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What you need to know for 01/16/2017

FINAL: Fordham 81, Siena 75

FINAL: Fordham 81, Siena 75

Big second half by Saints not enough

BRONX -- The lightbulb finally went on for Siena's offense, but Fordham extinguished a potential Saints victory in the closing seconds, holding on for an 81-75 victory at Rose Hill Gym this afternoon.

Siena lost its eighth straight and fell to 2-10. The Rams (3-9) torched Siena's defense in the first half to take a 47-31 lead, then it was the Saints' turn.

Siena, averaging less than 57 points per game, scored 44 in the second half on 15-for-25 (60 percent) shooting, led by Rob Poole with a career-high 21 points and Rakeem Brookins with 18.

Siena needed just 6:17 to score 21 points at the start of the second half, capped by Poole's three-pointer to bring Siuena within 55-52.

After Chris Gaston carried Fordham with 20 points in the first half, the Rams' leading scorer Branden Frazier got going in the second half, hitting a three for a 74-66 lead. He made two free throws for a 76-69 lead with 1:19, but Siena wouldn't go away.

A fullcourt press forced two turnovers that led to a tip-in by O.D. Anosike and a Poole scoop shot to make it 79-75 with 12.2 seconds left. Frazier clinched it by hitting two free throws with 8.7 seconds left.

"It was a somber mood at halftime, but at the same time it was a confident mood," Anosike said. "We were down 16 points, we weren't out of the game. There was really no need to panic, we just needed to run a few things a little better, and we'd have an opportunity to get back in the game. And that's what we did."

"We didn't have a good half defensively, but I thought that was our best half of the year, in the second half," head coach Mitch Buonaguro said. "Certainly, offensively it was. It came down to the last couple minutes, and that's all you can ask. It's going to turn around. This game gave me a great deal of optimism."

As encouraging as it was for Siena to score 75 points, Fordham's 81 was also the most the Saints have given up in a game this season. They'll have to shore up the defense for their next game, at home against La Salle on Saturday night. The Explorers scored 66 points in the first half alone on Saturday, when they beat Sacred Heart, 100-71.

SIENA (75)

Anosike 6-12 4-9 16, Bisping 0-0 0-0 0, Hymes 4-10 3-4 14, Brookins 6-11 4-4 18, Poole 7-9 4-6 21, Audu 0-0 0-0 0, Burdine 0-0 0-0 0, Oliver 0-0 0-0 0, Martens 0-1 0-0 0, Silas 2-3 2-5 6. Totals: 25-46 17-28 75.


Gaston 11-17 3-3 25, Canty 0-0 0-0 0, Frazier 5-8 8-8 20, Smith 6-10 0-0 15, Myers 0-0 0-0 0, Leonard 2-4 0-0 4, Short 2-4 1-2 5, Thomas 3-6 0-1 8, Rhoomes 2-4 0-0 4. Totals: 31-53 12-14 81.

Halftime: Fordham 47, Siena 31. Three-point goals: Siena 8-21 (Hymes 3-9, Brookins 2-6, Poole 3-5, Martens 0-1); Fordham 7-15 (Frazier 2-4, Smith 3-6, Short 0-1, Thomas 2-4). Rebounds: Siena 19 (Anosike 6); Fordham 32 (Gaston 8). Assists: Siena 9 (Hymes 5); Fordham 20 (Frazier 10). Total fouls: Siena 19; Fordham 24. Fouled out: Leonard, Rhoomes, Brookins. Technical fouls: Anosike. Attendance: 2,268.

Follow Mike MacAdam on witter at @Mike_MacAdam

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