ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Javian McCollum and Andrew Platek combined for 32 second-half points to lead Siena Basketball to the regular season series sweep of I-87 rival Marist with a 73-65 Super Bowl Sunday victory at MVP Arena.
McCollum posted his second straight 20-plus point performance in his return from missing three of the previous four games (back). He tallied 23 points while adding five assists and a career-high three steals for Siena (17-9, 11-4), which picked up a half-game on idle Rider, who had entered the day in first place in the MAAC Standings. The Broncs conclude the weekend now in a tie for first with Iona, with the duo just a half-game clear of the Saints in a crowded three-team race for the top spot in the MAAC.
The MAAC leader in both three-point makes and percentage, Platek poured in 18 points on 4-6 shooting from distance for Siena which has won nine of 11 over Marist (8-16, 4-11). Michael Eley chipped in 11 points off the bench for the Saints who have now captured 14 of the past 16 from the Red Foxes in Albany.
Patrick Gardner posted a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds for Marist which has lost seven of eight to drop into a three-way tie for last place in the MAAC with Canisius and Mount St. Mary’s. Gardner shot 10-15 from the field and 5-6 from three, but the rest of the Red Foxes combined to shoot just 13-44 (30%) including only 2-15 from distance.
Siena led by as many as eight in a low-scoring first half which saw the Saints take a 29-25 lead at the break. Both teams shot under 35% in the opening stanza.
Siena shot 52% in the second half and opened the stanza on an 18-5 run to claim as much as a 17-point advantage at 47-30 with 12:52 to go. Marist cut the deficit to as little as six with 4:28 left – and had a look to pull within one score on their ensuing possession – but the Saints held on.
Siena doubled up the Red Foxes 18-9 on the glass in the second half and won their 14th straight regular contest when scoring 70 or more points.
The Saints tip off a grueling stretch Friday night at MVP Arena where they battle three of the other four teams currently in the top-five in the MAAC Standings to close out February. The Saints will look to secure their third straight series sweep when they host Quinnipiac in a nationally televised primetime showdown on ESPNU at 9 p.m.