Saints handle Holy Cross to head into holiday break on high note

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WORCESTER, Mass. (NEWS10) — Siena Basketball shot a scintillating 59% from the field as the Saints dispatched Holy Cross 72-59 at the Hart Center. Nick Hopkins scored a Siena career-high 17 points for the Saints who will head into a 17-day break riding high following their third straight road win.

The trio of Hopkins, Anthony Gaines, and Jackson Stormo combined to shoot an even 70% (21-30) from the field to lead the offensive charge for Siena (4-6, 1-1), which achieved its highest field goal percentage since shooting 65% in a MAAC Quarterfinals victory over Rider on Mar. 9, 2019 at the Times Union Center. Gaines scored 14 points connecting on 7-8 shots and added six assists and five rebounds, while Stormo contributed 14 points of his own on 7-10 shooting in his return from illness.

Gerrale Gates posted his fourth double-double of the young season with game-highs of 19 points and 13 rebounds for Holy Cross (2-9) which has dropped five straight. Judson Martindale added 14 points and Kyrell Luc chipped in 13 for the Crusaders who have suffered eight of their nine losses by double digits.

The Saints rattled off 12 unanswered points in a 2:26 flurry midway through the first half to open a 24-13 lead at the 8:04 mark, and led by double digits for virtually the rest of the game. Siena led by as many as 17 points in the first half, and cruised to a 38-23 advantage at the break.

Holy Cross chipped the deficit down to as close as seven at 54-47 with 8:15 remaining, but the Saints responded with a 14-2 run down the stretch to put it away. Colby Rogers rounded out the double figure scorers with 12 points for improving Siena, which is 4-2 with both setbacks coming in overtime following an 0-4 start to the season.

In addition to achieving a season-high field goal percentage, the Saints were equally impressive on the defensive end where they tied a season-best by limiting the Crusaders to just 37.5% shooting. Holy Cross, which entered play ranked 48th nationally shooting 37.7% from three-point range, connected on just 4-18 (22%) from beyond the arc.

Siena now heads into an extended holiday break before returning to action on Dec. 28 at American to conclude non-conference play. The 17-day gap between games marks the program’s longest in-season break in 39 years since going 18 days between games Dec. 11-29, 1982. 

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