Siena (1-1) vs. Cal State Northridge (3-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 16, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100) -- San Diego, California. Television: None. Home Record: Siena 0-1, CSUN 2-0. Away Record: Siena 1-0, CSUN 1-0. Neutral Record: Siena 0-0, CSUN 0-0. Conference Record: Siena 0-0, CSUN 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The NUCDF Basketball Challenge at Jenny Craig Pavilion carries on today, as the Siena Saints clash with the Cal State Northridge Matadors.
Under the direction of head coach Bobby Braswell, the Matadors are off to their best start since the 2007-08 season when they rattled off four straight victories. On Thursday the team tackled host San Diego in a 74-71 final to give them three wins in as many outings.
As for the Saints, they began the season with a narrow loss to Vermont at home last week, 54-53, and played another close contest versus Navy on the road in Annapolis on Sunday, but in that instance Siena was able to survive in a 54-49 overtime thriller as the team earned head coach Mitch Buonaguro his 100th career victory.
Following the first-ever meeting between these two schools, the Saints are slated to play Northern Kentucky and San Diego over the next two days, while the Matadors clash with those same two teams in reverse order.
In the overtime session the Saints held Navy without a made field goal, even after the Midshipmen tallied the last six points of regulation to earn the extra period of play. After scoring just a single point in the meeting with Navy a year earlier, O.D. Anosike responded this time around with the 30th double-double of his career as he dropped in 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in 42 minutes of action. Also scoring in double figures for the visitors was Rob Poole who tallied 10 points, adding nine rebounds, three assists and three steals, although he shot just 3-of-12 from the floor. Having a very rough time of it was Evan Hymes who made just 1-of-11 behind the three- point line and 2-of-16 from the field overall. Outside of Anosike who averaged 15.0 ppg and 12.5 rpg last season, Hymes was the go-to guy for the Saints with his 13.4 ppg and 115 assists, although he wasn't a fantastic shooter from the floor in 2011-12 either as he made just 38.2 percent of his chances.
Getting off to an 11-2 start against host San Diego on Thursday, one would have thought the Matadors were in for smooth sailing, but there were several moments in the second half when the hosts nearly caught up to CSUN before the visitors held on for the three-point decision. Except for Allan Guei, who shot just 1-of-8 from the field and finished with four points, every starter for the Matadors posted double-digit scoring, beginning with Stephan Hicks who missed only one of his 10 field goal tries en route to a game-high 25 points. Stephen Maxwell accounted for 14 points and both Josh Greene and Tre Hale- Edmerson 11 points, the latter also clearing a game-high 11 boards which helped to provide the group with a 40-24 rebounding advantage. With the team sporting a hefty 83.7 ppg over the first three outings, the Matadors get much of their scoring from Hicks (18.0 ppg) and Maxwell (16.7 ppg), the former shooting a fantastic 63.3 percent from the floor and the latter connecting on 55.9 percent from the field.
Even with Anosike handling the action in the paint for the Saints, the team needs Hymes to really show up today in order to make this a contest. Unfortunately, with the way CSUN is running the floor Siena still might not stand a chance.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Northridge 76, Siena 65
11/16 10:47:44 ET