LOUDONVILLE — Now, go win another.
That’s the thinking for the Siena men’s basketball team, which won its first road game of the season Friday at Iona. Next up is a 4 p.m. Sunday MAAC matchup at Saint Peter’s, as Siena looks to win its fourth consecutive game.
“Obviously,” Siena head coach Carmen Maciariello said after Friday’s win, “Saint Peter’s is another good road test for us.”
Siena, 9-0 at home this season, improved to 1-9 on the road with Friday’s victory. The Saints’ 87-64 win at Iona ended their run as the nation’s lone remaining team that was undefeated at home and winless on the road.
Both Siena (6-4, 10-9) and Saint Peter’s (6-4, 9-10) bring three-game winning streaks into their matchup at Yanitelli Center, where Siena has not won since 2010. For Siena, each of its last three victories have been secured with double-digit winning margins, the first time the program has won three consecutive games in such fashion since January 2016.
“Moving forward,” Maciariello said, “we just want to continue to build on this momentum.”
With Siena up big early at Iona and freshman reserve Kyle Young delivering a strong game, the Saints only needed to use fifth-senior Elijah Burns for 19 minutes.
“That was intentional,” Maciariello said of limiting Burns.
That leaves Burns — who didn’t play in Siena’s 61-58 win against Saint Peter’s earlier this season because of an illness — in position to be able to maintain his normal workload against the Peacocks.
On the season, Burns has averaged 14.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per game. Recently, though, Siena has tried to limit Burns’ minutes on a more consistent basis. In MAAC games, the 6-foot-8 forward has only played more than 25 minutes on two occasions.
Against Iona, Burns had 11 points and four rebounds, while Young had a dozen points and six rebounds.
CAN’T PLAY, CAN HELP
The recent additions of Aidan Carpenter and Dana Tate to the Siena program as — at the moment — practice players paid off Friday night.
“They helped us get ready for this,” Maciariello said.
In practice, Tate — a 6-foot-7, 230-pound sophomore transfer from Rhode Island — was able to simulate Iona stars E.J. Crawford and Tajuan Agee for the Saints, while Carpenter — a mid-year enrollee who will suit up next season as a freshman — played the same role imitating Iona guard Isaiah Washington.