Marvin Dominique registers ninth double-double of season, with 17 points and 12 rebounds as Saint Peter's ends five-game losing streak with 66-53 win over Siena. (Photo courtesy of Saint Peter's University)
Having lost five straight over the past three weeks, Saint Peter's may not have viewed tonight's game as a "must-win" per se, but could have used a pick-me-up of sorts to vault the Peacocks back into the middle of the pack in the MAAC standings.
Fortunately, their star forward was there to ensure the aforementioned boost would come.
Behind a 17-point, 12-rebound effort from Marvin Dominique, Saint Peter's (8-14, 4-9 MAAC) used an 18-7 run over the final 6:05 to pull away from Siena (10-14, 6-7 MAAC) en route to a 66-53 victory that got the Peacocks off the schneid to start a two-game homestand at the Yanitelli Center.
"I'm just happy we got a win," head coach John Dunne remarked after the game. "We lost five straight, and in that five, I thought we lost some of our energy and weren't playing hard enough in a few of those games."
Tonight's contest was a battle of attrition from the opening tip, as the Peacocks and Saints combined for 48 personal fouls in one of the more physical affairs during MAAC play this season, and Saint Peter's was able to balance their aggressive style with a transition defense that turned 14 Saints turnovers into 20 points while holding both Rob Poole and Evan Hymes; Siena's leading scorers entering the night, scoreless.
"We had a good day of preparation yesterday," Dunne said just three nights removed from a 64-49 defeat to Manhattan, who scored their second straight win tonight by defeating MAAC co-leader Canisius, "and it carried into today. We didn't shoot it great, we didn't play great on offense. We just played really, really hard."
In addition to Dominique, who amassed his ninth double-double of the season in the victory, Desi Washington's 18 points led all scorers, while Trevis Wyche chipped in with 13 points, five assists and no turnovers in a game that saw the ejection of Siena coach Jimmy Patsos with 4:41 remaining in regulation serve as its turning point.
Patsos, who had been on the short end of several foul calls throughout the night, was assessed his first technical foul toward the end of the first half, and was ejected four seconds after Lavon Long missed a jumper that would have pulled the Saints within two. Instead, the wind was taken out of Siena's sails, but Patsos was both brutally honest and apologetic when assessing the situation after the game.
"I'm not afraid to stick up for my players," he said. "I thought we competed really well. Rob Poole didn't score and Evan Hymes didn't score, and you wouldn't think we would be in a game if those two didn't score, but we didn't quit. We kept playing."
Siena will return to the Times Union Center Monday night to face Fairfield, who defeated Monmouth earlier tonight. Speaking of King Rice's Hawks, they will be Saint Peter's next opponent, as the two New Jersey programs will square off in a 2 p.m. tipoff in Jersey City on Sunday.