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Siena (3-7) at Canisius (4-3)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 8, 2 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Koessler Center (2,196) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Siena 1-1, Canisius 2-0. Away Record: Siena 2-3, Canisius 0-2. Neutral Record: Siena 0-3, Canisius 2-1. Conference Record: Siena 1-0, Canisius 1-0. Series Record: Siena leads, 51-38.

GAME NOTES: A pair of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams try to make it two in a row to open the league slate, as the Canisius Golden Griffins entertain the Siena Saints this afternoon at the Koessler Center.

Canisius, which is a game over .500 at the moment, won for the third time in the last four outings two nights ago with an 82-67 victory over Saint Peter's at home. It was just the second game at home this season for Canisius, a team which is set to hit the road for three straight starting on Wednesday versus Buffalo.

Like Canisius, the Saints have spent the majority of the early season away from home, which might explain why they have a record of just 3-7. However, Siena did come up big in the conference opener on Friday night with an 84-71 win versus Niagara at the Gallagher Center. The victory served to snap a four- game slide for the squad.

In terms of the all-time series, Siena owns a 51-38 advantage over Canisius. The most recent matchup took place earlier this year with the Golden Griffs whipping up on the Saints, 76-44, in Buffalo. The 51 wins for Siena are the most against any other school.

Rob Poole posted 21 points and eight rebounds as the Siena Saints captured the double-digit win over the Niagara Purple Eagles in MAAC action at the Gallagher Center. Also scoring in double figures for the Saints before fouling out were Lavon Long and Evan Hymes with 14 points apiece, while Brett Bisping pitched in with 10 points before he too picked up his fifth personal foul. Marquis Wright shot just 1-of-6 from the field and finished with six points, but was still valuable with his career- high 10 assists.

On a team that is scoring a modest 69.1 ppg, but at the same time giving up 75,4 ppg, the Saints are being led by Poole with his 14.9 ppg. Poole has made good on 22-of-55 (.400) of his 3-point attempts, yet is just 41.3 percent accurate from the floor overall. Hymes checks in with 10.9 ppg, but one has to wonder how much more productive he'd be if he were not constantly in foul trouble and coming off the bench almost exclusively.

Jordan Heath erupted for 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Canisius Golden Griffins posted the 15-point win over the Saint Peter's Peacocks in MAAC action at the Koessler Center two nights ago. Heath knocked down 11-of-17 shots from the floor, including 4-of-6 behind the 3-point line for the Griffs, while Chris Manhertz pitched in with 13 points and six rebounds. Canisius turned the ball over just six times in the meeting, compared to 13 miscues for the visitors.

Limited to nine points on 3-of-13 shooting from the floor, including 1-of-6 behind the 3-point line two nights ago, Billy Baron tallied less than half of his season average which currently stands at 19.7 ppg. Not only does Baron lead the team in scoring, he is also the top passer with 24 of their 67 assists. With an average of less than 10 dishes per game, clearly the Griffs are a group that act on individual moves more often than not.

Assuming that Baron doesn't have trouble finding the basket for a second straight game and the Griffs are able to take advantage in one-on-one situations this afternoon, another victory should be in the cards for Canisius today.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Canisius 73, Siena 68

12/08 10:42:40 ET

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