Siena keeps its perfect home record alive

Saints and Danes

Jalen Pickett scored a game-high 16 points and Manny Camper added his eighth double-double of the season as shorthanded Siena Basketball grinded past Saint Peter’s 61-58 at the Times Union Center. Camper contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Saints who improved to a perfect 7-0 at home.

Sammy Friday IV and Kyle Young combined to tally 16 points and 10 rebounds for Siena (7-6, 3-1) in filling in for the MAAC’s leader in field goal percentage and fifth leading scorer Elijah Burns, who was ruled out for the game due to illness. The senior Friday scored a season-high 10 points in just his fifth career start, while Young added season-highs of six points and five rebounds.

Reserve Aaron Estrada scored 13 points for Saint Peter’s (5-7, 2-1) who received 37 of its 58 points from its bench. KC Ndefo added seven points, five rebounds, and five blocks for the Peacocks who failed to start 3-0 in the MAAC for the first time in four years.

Siena jumped out to its biggest lead of the game right off the bat at 13-4, but Saint Peter’s battled back to take its first lead on the final points of the first half to secure a 28-26 lead at the break. The teams combined to miss 13 of their 14 three-point attempts in the first half, while the Saints shot just 4-11 from the free throw line.

In a game which featured 10 ties and 11 lead changes, Siena scored seven unanswered points bookended by four free throws by Friday to reclaim the lead for good at 55-49 with 6:49 to play. The Peacocks closed to within as little as two at 60-58 on a Quinn Taylor three with 2:31 to go – and had a Daryl Banks III look at a game-winning three in the waning seconds – but couldn’t connect as the home team prevailed for the 13th time in the past 14 meetings between the programs. The Saints held the nation’s 18th best three-point shooting team at 38.5% to just 4-22 (18%) from distance to build upon its best home start since opening the 2015-16 season 9-0 in the Capital Region.

Following a stretch where they played five of six within the friendly confines of the Times Union Center, Siena now heads back on the road for their next three contests. The Saints return to action Sunday with a 2 p.m. tip at Manhattan.

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