Siena men’s basketball can’t stay with St. Bonaventure

November 30, 2017


The Siena men’s basketball team plans on putting its new weight room to good use on Thursday.

The need for the young Saints to mature both physically and mentally was underscored on Wednesday when they were dominated 75-55 by St. Bonaventure of the Atlantic 10 before a crowd of 5,535 at Times Union Center.

“They were physically stronger,” Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos said. “I just told Ian (Farrell, Siena’s strength coach), ‘Weight room, weight room,’ like we’re going to lift (Thursday). We’re not going to practice, because we have to save our legs. They were more athletic. They’re men. They’re Atlantic 10 men.”

The Bonnies (4-2), picked to finish second in the A-10, were far too good for the Saints to keep up with even without their best player, senior guard Jaylen Adams. After shooting around during pregame, Adams sat out for the sixth straight game with an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, the Saints (1-5) found the offensive going much harder than in their first win of the season, an 85-76 victory over Hofstra last Saturday. In that game, the Saints shot 58.8 percent from the field.

St. Bonaventure used a hounding man-to-man defense to limit Siena to 34 percent from the field (18-for-53), including 4-for-20 from 3-point range.

“They made us take tough shots,” Siena freshman point guard Roman Penn said. “They made us go down to the clock, the clock was winding down and we had to take contested 3s. I just felt like our offense didn’t flow as well as it should be.”

The Saints started three freshmen for the second game in a row with much more modest results. Penn, who had 14 points and 11 assists against Hofstra, had four points on 1-for-6 shooting and one assist before fouling out.

Freshman center Prince Oduro had 17 points and eight rebounds against Hofstra, but only eight and three against the Bonnies while also battling foul trouble.

“That was a great team we just played, but we feel like we should have played a lot better,” Penn said. ” I know they’re in the A-10 and they’re (picked) second, but I felt like we could have made the game a lot more competitive and we didn’t do that today.”

Siena did manage to hang around and trailed only 22-20 with 4:44 left in the first half. But then St. Bonaventure ripped off a 13-1 run to close the half.

“I think it got away from us toward the end of the first half,” said junior guard Nico Clareth, who had nine points on 2-for-10 shooting. “Me and Prince got in some foul trouble and they just got on a run. They carried that momentum to the next half. I think St. Bonaventure did a great job on the scout and things just weren’t falling, and that’s how it is sometimes.”

St. Bonaventure’s other all-conference guard, senior Matt Mobley, finished with 22 points as the Bonnies won the Franciscan Cup for the second straight year.

The Bonnies shot 46.4 percent from the floor and had a 39-33 rebounding edge.

“They were more athletic than us today,” sophomore guard Ahsante Shivers said. “They wanted the ball more. The weight room definitely will help.”

Siena managed only eight assists against 13 turnovers, a ratio that vexed Patsos after watching his team have 22 assists compared with 12 turnovers in the Hofstra win.

“We’re just going to have to buy in that passing the ball and sharing it is a good way to play basketball,” Patsos said. “It’s going to be a learning process. As a coach, I take responsibility for that, but on the other hand, we just did that and it worked. But that’s why youth is wasted on the young.”

Shivers had a career-high 19 points for Siena, which returns to action against Robert Morris at Times Union Center on Saturday.

msingelais@timesunion.com • 518-454-5509 • @MarkSingelais