Sunday, November 24, 2013

GAME RECAPS: Siena 71 Cornell 70






Box Score

Box Score (PDF)

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Imoh Silas closed out a 17-point, 14-rebound double-double with a putback with seven seconds remaining to lift Siena to a 71-70 victory over Cornell on Friday evening in a foul-filled contest at Newman Arena. The Saints improved to 2-3 with its second straight win in the final 10 seconds, while the Big Red slipped to 0-6.

Silas was a monster on the backboards, with seven of his 14 coming on the offensive backboards. He added an assist, two steals and a block in the victory.

Sophomore Nolan Cressler was sensational with a career-high 25 points, including 11-of-19 from the field. Senior Dwight Tarwater had his second double-double of the year with 12 points, a career-best 13 rebounds and three assists and Devin Cherry had 17 points and four assists before fouling out with four minutes to play. The big Red shot 51 percent from the floor and turned the ball over just seven times, but was just 12-of-24 from the free-throw line.

Cressler hit a long 3-pointer at the halftime to cut a nine-point Siena lead to 43-37 at the break and then used the momentum into the second half. The Big Red defense was strong after the break, limiting Siena to 35 percent shooting from the floor after it made 56 percent in the first half. Siena also went 0-for-6 from 3-point range after the break after making 5-of-10 in the first half.

In a game that featured 53 fouls, both of Cornell's starting guards fouled out in the final 10 minutes and three other players had four apiece. The second half alone saw 31 fouls called, including 10 in the first four minutes after halftime.

Cherry's fifth foul came at an inopportune time, as he went out with less than four minutes to play and Cornell leading by 10. The Big Red was called for a bench technical foul and the Saints hit all four free throws. Cornell, meanwhile, missed 3-of-4 in the decisive stretch. The Big Red got a late look by Tarwater from beyond the arc for the win as time expired, but the shot went long and Siena rebounded for the victory.

The Big Red exploded out of the gates in the second half with a 19-3 run over the first 8:06 behind eight points by Cherry and six by Cressler and the advantage was still 10 when Cressler hit consecutive shots, the last one making it 67-57 with 4:46 left. The teams traded misses before Evan Hymes, who scored 15 for the Saints, drew the game-changing foul on Cherry that turned the momentum.

Besides the 17 from Silas and the 15 from Hynes, Rob Poole scored 19 - including 15 in the first half - while Marquis Wright notched 12. Siena turned the ball over just eight times and missed 15 free throws themselves, but did just enoough to win their third matchup in four tries all-time against the Big Red.

For Cressler, it was his 10th consecutive double figure scoring game, while Tarwater's 13 rebounds surpassed the 11 he had against Loyola (MD) earlier this year.

The Big Red will attempt to pick up its first win of the season when it plays host to Radford on Monday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena.


ITHACA >> It was only fitting that the ball ended up in Imoh Silas’ hands, with the clock running down.
Silas caught a missed runner from Marquis Wright and calmly tossed it back into the basket, for what ended up as the game-winning hoop, as Siena escaped from Newman Arena, with a 71-70 victory over Cornell on Friday evening.
It’s the second straight game that the Saints have won, with a basket in the final 10 seconds.
“I’m so proud of the kids,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos.
Wright made that same layup attempt in Tuesday’s victory over St. Bonaventure. This time, when he missed, Silas was there to finish things, scoring with 6.5 seconds remaining.
“Imoh Silas won that game for us, period,” Patsos said. “He was ready to go.”
Silas finished with career-highs in points (17) and rebounds (14) and it was a combination of those two statistics that carried the Saints (2-3) to the finish line.
“He was our warrior the whole game,” said junior Rob Poole. “He won us the game. He got us rebounds, got us points when we needed them. It was no surprise that he got the rebound and put it back up at the end of the game.”
Unlike in the St. Bonaventure game, Cornell still had a chance to win it, but Dwight Tarwater’s 3-pointer was off the mark, at the buzzer.
“I think we’re growing together as a team,” Poole said. “The freshmen are playing great and I think as the season goes along, we’re going to start winning more games.”
It took a huge comeback, as Siena, which led by 11 in the first half, trailed by 10 with 3:54 remaining.
That’s when Big Red (0-6) coach Bill Courtney was hit with a technical, after Devin Cherry was assessed his fifth foul.
“It was a very disappointing call,” said Courtney.
The Saints hit four free throws, sparking their run, as the lead was trimmed to six, 67-61. Patsos told his team to take it one possession at a time and that’s just what they did.
“It’s just about staying composed the whole time,” Silas said. “We were down 10, but we just had to stay together.”
Siena had a terrific first half, scoring 43 points and leading by as many as 11. Poole came off the bench for the first time since his freshman year, as Patsos wasn’t happy with how he practiced on Thursday.
“Coming off the bench was good,” said Poole, who finished with a team-high 19 points. “I was just trying to give a little boost to the team.”
Like the past four games, however, the Saints struggled out of halftime and it was a 24-3 run for the Big Red, that put them in front by 10, 56-46.
“We played a little more zone,” said Courtney, who stressed defensive stops and rebounding at intermission.
Siena battled frenetically to get within one, with Evan Hymes’ runner and after two missed free throws, the Saints had a chance to win it.
Wright drove the lane and missed and it was all Silas.
“Coach Patsos has been emphasizing all year that we have to offensive rebound,” said Silas, who had seven offensive boards. “I was just fortunate to be in the right position. I got the ball and put it in.”
Silas’ teammates weren’t surprised that it was his effort that got them the winning basket.
“Imoh does that in practice every single day,” Poole said. “I just think it was his time to shine.”
SIENA 71, Cornell 70
Siena (2-3): Long 1-5 1-2 3, Silas 6-7 5-6 17, Wright 4-7 4-9 12, Oliver 1-4 1-2 3, White 0-2 0-2 0, Hymes 3-7 8-8 15, Wolfe 0-1 0-0 0, Bisping 1-1 0-0 2, Poole 5-11 5-10.
Totals: 21-45 24-39 71.
Cornell (0-4): Tarwater 4-6 2-5 12, Giddens 0-0 3-4 3, Cressler 11-19 9-2 25, Hatter 0-3 0-1 0, Cherry 5-11 5-7 17, Onuorah 0-0 1-2, Smith 1-2 0-1 2, LaMore 0-0 0-0 0, Scelfo 2-5 0-0 6, Matthews 1-1 1-2 4, Tomic 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals: 24-47 12-24 70.
Halftime: Siena 43-37.
3-point goals: Siena 5-16 (Wright 0-1, Oliver 0-2, White 0-1, Hymes 1-4, Wolfe 0-1, Poole 4-7) Cornell 10-23 (Tarwater 2-3, Cressler 3-7, Hatter 0-2, Cherry 2-5, Scelfo 2-5, Matthews 1-1).
Fouled Out: Hatter, Cherry.
Rebounds: Siena 33 (Silas 14) Cornell 31 (Tarwater 13).
Assists: Siena 12 (Wright 4) Cornell 12 (Cherry 4).
Total Fouls: Siena 23, Cornell 29.


When Jimmy Patsos took over at Siena, he vowed to make Saints Basketball fun and exciting again. If the last two games are any indication, he is well on his way. For the second time in the last four days, Siena won in thrilling fashion in the closing seconds, this time on an Imoh Silas put back to seal a 71-70 win over Cornell on Friday night.
In the first half, Siena (2-3) never trailed and with just under a minute to go, they led Cornell (0-6) by 11. The Saints hit a rough patch as the Big Red went on a 24-3 run carrying over into the second half to pull ahead 56-46 with 11:54 to go in the game. Cornell would still lead by 10 with less than 4 minutes to go, but the Saints would not quit. Devon Cherry was called for his fifth foul as Evan Hymes drove to the hoop and a protesting Cornell coach Bill Courtney was slapped with a technical foul. Hymes hit all 4 free throws launching the Siena comeback.
Two clear timekeeping errors down the stretch by the clock operator shaved precious seconds from the time remaining. Fortunately it did not cost the Saints in the end.
After a an exchange of baskets, Hymes scored on a difficult shot underneath to pull the Saints within 1 point, 70-69 with :26. Cornell’s Nolan Cressler was then fouled by Rob Poole but missed both free throws giving Siena a chance with 24 seconds remaining. Marquis Wright drove the lane as time ticked away and as the ball rolled off the left side of the rim, Silas rebounded the ball and quickly laid in the game-winner with 6.5 left on the clock. A final Cornell attempt bounced off the rim.
“I just said, ‘you dug a hole, let’s see if you can dig it out’, and they did,” said Patsos.
Silas finished with a double-double and career highs in points (17) and rebounds (14) starting in place of an injured Javion Ogunyemi. Rob Poole came off the bench to score 19 points including 4-7 from 3-point range. Hymes finished with 15 points (8-8 FT), also off the bench and Wright added 12 points with 4 assists and just 1 turnover.
In a reversal of fortune, Siena was whistled for fewer fouls than their opponent (24-29) and outscored Cornell 24-12 from the free throw line. As a team they tallied 12 assists and committed just 8 turnovers.
Cornell was led by Cressler with a game-high 25 points. Cherry added 17 and Dwight Tarwater turned in his own double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. As a team, the connected on 10-23 3-pointers.
“I wanna thank our fans,” said Patsos during a postgame interview. “You should see this crowd. A full bus, they came. Everybody thought it was for the hockey game, but it was our fans. Siena’s an unbelievable place. It’s a great basketball school and they can’t take that away,” he exclaimed as he dropped the headphones and mic to go off and enjoy the victory.
The Saints next head to Purdue on Sunday, in a non-bracketed matchup as part of the Old Spice Classic. The game airs on the Big Ten Network at noon.






Final Stats

Imoh Silas had a career high 17 points, none bigger than his dramatic putback with 6.5 seconds left as Siena erased a 10-point deficit with 3:54 left to pull out a 71-70 win over Cornell Friday night in Ithaca. It's the second game this week Siena has won in the final seconds.
Silas rounded out a monster double-double with a career-high 14 rebounds in his first start this season.
Cornell had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but Dwight Tarwater's 3-pointer hit off the right iron.
Siena's comeback seemed improbable after the Big Red bridged the two halves with a 24-3 run, turning an 11-point deficit into a 56-46 lead with 11:54 to play. The lead remained 10 at the final media timeout, but that's when things took a dramatic turn. Devon Cherry was whistled for his fifth foul on an Evan HymesClick here to hear it' drive with 3:54 to play, and then Cornell coach Bill Courtney was called for a technical during the break. Hymes made all four free throws, starting Siena's sprint to the finish.
After a Nolan Cressler jumper put Cornell up three with 39 seconds left, Hymes hit a tough layup in traffic with 26 seconds remaining. Cressler, who poured in a career-high 25 points, then missed a pair of free throws, setting up the final sequence.
Marquis WrightClick here to hear it drove hard to the right on Siena's final play, looking for his second game-winner of the week, but his layup missed long and Silas grabbed the board and went right up with the decisive shot.
Rob Poole came off the bench to score 19 points and make 4-7 three-pointers for the Saints. Wright finished with 12 points, four assists and just one turnover. Cherry had 17 points and four assists before fouling out for Cornell.
Siena led 43-37 after an entertaining first 20 minutes that saw both teams shoot 56% from the field and 50% from three-point range. There were just two lead changes in the game, as Cornell took its first with 16:47 left in the second half and Siena regained it on Silas' winner. The Saints take their two-game win streak to Purdue Sunday. The game airs on the Big Ten Network at noon.


ITHACA — For the second consecutive game, Siena used late dramatics Friday night to score a victory. This time, its victim was Cornell.
Imoh Silas closed out a 17-point, 14-rebound double-double with a putback with seven seconds remaining as the Saints rallied from a 10-point deficit with less than four minutes left to score a 71-70 victory over the Big Red in a foul-filled contest at Newman Arena.
The Saints — who edged St. Bonaventure last Tuesday, 72-70, on Marquis Wright’s buzzer-beating running lay-up — fell to 2-4 on Sunday with an 81-73 loss to Purdue in the Old Spice Classic.
The Big Red (0-6) will look for its first victory tonight at home against Radford University.
Silas dominated on the backboards Friday, with seven of his 14 coming on the offensive glass. He added an assist, two steals and a block in the victory.
Sophomore Nolan Cressler led the Big Red with a career-high 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting. Senior Dwight Tarwater had his second double-double of the year with 12 points and a career-best 13 rebounds, while Devin Cherry had 17 points and four assists before fouling out with four minutes to play.
Cornell used a 24-3 run from the end of the first half into the second to turn an 11-point deficit into a 56-46 lead with 11:54 to play. The lead remained 10 at the final media timeout, but that’s when things took a dramatic turn.
Cherry was whistled for his fifth foul on an Evan Hymes drive with 3:54 to play, and Cornell was assessed a bench technical during the subsequent media break. Hymes made all four free throws, sparking the Saints’ final push.
After a Cressler jumper put Cornell up by 3 with 39 seconds left, Hymes hit a tough layup in traffic with 26 seconds remaining. After Cressler missed a pair of free throws, Wright drove to the right on Siena’s final play, similar to his game-winning play last Tuesday, but his layup missed long.
Silas grabbed the board and went right up with the decisive shot. The Big Red got a late 3-point try from Tarwater as time expired, but the shot went long and Siena rebounded for the victory.
he Big Red shot 51 percent from the floor and turned the ball over seven times, but was 12-of-24 from the free-throw line.
In a game that featured 53 fouls, both of Cornell’s starting guards fouled out in the final 10 minutes and three other players had four apiece. The second half alone saw 31 fouls called, including 10 in the first four minutes after halftime.
Rob Poole led the Saints with 19 points — including 15 in the first half — while Hymes added 15 and Marquis Wright 12. Siena turned the ball over eight times and missed 15 free throws themselves.
For Cressler, it was his 10th consecutive double-figure scoring game, while Tarwater’s 13 rebounds surpassed the 11 he had against Loyola (Md.) earlier this year.
Radford (3-1) enters today’s 7 p.m. game on a three-game win streak after a 69-63 triumph at Binghamton on Saturday, behind Javonte Green’s 17 points and eight rebounds. Green leads the team in both categories (16.8 ppg., 7.3 rpg.). The Highlanders overcame a 14-point second half deficit in the victory.
Cornell, which has lost 12 in a row dating to last season, is looking to avoid its first 0-7 start since the 1981-82 season.


Though second-half struggles have plagued the men’s basketball team through the first five games of the season, Friday night’s home matchup against Siena would prove differently. In fact, the Red outscored its opponent in the final twenty minutes for the first time all season. However, an offensive rebound and put back in the paint with seven seconds left on the clock was what sunk the squad this weekend, as Siena escaped Newman arena with a 71-70 victory, handing Cornell its sixth consecutive loss.
Before Friday night’s game against the Saints, head coach Bill Courtney highlighted how important rebounding would be in keeping his team in the game.
“We have to rebound the basketball against those guys who will be going to the glass hard,” he said. “If we get those things done, we will be okay.”
And though the Red did outrebound its opponent, it took only one slip-up at a crucial moment to reverse the squad’s fortunes. Siena’s big-man Imoh Silas was difficult to contain all night, as he led the Saints with 17 points and 14 rebounds, seven of them offensive. The final one came off a missed layup in the paint by Marquis Wright, and Silas was able to convert. Now trailing by one, the Red still had seven seconds and the ball in its hands for a last second shot, but senior forward Dwight Tarwater’s three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.
Tarwater led the Red’s effort on Friday, recording his second double-double of the year with 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler was once again the main source of offense for the team, scoring a game-high 25 points on an impressive 11-of-19 shooting from the field. Junior guard Devin Cherry also had 17 points and four assists, but he fouled out of the game with four minutes left on the clock. Fouls plagued the Red throughout the physical contest, as there were 53 total called in the game. Freshman guard Robert Hatter also fouled out with eight minutes left in the game, meaning both of the Red’s main ball handlers were confined to the bench down the stretch.
Though the Red came out on the losing end, Friday’s night’s game was a definite improvement in terms of second half play. Cornell outscored the Saints 33-28 in the second half, including a 19-3 run out of the locker room spurred by Cressler and Cherry. However, according to Courtney, offensive production in the second period has only been half the story.
“It’s our defense more than anything that has caused us problems in the second half,” he said.
In that regard, the Red also saw significant improvements. Cornell forced Siena to cough the ball up five times in the second half, compared to three in the first, and was able to capitalize on those opportunities, scoring eight points off turnovers in the final twenty minutes. After disappointing losses to Syracuse and Binghamton where the Red held significant leads in the first half, this stat-line can only be looked at as a sign of good things to come.
The Red will look to build off these strides tonight against Radford, in its second straight home matchup. The Highlanders visit Ithaca with a 3-1 record so far, including, most recently, a 69-63 victory over Binghamton. Cornell will once again be faced with a challenge in the paint, as Radford’s biggest threat comes from 6-4 junior Javonte Green, who is averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds so far this season.
Beyond Radford, the Red will have a short Thanksgiving break before it returns to action on Nov. 29, kicking off a weekend road trip with a visit to Western Michigan before facing off against former Big-East powerhouse Notre Dame in South Bend.

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