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Siena getting deeper, stronger

Siena getting deeper, stronger

Everything is beginning to click for Siena, which routs Manhattan to take sole possession of first p

Alex Franklin scored six straight points on a drive, a great up-and-under move and a putback, drawing a foul.

Josh Duell popped back-to-back three-pointers.

Kenny Hasbrouck shook off a quiet first half to score 14 points in the second.

It was like emptying a jigsaw puzzle onto the tabletop and having the pieces fall together by themselves.

Siena got contributions from throughout its lineup in dismantling Manhattan, 69-56, Thursday night at the Times Union Center.

Franklin and Duell have missed games recently because of injuries, and Hasbrouck, a candidate for Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player of the year, had made just six of 24 shots in his last three games.

The Saints, 6-1 in the MAAC and 11-6 overall, had still been playing well despite these hindrances, but on Thursday, they showed what they can do when everybody’s healthy and hot. They led by 15 at halftime, and put the game away for good in the first 10 minutes of the second half by making six three-pointers, including three by Tay Fisher and two by Hasbrouck, who finished with 17 points.

“It’s great to have this amount of depth, because if you get tired, you know somebody’s coming in who isn’t going to back off at all,” Hasbrouck said.

“We started a lineup that has been playing great together, we didn’t seem to be able to get it going offensively, so we go to the bench and get incredible production from Alexander Franklin and Josh Duell, who got us going,” Siena head coach Fran McCaffery said. “Kenny was struggling in the first half, Ronald [Moore] was struggling, and Chris De La Rosa comes off the bench and gives us great minutes. That’s when you feel like maybe your team is coming together.”

The Saints took over sole possession of first place in the MAAC when Marist (5-2) lost to Loyola Thursday night. Niagara (5-1) plays at Canisius tonight.

Franklin, in his third game back after missing five with a back

injury, had 15 points and 10 rebounds, including 10 and eight, respectively, in the first half as Siena went ahead, 31-16.

He played just 21 minutes off the bench, but it seemed like more, considering how productive he was.

After Duell, who was in a bit of a slump himself from three-point range before he got hurt, knocked down two threes to give the Saints a 13-7 lead, Franklin took over inside and scored six straight to make it 19-9.

“He was a difference maker tonight, without question,” McCaffery said. “In the first half, he was exploding for rebounds like we’ve seen him before. We’ve missed that, desperately, and we didn’t see that this weekend, either. He played great, but he wasn’t as explosive as he was tonight, so he’s starting to get in shape.”

“I’m having good practices, and it’s really helped on the court,” Franklin said. “Tonight was really good, there’s no soreness, no anything, so I hope it continues this way so I can keep performing the way I did.

“Conditioning, I’m still a little behind, but I’m just going to continue to work through it.”

Duell had missed three games after catching an elbow against Saint Peter’s that broke a bone in his mouth.

He had oral surgery, and wore a mouthpiece for the Manhattan game.

He didn’t play tentatively, drawing one of his trademark charges in between making the three-pointers.

“I had two good days of practice and had a chance to see how it feels,” Duell said. “Once you start playing, you don’t really think about anything like that, so I went out there, got lucky to knock down some shots, tested the defense a little bit and opened things up.

“My coaches tell me to keep shooting. When you go through a little slump like that, it’s huge to have people who have confidence in you. Kenny did the same thing, came out and played great.”

Hasbrouck did his damage in the second half. He and Fisher took turns making threes, as Hasbrouck hit one to give the Saints a 61-38 lead with 8:42 left despite being fouled.

“I just felt good,” Hasbrouck said. “I stopped hesitating on shots, and I knew I had an advantage over some of the people I was going against.

It [hesitation] showed in the last three games. I started the games, like, 1-for-5, like I did tonight. I would pass up shots after that, and he [McCaffery] said you have to stay aggressive and keep attacking.”

“Tay and Kenny were spectacular in the second half,” McCaffery said. “It was an interesting game in that regard. When you’re playing 10, we certainly got enough good play out of enough play to get a double-digit win against a very good team.”

MANHATTAN (69)

Gabriel 4-8 1-4 9, Jolicoeur 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 2-7 0-0 4, Bouli 1-4 0-0 3, Green 1-8 0-0 2, Ferguson 0-2 0-0 0, Pearson 2-8 2-3 6, Walsh 2-4 0-0 4, Austin 3-10 1-1 9, Crawford 7-8 2-2 16, Adams 0-2 1-2 1, Banogle 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-62 7-12 56.

SIENA (56)

Rossiter 0-1 0-0 0, Ubiles 6-13 1-2 14, Fisher 3-7 0-0 9, Moore 1-4 0-2 2, Hasbrouck 6-12 1-3 17, De La Rosa 1-2 1-2 3, Duell 2-6 0-0 6, Jackson 1-4 1-2 3, Carr 0-0 0-0 0, Magee 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Franklin 5-8 5-9 15, Priestley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-57 9-20 69.

Halftime: Siena 31, Manhattan 16. Three-point goals: Manhattan 5-19 (Jolicoeur 0-1, Smith 0-1, Bouli 1-3, Green 0-1, Ferguson 0-1, Pearson 0-2, Walsh 2-3, Austin 2-6, Crawford 0-1); Siena 10-23 (Ubiles 1-3, Fisher 3-7, Hasbrouck 4-8, Duell 2-4, Jackson 0-1). Rebounds: Manhattan 41 (Green 11); Siena 36 (Franklin 10). Assists: Manhattan 8 (Green 3); Siena 19 (Moore 8). Total fouls: Manhattan 16; Siena 15. Attendance: 5,549.

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