Loudonville, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Siena Basketball shot 54% to move into a tie atop the MAAC leaderboard with a 74-69 triumph over Manhattan at the UHY Center. Six players scored between 8-16 points as part of a proficient balanced attack for the Saints who achieved their highest scoring output in eight games.
Jordan King was the high scorer with 16 points for Siena (10-3, 10-3) which enters the penultimate weekend of the regular season now even atop the MAAC Standings with idle Monmouth who is on pause. Manny Camper added 14 points for the Saints who snapped a three-game skid in series openers.
Seton Hall transfer Ant Nelson scored 22 of his career-high tying 27 points in the second half for Manhattan (6-10, 5-10) who has lost six of seven to remain in 10th place in the MAAC. Warren Williams tallied 15 points and Samba Diallo and Samir Stewart chipped in 10 apiece for the Jaspers.
Siena started hot in its first home game in 34 days, connecting on each of its first five field goal attempts in an entertaining first half. The Saints then went on an 8-2 flurry late to open as much as a 10-point lead, and carried a 37-29 advantage into the break. Jackson Stormo scored 12 of his 13 points in the first half for Siena, which dominated the glass to a 22-10 rebounding advantage in the stanza.
The Saints, which led for more than 35 minutes, harbored between a 6-12 point advantage and never led by fewer than two possessions in the second half to secure the program’s 16th win in the past 18 meetings vs. Manhattan in the Capital Region. Camper punctuated the victory with a thunderous, highlight reel transition dunk as part of a decisive three-point play to extend the lead back to double digits at 64-54 with 5:37 left.
Siena shot 63% (12-19) in the final half to reignite an offensive which had averaged just 59.3 points over the previous six games. Jalen Pickett rounded out the double figure scorers for the Saints with 12 points and five assists.
Reserves Kyle Young (nine points, eight rebounds) and Colin Golson, Jr. (eight points, four rebounds) added strong efforts off the bench for Siena which improved to 18-1 on its home court under Carmen Maciariello. The second-year head coach secured his 30th win overall in just his 43rd game at the helm, to tie for the fourth fastest to reach that milestone in the MAAC’s 40-year history.
The Saints will look to complete the sweep in the series finale Saturday at 7 p.m., which will be televised locally in the Capital Region on My4 Albany as well as on ESPN3.