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What you need to know for 11/20/2017

Siena men's basketball loses by 33 in home opener

Siena men's basketball loses by 33 in home opener

Beatdown by FGCU worst home defeat in decades
Siena men's basketball loses by 33 in home opener
Ahsante Shivers and the rest of Siena could not find many openings against Florida Gulf Coast on Monday at Times Union Center.
Photographer: Eric Jenks/For The Daily Gazette

ALBANY — Sophomore Ahsante Shivers declined to chalk up Monday’s 86-53 defeat against Florida Gulf Coast as a learning experience for a young Siena College men’s basketball team trying to find its way.

“It’s definitely embarrassing. Nobody on the team is happy right now. I can tell you that,” Shivers said. “Nobody should be happy with this loss. I feel like it’s early in the season, so we can rebound from it, but, yeah, this is definitely an embarrassing loss for the whole team.”

The whole team, though, didn’t stick around for long after Monday’s loss in Siena’s home opener against one of the best mid-major programs in the country. Junior Nico Clareth, a Siena co-captain who shot 3 of 12, left the locker room after Monday’s loss without addressing media members.

Clareth, a preseason all-MAAC second-team selection, has now shot 9 of 32 in Siena’s first two games. After Monday’s loss — which matched Siena’s worst-ever home defeat at the Division I level, as the Saints lost to Iona by 33 points in the 1996-97 season — Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos said he’ll seek out Clareth, who finished with six points in 23 minutes.

“I just got to talk to him about, you know, there’s nothing bad,” Patsos said. “There’s nothing really bad out there. I just — I don’t know. I think he puts too much pressure on himself. I think maybe he’s disappointed. He has really high goals for himself, but I’ll have to talk to him. I haven’t really talked to him yet.”

Patsos continued: “But he doesn’t have an assist yet this season and that has to change.”

While Clareth struggled, few Siena (0-2) players played particularly well against Florida Gulf Coast (2-0), which out-rebounded the Saints 18-16 on their defensive backboard.

Siena freshman Prince Oduro, who had a double-double in the Saints’ season-opening overtime loss at Charleston, shot 2 of 12 and only grabbed three rebounds. Still, his seven points was the most for any Siena freshman, as Jordan Horn had six, Christian Bentley had one and Roman Penn again went scoreless.

“It’s OK,” Patsos said of Oduro’s night. “We hugged him, shook his hand and told him I loved him. Get the next one.”

Florida Gulf Coast head coach Joe Dooley said he had been impressed with what he’d seen Siena do against Charleston. He felt like his team caught the young Saints, which graduated more than 70 percent of their scoring from last season, on the right night.

“It’s just hard a time of the year,” Dooley said, “especially when you have young guys.”

Siena was competitive for the bulk of the game’s first 30 minutes, but that changed after sophomore Khalil Richard — who scored a team-high 12 points — scored to bring the Saints within 51-37. Florida Gulf Coast answered with a 7-1 run that started a stretch of play in which the Eagles outscored Siena 33-11. Several of Florida Gulf Coast’s baskets during that run lived up to the program’s “Dunk City” moniker.

“And we didn’t respond well to it,” Siena sophomore Thomas Huerter said.

Siena last started 0-2 back in the 2015-16 season, when the Saints played at Duke and Wisconsin to start their campaign.

For Florida Gulf Coast, seniors Brandon Goodwin and Christian Terrell each scored 16 points.

After its loss against Florida Gulf Coast — the preseason favorite in the Atlantic Sun Conference — the Saints next play 7 p.m. Friday at Lehigh.

Shivers said Siena’s effort will be better going forward.

“Even if you lose,” Shivers said, “you’ve got to give 100 percent — and I don’t think we did it and we need to figure out the problem now.”

FGCU

Doyle 3-7 3-6 9, Simmons 3-5 1-1 7, Goodwin 6-13 3-3 16, Johnson 6-13 1-1 13, Terrell 7-7 0-0 16, Rogers 0-0 0-0 0, McAdoo 0-1 0-0 0, Ernst 0-3 1-2 1, Carlyle 1-3 4-6 6, Thomas 1-2 0-0 2, Mercurius 5-9 1-1 14, Mahoney 1-1 0-0 2. Team: 33-64 14-20 86.

Siena

Oduro 2-12 3-6 7, Fisher 2-5 0-0 4, Smithen 2-5 0-0 5, Shivers 2-6 1-3 6, Clareth 3-12 0-0 6, Bentley 0-0 1-2 1, Huerter 1-1 0-0 2, Diamond 0-0 0-0 0, Richard 4-10 3-4 12, Penn 0-2 0-0 0, Horn 3-7 0-0 6, Degnan 0-1 2-2 2. Friday 0-2 2-4 2. Team 19-63 12-21 53.

Halftime: FGCU 40, Siena 27. Three-point shooting: FGCU 6-20 (Doyle 0-1, Goodwin 1-6, Johnson 0-4, Terrell 2-2, Mercurius 3-7), Siena 3-15 (Smithen 1-1, Shivers 1-2, Clareth 0-5, Richard 1-3, Penn 0-1, Horn 0-3). Rebounds: FGCU 48 (Doyle 11), Siena 33 (Smithen 6). Assists: FGCU 16 (Goodwin 4), Siena 7 (Oduro). Turnovers: FGCU 14, Siena 14. Total fouls: FGCU 20, Siena 15. Fouled out: None. Technicals: None. Attendance: 5,387.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Michael Kelly at mkelly@dailygazette.net or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter. For more coverage of college basketball, head to dailygazette.com/blogs/the-outlet.

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