Siena men’s basketball loses at Monmouth

Siena lost Tuesday at Monmouth. (Gazette file photo)

Siena lost Tuesday at Monmouth. (Gazette file photo)

With a chance to strengthen its grip on the No. 2 seed for the approaching MAAC tournament, the Siena men’s basketball team delivered a lackluster performance Tuesday in West Long Branch, New Jersey.

Monmouth cruised past Siena 71-59 in a game that saw the Hawks lead by as many as 21 points in the second half. Siena missed its first 13 attempts from 3-point territory and made 21 of 66 overall from the field.

Siena (10-6 MAAC, 13-11 overall) had entered its matchup with Monmouth (13-7, 18-9) alone in second place. With the loss, the Saints fell into a three-way tie for second place with Monmouth and Saint Peter’s (10-6, 12-11), a club Siena had just defeated Sunday.

At OceanFirst Bank Center, Siena’s only lead Tuesday night was after Colby Rogers converted a three-point play to start the game’s scoring. Siena trailed 34-19 at halftime, and only briefly made things interesting late in the second half. A basket from Anthony Gaines brought Siena within 63-54 with less than three minutes to go, but Monmouth’s George Papas answered with a leaning-in jumper to push the Hawks’ advantage back to a four-possession one. From there, the Saints always trailed by at least 10 points.

We started out, probably, a little too fast, not really mindful of our legs, running up and down,” Siena head coach Carmen Maciariello said on a short video posted to the Siena men’s basketball Twitter account. “We missed some shots we usually make, but when the ball’s not going in, you’ve got to be able to play inside-out, you’ve got to be able to get to the free throw line.

“Then when you quick-shoot the basketball, it leads to transition opportunities for the opponent.”

Papas led Monmouth in scoring with 18 points, Walker Miller added 15 and Shavar Reynolds produced a dozen. Nikkei Rutty only scored two points, but had a career-high 19 rebounds on a night that saw Monmouth out-rebound Siena 47-41.

For the Saints, Jackson Stormo had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Rogers scored nine, and Gained contributed six points and 11 rebounds. Gaines finished the game 2 of 13 shooting after missing all nine shots he attempted in the first half, while Rogers was 3 of 15 shooting for the game.

Siena made 3 of 20 3s on the night.

“Credit to Monmouth, we were 3-for-20 from 3, and the first half we shot 22% [from the field],” Maciariello said. “You’re not winning on the road in the MAAC shooting that, especially if you’re not getting to the free throw line and putting pressure on the rim.”

Siena next plays Thursday at Quinnipiac (7-9, 12-12) in a rematch of a Jan. 30 game that the Saints won 85-76.

After that game, Siena gets a rematch with Monmouth. The Saints host the Hawks Sunday at MVP Arena in their final home game of the season.

Categories: College Sports, Siena College, Sports

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