Siena stays perfect at home

Local Sports

ALBANY, NY – Another home game, another win. Elijah Burns scored a game-high 21 points as Siena Basketball improved to a perfect 10-0 at the Times Union Center with a 65-49 victory over Fairfield.

Burns shot a perfect 5-5 from field and was 10-11 from the free throw line to improve his percentages to 73% and 90%, respectively, over his last 13 games. Manny Camper added 14 points and eight rebounds for Siena (11-10, 7-5) who, with the victory combined with several other favorable league results, moved into a three-way tie for second place in the MAAC Standings with Rider and Saint Peter’s and just a half game back of idle frontrunner Monmouth.

Reserve Wassef Methnani led the way with 12 points and eight rebounds for Fairfield (9-13, 5-6) who held a 15-3 advantage in second chance points. Allan Jeanne-Rose chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds for the Stags.

In a matchup of the MAAC’s top scoring offense in Siena and best scoring defense in Fairfield, it was the Saints’ defense that stole the show. Siena allowed its fewest points of the season while holding the Stags to just 30.2% shooting, marking the Saints’ best field goal defense performance since limiting Manhattan to 29.3% on Feb. 2, 2018. The Saints also held Fairfield to just 1-9 from three, and scored 22 points off 17 Stags’ turnovers.

Siena led throughout and by as many as 20 points to cruise to its 10th victory in its last 14 matchups vs. Fairfield. The Saints jumped out to an early 16-6 lead, and scored six of the final eight points of the first half to claim a 34-23 lead at the break. Siena shot 50% in the opening stanza while limiting the Stags to just 30%, and turned 10 Fairfield miscues into a 14-2 advantage in points off turnovers.

The Saints led by double digits throughout the second half and by no less than 13 points over the final 10 minutes. Siena suffocated the Stags’ leading scorer Landon Taliaferro (13.6 points per game), limiting him to just four points on 1-5 shooting.

Jalen Pickett rounded out the double figure scorers with 11 points and six assists for the Saints.

Siena continues its second of two season long four-game homestands a week from tonight. The Saints host fellow MAAC contender Rider in national primetime next Friday night on Valentine’s Day at a special TV time of 9 p.m. on ESPNU.

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