WORCESTER, MA (NEWS10)– First collegiate game in three years. First career double-double. Eduardo Lane couldn’t have dreamt of a better return to the court, as the San Jose State transfer posted 13 points and 11 rebounds in his Saints debut to propel Siena Basketball to a season-opening 75-68 win at Holy Cross.
Lane, who missed the entirety of the past two seasons due to injury, stepped up in the absence of Preseason Second Team All-MAAC selection and Siena’s leading returning scorer, rebounder, blocks, and field goal percentage leader from a season ago in Jackson Stormo. Lane combined with Jordan Kellier, who added eight points, five rebounds, and a key three late, to fill the void.
Javian McCollum paced the Saints with his first collegiate 20-point game, shooting 8-12 from the field while adding five assists. Playing his first game in 11 months, Andrew Platek added 10 of his 13 points in the second half, while shooting a perfect 4-4 in the stanza.
Preseason All-Patriot League selection Gerrale Gates scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half for Holy Cross. Joe Octave tallied 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Crusaders, who placed four in double figures.
Siena wasted no time in getting off to a hot start to the program’s 82nd varsity season, and 47th at the Division I level. A 17-3 run late in the first half built as much as a 17-point lead for the Saints at 35-18 with 2:53 to go before the break. Siena led 37-26 at the half.
Holy Cross responded to the run by bridging both halves with an 18-3 run of their own to rally within just two at 38-36 with 16:12 remaining. The Crusaders ultimately closed to as close as one at 44-43 with 13:05 to go, but never were able to tie or reclaim the lead.
Meanwhile, the Saints kicked it into an extra gear down the stretch, responding with a 12-3 spurt to push the lead back to 10 on a Platek fastbreak with 9:41 left. Siena maintained no less than a two-possession cushion the rest of the way, as the Saints won their first non-conference road-opener in 10 years, dating back to a 54-59 overtime triumph at Navy on Nov. 11, 2012.
Jayce Johnson chipped in eight points as part of a balanced attack which saw eight of the nine Saints who played score. Siena shot 52% from the field and 41% (7-17) from three to off-set an off-shooting night at the free throw line (12-21, 57%). Similarly, Holy Cross was just 10-23 (44%) from the foul line.
Siena returns home to make its 2022-23 Capital Region debut when they battle crosstown rival UAlbany in the Albany Cup presented by MVP Health Care Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at MVP Arena.