Siena men’s basketball comes up empty in second half, loses to Marist 62-53

Siena's Anthony Gaines, left, tries to find a shot against Marist's Victor Enoh at MVP Arena on Friday night.

Siena's Anthony Gaines, left, tries to find a shot against Marist's Victor Enoh at MVP Arena on Friday night.

ALBANY – Colby Rogers couldn’t score.

Then nobody on the Siena men’s basketball team could score.

Marist held the Saints to just five points over the final 10 minutes of the game for a 62-53 comeback win in front of 6,214 at MVP Arena on Friday night.

The Red Foxes held Rogers, Siena’s leading scorer at 15.2 points per game coming in, to just seven points on 3-for-12 from the field, but the Saints’ offensive end was a barren wasteland for everybody during the final 10 minutes.

While struggling to establish an inside-out flow to the offense during that stretch, Siena managed to make just two of 15 shots, turned it over six times and was outscored 19-5 as the Red Foxes went past the Saints like they were standing still.

“We didn’t show up,” Siena head coach Carm Maciariello said. “Maybe … I don’t know, they wanted the game more than us. You could tell it on the offensive glass, you could tell it at the free throw line. They were the aggressor. They won the game. Pretty simple.”

“I just think we weren’t being smart with the possessions we had,” Siena graduate guard Anthony Gaines said. “When we would get it in to the post and were moving the ball, it got stuck a couple times and got more into playing one-on-one. But I also think we got some good shots we wanted and then didn’t knock them down.”

The Saints (12-10 overall) had won six of their last seven, but fell a half-game behind Monmouth in the MAAC, at 9-5, with a game in hand. Marist (12-13) moved up the ladder a little bit, at 7-9.

Siena had beaten Marist 67-60 on Jan. 14 despite having been down by as many as 17 in the second half.

The Red Foxes’ comeback on Friday wasn’t nearly as dramatic, but the Saints did have an eight-point lead, 40-32, in the opening moments of the second half.

Jao Ituka scored 23 points for Marist, but Ricardo Wright was largely responsible for the turning point, hitting a 3 to cut Siena’s lead to 48-46 midway through the half, then setting up Victor Enoh for a dunk off a pick-and-roll for a 48-48 tie.

When Wright made two free throws with 7:49 left to put the Red Foxes up 50-48, it represented their first lead since it was 14-13 early in the game, and Wright followed with a drive for a 52-48 lead.

Siena senior center Jackson Stormo answered by making a turnaround hook, the Saints’ first points in over five minutes.

From there, Siena got a 3-pointer from Gaines with 1:48 left, and that was it.

“It was hard for us,” Stormo said. “I thought when the ball went inside and went out, we got some good looks. I had a couple turnovers, a couple balls I didn’t quite grab. But we’re trying to execute our gameplan. I really don’t know what else to say.

“They were loading up when the ball did go inside. They were trying to double, but I made a few passes out for 3s.”

“You’ve got to be able to grow leads,” Maciariello said. “Championship teams can grow leads and put teams away.

“When we executed our gameplan and kind of had him [Ituka] cupped with our guard who was guarding him and our big man and channeled him into the paint and stayed there until he picked up his dribble, it was pretty good. He got going in transition some.”

While guarded for the most part by Matthew Herasme, Rogers was 0-for-3 with no points in the first half, but Siena led 34-27, anyway, as Gaines scored 12 points.

Gaines finished with 15 to lead Siena, but his only points in the second half came on the 3 with 1:48 left in the game.

Nobody else had more than eight points for Siena.

Marist also had a big advantage on the glass, outrebounding Siena 45-28, with 15 on offense.

“Effort. That’s all that is,” Gaines said. “Boxing out. Stopping them from getting offensive boards.”

Categories: College Sports, Siena College, Sports

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