After a productive, clear-the-air practice Sunday, the Siena College men’s basketball team is ready to reverse some disturbing trends when the Saints host Fairfield tonight at 7 at the Times Union Center.
The Saints (6-7 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, 10-14 overall) scored a season-low 53 points in their loss to Saint Peter’s Thursday night. In that game, the Saints were outrebounded for the fourth straight time after winning the battle of the boards in 15 of the previous 16 games.
To make matters worse, Siena’s top two scorers, Rob Poole and Evan Hymes, were each held scoreless by the Peacocks.
“I can’t remember the last time my two leading scorers were held scoreless,” said first-year Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos, who was ejected in that game. “I think maybe it was eight years ago against Saint Peter’s, which was also the last time I was ejected.”
Patsos said he might have made a mistake by not counseling his players more after they lost their last home game, 103-95 in overtime, to Quinnipiac.
“We thought about just trying to go ahead and forget about that game, but we found out that the players took that Quinnipiac loss very seriously,” Patsos said. “Maybe we should have talked about that one a little more, because it was definitely a tough loss.
“Because of that, I don’t think we were as prepared as Saint Peter’s was in our last game. But I know we’re going to play much better against Fairfield. It’s a home game, and we’ve been playing very well at home. It’s very tough to win on the road, no matter what league you are in.”
Patsos was only half kidding when he said the media’s attention to his team’s rebounding prowess might have had something to do with the Saints’ recent woes on the boards.
“It was our little secret. Now, all the coaches are warning their players not to let us outrebound them,” Patsos said.
“Everybody thinks your big guys are the reason you are a good rebounding team, but we’ve also been getting some excellent rebounding from all of our guards, especially Rob Poole, who is a great rebounding guard, and Marquis Wright. That’s part of the reason why we’ve been so good in that category. I’m expecting the players to have an excellent game [tonight]. I’m not saying we will win, but we will definitely compete.”
Fairfield (2-11, 5-19) lost, 64-56, in the first meeting with Siena.