Navy cut a lead as large as 14 down to four with a Jordan Brickman three pointer with 45.9 seconds left but the Saints were able to hold off the Midshipmen who turned the ball over and missed a three in their final two possessions.
Senior Kyle Downey asserted himself as the go to Saint early and often, driving to the basket, getting open in space, and scoring a team-high 19 points. Downey made his living from inside the arc, making 7 of 12 from two, but his clutch three with 4:28 left give the Saints a 57-48 lead. It was Siena’s second made three pointer in the game.
Siena broke the game open to a 12 point lead on a Brandon Walters layup off an Evan Hymes pass with 17:14 left. Walters, in his first start as a Saint since transferring from Seton Hall, made his presence known with a career high 12 points. Hymes who made his debut and first career start scored 10 points in 24 minutes.
Siena’s roster, already decimated by injuries and ineligible players left the Saints with a need to keep all eight available scholarship players on the floor. However the Saints were dealt with two key blows early.
Junior O.D. Anosike, who led the Saints last season in fouls, drew his second foul with 15:01 to go in the first half and saw the bench for the rest of the half. Anosike scored his first point of the season at the free throw line with 10 minutes remaining in the game. Anosike had a team-high 10 rebounds.
The injury bug continued to bite the Saints when senior Owen Wignot converted a basket with a foul with 13:41 left in the first half going down hard, drawing a blocking foul on Jordan Sugars. Wignot hit his head and was immediately assisted off the court and into the locker room. Wignot tried to warm up with the Saints before the second half started but did not return.
Without Wignot and Anosike the Saints went on a 14-2 run in the first half to take their largest lead of the half at 25-19. The Saints scored 18 points off 15 Navy turnovers.
Siena built a lead without the three pointer, freshman Evan Hymes three pointer with 38 seconds to go in the first half was the Saints first three of the game and gave the Saints a 30-25 lead heading into halftime. Siena combined to go 12 for 21 (57.1%) from inside the arc in the first half.
The Saints shot 48.9% from the field in the game, making 56.7% of their shots from inside the arc (21 for 37) and scoring 28 points in the paint. The Saints made 17 of 27 free throws (63%) for the game; however, Siena made 14 of 19 free throws in the second half after making one of their first seven.
Hymes, as a newcomer, wasn’t immune to the injury bug either when he had an injury scare with 13:03 left in the game. Hymes made a 19-foot jumper but went to the ground with apparent leg cramps.
J.J. Avila led the Midshipmen with 19 points on 9-15 shooting. Navy made just 5 of 22 shots from behind the arc.
Siena freshmen scored 29 points on the night. Other than Hymes 10 points, Robert Poole scored 7 points, Davonte Beard added 7 points and Marcus Hopper made an early basket and finished with 3 points and 2 rebounds in limited action.