Canisius (10-5) at Siena (2-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 11, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Times Union Center (15,229) -- Albany, New York. Television: TWC Sports. Home Record: Canisius 6-1, Siena 0-6. Away Record: Canisius 4-4, Siena 1-6. Neutral Record: Canisius 0-0, Siena 1-1. Conference Record: Canisius 3-1, Siena 0-4. Series Record: Siena leads, 50-37.
GAMES NOTES: The Siena Saints continue to search for answers as they bring in the Canisius Golden Griffins to the Times Union Center on Friday night for a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference bout.
The Golden Griffin put an end to a two-game slide last Saturday with a 73-64 victory over Marist. The win gave Canisius its 10th win of the season after the team managed only five wins total last year. The Golden Griffins are also off to a 3-1 start in league play after having just one win a year ago. The Golden Griffins have split their eight contests on the road this season and will close out this two-game trip on Sunday against Iona.
In what has been a miserable season, Siena fell yet again last Sunday to Rider, 72-53, for its 11th straight loss. That is the longest losing streak for the Saints since a 15-game streak during the 1995-96 season. The setback moves the Saints to just 2-13 overall and kept them out of the win column in against league foes for the fourth time. Siena is also winless at home this year where the Saints will play yet again on Sunday against Saint Peter's.
Some revenge might be in order for Canisius in this game after Siena swept the season series a year ago. Overall Siena holds the advantage in the all-time series with a 50-37 record.
After dominating in the first half against Marist, Canisius stumbled in the final 20 minutes by shooting 32.3 percent in the final period. The Golden Griffins overcame 17 turnovers in the contest by nailing 10-of-23 shots from beyond the arc.
It has been quite a turnaround on the offensive side of the ball for Canisius this season in the first year under Jim Baron. The Golden Griffins are scoring nearly 10 points more per game (74.5) than they did a year ago and connecting on 43.9 percent of their shots from the field which is also a marked improvement. Billy Baron, who came over with Jim Baron from Rhode Island has been a major reason for Canisius' improvement by leading the team in scoring (17.5 ppg) and the MAAC in assists (5.5 apg). Harold Washington (13.1 ppg) and Isaac Sosa (11.8 ppg) can also score well, while Chris Manhertz (6.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg) anchors the inside.
Other than Rob Poole, who scored 22 points, Siena was unable to get much going offensively against Rider last Sunday. The Saints shot just 26.8 percent from the field and got outscored 36-16 on points in the paint. The Saints trailed by as many as 24 points in the contest despite having a 17-1 edge in points from the free-throw line.
Siena has struggled offensively all season and is currently the worst shooting team in the MAAC (.382 FG percentage). That has led the team to put up just 57.9 points per game, while assisting on just 9.8 field goals per game. All three of those marks are among the 20 worst in the country. O.D. Anosike (13.0 ppg, 12.5 rpg) has been one of very few bright spots for Siena this season as he currently leads the MAAC in rebounding, second nationally. Siena isn't particularly deep with four of its starters scoring in double figures but only one player off the bench scoring more than four points per game.
With its offensive struggles well documented this season its unlikely that Siena, even playing at home, will be able to slow down Baron and the rest of the Golden Griffins.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Canisius 76, Siena 62
01/11 10:35:39 ET