A bounce here or there and this rendition of the Siena Saints are heading to Philly to square off against another A-10 foe St. Joe’s 7-4 and not 4-7. As parity is the way of college basketball ball these days, the little things in a game are the difference between winning and losing. Last night St. Bonaventure was able to do more of the “little things” down the stretch to outlast a determined Siena team. Case in point in the last five minutes take a look at this stat:
- Siena 3 turnovers leading to 1 basket and 4 made free throws for the Bonnies
- St. Bonaventure 3 turnovers leading to 1 basket and 2 missed shots for the Saints
A difference of 4 points and essentially the outcome of the game as the Saints fell 82-79, and even that score is only so close because of a meaningless three pointer at the end.
The game as a whole was another great team performance. St. Bonaventure did a phenomenal job doubling Rossiter all night long, providing opportunities on the perimeter. Kyle Downey was back at full strength, as was Owen Wignot with a highlight reel dunk, Jonathan Breeden had a career high 15 points off the bench, and “Rahk” Brookins provided us with some “yet to come” moments scoring a career high 18 points (4-6 from beyond the arc) while dishing out 7 assists and no turnovers.
A lot of positives to take from this game and a tough road loss for sure. The Saints are 2-2 since the Fairfield tromping and have shown some renewed life and determination. If they continue the intensity heading into the new year, the 2011 MAAC title is no longer an aberration if it ever was.
Room for Improvement:
Execution down the stretch. In a tight game the team that takes advantage of what the other team hands them is going to win the game. Taking care of the basketball is a must and albeit the Saints accomplished that for 35 minutes, the critical turnovers in the last 5 minutes cost them the game. OD Anosike’s shot selection, he was forcing it, shooting 3-10 from the field. This team is going to need better production out of him as teams will continue to double Rossiter throughout the season.
Keys to Success:
The production from the guards (Downey, Breeden, and Brookins) was an A+ effort. The three combined for 68% of the teams offensive output. The Saints had a season best +9 assist/turnover ratio which if mirrored come MAAC play will lead to W’s and not L’s. The coaching staff deserves another A for this performance.
1. Siena had only four turnovers in the games first 35 minutes.
2. Kyle Downey, “Rahk” Brookins, and Jonathan Breeden all had career high in points (21, 18, and 15 respectively).
3. St. Bonaventure’s Andrew Nicholson is the real deal, scoring a game high 26 points.
4. The Saints have yet to win a game this season when an opponent takes more free throws than Siena makes (6 FT’s for Siena vs. Bonnie’s 23 FTA’s)
5. Rossiter averaging 16.2 pts/game in Siena losses vs. 23 pts./game in Siena wins.
1. When was the last time Siena shot a perfect 100% from the charity stripe?
3. When will Siena get back to .500 this year?
5. Will Clarence Jackson be back for the showdown with Iona on January 3rd?
A tough pill to swallow.