Siena Beats Mount Saint Mary’s at Knott Arena
By: Ethan Hennessy
Mount Saint Mary’s entered Friday night’s game in a tailspin having lost seven of its last nine contests. The Mountaineers got their veteran big man Malik Jefferson back from injury for the first time. Dan Engilstad said after the game when asked about having Malik Jefferson back “For us he is what we’ve built this kind of program around. To have a corner piece back is huge for us… he got to get in shape right now, but we’ll get him there. He is a huge lift for our team as we approach the most important part of college basketball with the end of February and March coming up”. After jumping out to a nine point lead early the mount let Siena get back into the game tying it up at 18 at the under eight media timeout in the first half.
Mount Saint Mary’s retook the lead at 2:05 mark which was their first lead since 8:25. In this close game it was tied at halftime 33 all.
Midway through the second half Siena made the decision to start pressuring the shorter Jalen Benjamin when he had the ball trying to force him to pass it up. This resulted in some deflected passes and caused Mount Saint Mary’s to go deeper into the shot clock on their possessions. Midway through the second half the shot clock kept going out on the basket near the Mount Saint Mary’s bench. The game was paused while the issue was attempted to be resolved. Official Tony Crisp told me that they did not want to re-start the game with the clock still out because the offensive team would not be able to see the shot clock, however if it went out during the play they would play on. The crew was not able to get the clock back on though and a new portable clock was rolled in. When the game was paused the score was Siena 48 Mount 47. Both coaches did not want to make excuses for it after the game, but the truth of the matter is Siena did go on a run after the stoppage. The Saints never looked back and led the rest of the game winning 72-65.
Siena finished the game with a 29-20 rebounding advantage including nine offensive rebounds. Siena coach Carmen Maciarello told me after the game “We wanted to be the aggressor to beat them on the glass”. When asked about the Saints first trip to Emmitsburg for a conference game he said: “Any time you can go on the road and get a win its great. I loved the environment.”
Up next for Mount Saint Mary’s they will play at Fairfield on Sunday. Siena returns to Albany to host Marist also on Sunday.
Leave a Reply