunday’s win for the Saints, their 14th in a row going back to last season. “We can’t be worrying about history and stats and all that stuff. We’re worried about the guys in the locker room and doing everything right every single day.”

A win Friday at Rider, though, would mean Siena had tied its Division I program record of 15 wins in a row, which the 2009-10 Saints — Fran McCaffery’s last Siena squad — set during a 27-7 campaign that ended with the program’s most-recent trip to the NCAA tournament. If Maciariello’s Saints sweep Rider this Friday and Saturday, Siena would set a new Division I program for consecutive wins.

A 16th consecutive win would also tie the program’s all-time record for consecutive victories at any level of play. Siena won 16 games during a span that stretched across the 1949-50 and 1950-51 seasons.

Siena’s streak during the 2009-10 season started after the Saints had won six of their first 10 games. The 15-game winning streak that followed that 6-4 start included two non-conference wins and 13 MAAC wins, and ended when the Saints lost 87-74 at Niagara. During the 15-game winning streak, Siena won its games by an average margin of 12.6 points and only two games were decided within a one-possession margin.

This season’s Saints are 4-0 after winning their final 10 games last season. During Siena’s current streak, the Saints have won its games by an average margin of 9.9 points and four games were decided within a one-possession margin.

Rider is 3-8 this season.

BACK PRACTICING

Ahead of next weekend’s America East Conference games at NJIT the UAlbany women’s basketball team was able to resume practicing Sunday.

The UAlbany athletic department had announced on New Year’s Eve that head coach Colleen Mullen’s program had paused in-person team activities because of a positive COVID-19 test result.

The Great Danes are 2-4 overall and 1-1 in America East play. UAlbany hasn’t played since a Dec. 22 game at Fordham, and all six of its games were played within a span of 12 days.

NO FANS

In a social-media post, MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor confirmed Tuesday that the league’s “ban on fans was extended through the end of January.”

Whether fans will be allowed at MAAC games in February and March — including at the league’s tournament in Atlantic City — is “still TBD.”

Currently, no fans are allowed at home games for either Siena’s or UAlbany’s teams.

GONZALEZ DEBUTS

In the second of her team’s wins last weekend, freshman Chantell Gonzalez made her debut — and became, according to the school’s athletic department, the tallest player ever to play for the Siena women’s basketball program.

Gonzalez, a 6-foot-8 center from Florida, played two scoreless minutes in Siena’s 69-60 win Sunday against Rider. That victory followed a 73-64 win on Saturday.

Gonzalez is also the tallest women’s basketball player in the MAAC this season.

Previously, Alexis Darling was the tallest player, at 6-foot-5, to play for the Saints.

Leave a Reply