Siena (2-3) at Purdue (4-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 24, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mackey Arena (14,240) -- West Lafayette, Indiana. Television: BTN. Home Record: Siena 1-1, Purdue 4-0. Away Record: Siena 1-2, Purdue 0-0. Neutral Record: Siena 0-0, Purdue 0-0. Conference Record: Siena 0-0, Purdue 0-0. Series Record: Purdue leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Both the Siena Saints and Purdue Boilermakers will attempt to continue their respective winning streaks on Sunday afternoon, as they meet at Mackey Arena as part of the Old Spice Classic.
Siena's season got off on the wrong foot, as it dropped each of its first three contests, but it has come up clutch late in each of its last two games to climb to 2-3. After claiming a 72-70 victory over St. Bonaventure on Nov. 19 on a buzzer-beater, the Saints' flare for the dramatic came through once again in Friday night's bout at Cornell, as Imoh Silas made a layup with just six seconds remaining to lift the team to a 71-70 win.
This matchup for Purdue marks the final game of a season-opening, five-game homestand in which it has yet to lose. The Boilermakers had no issues dismissing Eastern Illinois the last time out, earning an 83-55 victory on Nov. 20 to give them a 4-0 start for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
The only previous matchup between these two squads came during the 2010 NCAA Tournament when the fourth-seeded Boilermakers outlasted the 13th-seeded Saints, 72-64.
The Saints managed to overcome a 10-point deficit with six minutes to play in capturing a thrilling one-point victory over Cornell. Although they were outshot from the field, .511 to .467, they held a 24-12 scoring advantage at the foul line, which proved to be the difference. Silas, in addition to draining the game-winning shot, tallied 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Rob Poole (19 points) and Evan Hymes (15 points) were both outstanding off the bench.
Siena hasn't been very efficient with its field goal attempts (.412) this season en route to a modest 69.0 points per game. Poole is the top scoring option with 16.2 points per game , while Lavon Long (10.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is a mainstay in the frontcourt. Hymes (9.4 ppg), Silas (7.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Marquis Wright (6.8 ppg, 5.4 apg) are all important role players.
The Boilermakers went into halftime with a 14-point advantage versus EIU, and that lead only swelled down the stretch on their way to a blowout victory. They had a relatively modest night from the field (28-of-61), but they made up for it with a great defensive effort, as they held the Panthers to less than 33 percent shooting while forcing 19 turnovers. Eleven players scored in the triumph, paced by Bryson Scott's 14 points. Kendall Stephens netted 11 points, Basil Smotherman added 10 points, and Ronnie Johnson also scored 10 points to go with eight assists.
High point totals have been a positive trend for Purdue this season, as it pours in 87.5 points per game (for a +17.3 scoring margin) while shooting just shy of 50 percent from the field. Ronnie Johnson (13.8 ppg) has made 60 percent of his field goal tries and has a solid assist (19) to turnover (six) ratio. Terone Johnson (12.5 ppg) is the only other double-digit scorer, although the team possesses a deep bench as eight others put up at least 5.3 points per game.
Siena's recent late-game heroics have brought new life to the team, but it likely won't get an opportunity to work its magic in this one on the road against a Purdue squad that is clicking at both ends of the floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Purdue 86, Siena 66
11/24 10:32:17 ET