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Siena Shocks First Place Iona, 65-62

This wasn’t like 1980, when the United States shocked the Russians in what is known as the “Miracle on Ice.”

Courtesy Siena Athletics

It wasn’t even really like little Chaminade knocking off powerful and No. 1 ranked Virginia, in 1982.

No, Siena’s 65-62 victory over Iona won’t go down as one of the biggest upsets of all-time, but this was a stunner for a number of reasons.

Iona was in first place in the MAAC and some thought the Gaels were building an at-large resume for the NCAA tournament. Not to mention that only three weeks ago Iona had stomped all over the Saints to the tune of a 95-59 beatdown at Madison Square Garden. That was Siena’s biggest Division I loss in program history.

Also, if you added up the past two times Siena and Iona had played, the combined score was 189-123.

What looked like a mismatch played out that way in the first five minutes as the Gaels took a commanding 20-2 lead.

Over the next 35 minutes, the Saints outscored Iona by a 63-42 score, earning a hard-fought victory that many thought was more than improbable.

“This the my best, this is team’s best win since I’ve been the head coach,” said Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro. “That was a phenomenal comeback.”

Courtesy Siena Athletics

Buonaguro had said before the game that it was a David vs. Goliath type of contest and his Saints played the underdog role to a T.

The nation’s leading assist man, Scott Machado finished with just three helpers and was slowed because of foul trouble, even picking up one of the three technicals handed out on the night, from his seat on the bench (he was actually standing).

OD Anosike posted his 15th consecutive double-double, with 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Kyle Downey added 16 points, Rob Poole chipped in 14 points off the bench and Evan Hymes finished with 11 points for the Saints.

“We got contributions from everyone,” Buonaguro said.

For more on the game, check out my story in the Troy Record and online here.

You can also go to my blog, for more on Siena, or the University at Albany men’s basketball team, throughout the season.

You can also follow me on twitter @AndrewSantillo.

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