Siena’s Season Ends With Loss To Niagara
Whatever Siena had left in the tank Saturday in quarter final play of the MAAC tournament they exhausted. The Saints refused to fold despite top seed Niagara twice ready to put the hammer down on them. However the better team prevailed as the Purple Eagles move on to the semi finals and Siena moves home after a very disappointing season.
Niagara threatened to blow the game open in the latter stages of the 1st half taking a 9 point lead with less then 6 minutes left, However the spunky Saints closed the half on a nice run and trailed only 32-31.
Again the Purple Eagles stretched their lead in the 2nd half up to 11 but again the Saints battled back. With 11 minutes left the 7-24 Saints trailed only 42-20 against the 19-12 Eagles. Antoine Mason and his mates held off Siena and they got no closer then a bucket the rest of the way. Mason lead Niagara with 21 points. The Saints top scorer and boarder O.D. Anosike was held to 13 points and 10 rebounds. Evan Hymes and Rob Poole led the Saints in defeat with 14 apiece.
The questions will now begin as to the fate of head coach Mitch Buonaguro who presided over this years disastrous record including losing streaks of 11,3,5 and 2.
Niagara moves on to take on the 4th seed Iona Gaels in the MAAC semifinals. The other semi final is yet to be decided. Loyola Maryland is the defending champ. They meet Manhattan in 1 quarter final while Fairfield tangles with Rider in the 2nd quarterfinal.
Niagara also completed the hat trick against the Saints winning all 3 matchups this year. The Purple Eagles are seeking their 1st conference championship and NCAA berth since 1997. Incidentally Buonaguro's record through 4 years at Siena is 34-59. Obviously their will be no post season tournaments for the Saints!