(Photo by Ray Floriani/Daly Dose Of Hoops)
By Ray Floriani (@rfloriani)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - Always a battle, and tonight, no exception. In a 63-possession, grind-it-out affair, Saint Peter’s defeated Siena 77-65. The Peacocks improved to 6-2 in the MAAC, while Siena is now 5-4 in conference. It was a game the home team led from wire to wire. While Siena made several runs, each time Saint Peter’s had the answers.
First five possessions:
Siena: Turnover, turnover, missed FG, missed FG, offensive foul
Saint Peter’s: Turnover, missed FG, field goal, three-point FG, missed FG
Saint Peter’s 5-0 after the first 3:11, hinting of a tempo on the deliberate pace. Both field goals were made by Nick Griffin. For the Peacocks, it was a first half they would love to bottle. The lead was 41-30 at the break. Saint Peter’s limited Siena to a 93 offensive efficiency, while compiling an outstanding 132 on their offensive end. They attacked the basket, breaking down the Siena defense and winning loose balls. Only a late Siena run kept the margin from reaching 20. The first four minutes of the second half saw the lead grow to 14 at 52-38. The Peacocks won those first four, 11-8, putting a damper of any Siena hopes of cutting further into the deficit.
Offensive efficiency: Siena 103, Saint Peter’s 122
eFG%: Siena 58, Saint Peter’s 58
Free Throw Rate: Siena 71, Saint Peter’s 42
Offensive Rebound%: Siena 23, Saint Peter’s 34
Turnover Rate: Siena 27, Saint Peter’s 16
Leading scorers and EF:
Siena: Lavon Long 17 points, EF 23.
Saint Peter’s: Quadir Welton 14 points, EF 18
Sam Idowu 14 points, EF 16
What Siena did well: Down 19 with five minutes left in the first half, the Saints battled back on several occasions. They kept battling on a tough night.
What Saint Peter’s did well: A little of everything: A 58 percent eFG mark, low turnovers and forcing Siena into a 27 percent turnover rate were a few highlights.
No ties or lead changes in this one. Siena had nine assists against 17 turnovers. Saint Peter’s fared better with 16 assists and 10 turnovers. No one hit double figures in rebounding, as Welton led all players with six, all on the defensive end. The Peacocks had four players in double figures.
Sam Idowu gave John Dunne an added scoring option. The sophomore forward scored 14 points, hitting four of seven three-point field goals and shooting 5-of-9 overall. Saint Peter’s shot 11-of-26 from three as a team.
Second half shot chart: Saint Peter’s scored 10 field goals, hitting five from beyond the arc. Despite what appeared to be a perimeter oriented attack, the Peacocks led 22-18 on points in the paint.
Siena did a good job drawing fouls and getting to the line. The Saints hit 21-of-27 from the charity stripe, and held Trevis Wyche to just six points. The senior guard was a key part of the Saint Peter’s attack with an outstanding floor game, recording nine assists and one turnover in 31 minutes. Welton’s 32 minutes led the Peacocks in that category as coach John Dunne rotated and rested players at times with another contest in less than 48 hours against Niagara on Saturday.
Siena postgame press conference (Video courtesy of Mike Demos, Siena College Athletic Communications)
“Proud of our guys. It wasn’t pretty in the second half with the fouling. We hung on to win, gave them chances on the line, but made the plays we had to. Fortunate to get out with a win. Our game plan didn’t change without Marquis in their lineup. We have been turning teams over and did a good job against their ball screens. A game of runs, but the more we scored, the better our defense was. They scored a few easy ones late in the first half, and I got nervous, as I thought we would get complacent. I tried to sub a lot - we have another game at 2 p.m. on Saturday. To be 3-0 in this stretch is a really good feeling. You don’t want any let downs at this point. Everyone goes through different stretches in the MAAC, it is how you handle those stretches.” - Saint Peter’s head coach John Dunne