Saints win 13th straight, down Fairfield in series opener

Sports

Fairfield, C.T. (NEWS10) — Siena Basketball won its 13th straight overall with a 74-58 triumph over Fairfield at Alumni Hall. Junior standout Jalen Pickett scored a game-high 15 points – including the 1,000th of his career – for the Saints who are off to a 3-0 start for the first time in 17 years.

Pickett added nine rebounds and six assists as part of another solid all-around performance in which he became the 45th player in program history – and the eighth fastest – to eclipse 1,000 points. Reserve Jackson Stormo also added 15 points on a perfect 7-7 shooting off the bench for Siena (3-0, 3-0) who is also off the program’s best start in MAAC action in 11 years.

Jesus Cruz scored 12 points while former Siena commit Jake Wojcik contributed 11 for Fairfield (2-10, 2-5), who shot just 38% from the field, including only 4-17 from three.

The Saints, who began their win streak 11 months ago with a victory over the Stags in Albany, shot 52% and led throughout in a convincing win. Three different players recorded five or more assists for Siena, which dished out 19 overall.

The Saints opened the game on an 11-2 run, capped by a transition three from Pickett for his 1,000th career point. Siena ultimately led by as many as 18 at 34-16 in the opening stanza, and never looked back in taking a 40-27 lead at the half.

Pesky Fairfield stuck around however, opening the second half on a 16-8 spurt to rally back within as close as five at 48-43 at the 14:05 mark. The Saints held the Stags at arm’s length – albeit at just 60-53 with still 8:26 to play – before rattling off seven unanswered to double the advantage and put the game away.

Kyle Young contributed 11 points in 15 minutes for Siena who is now tied with Drake for the fourth longest active win streak nationally. Manny Camper chipped in nine points, seven rebounds, and five assists for the Saints who have won five straight over Fairfield.

With the victory, head coach Carmen Maciariello improved to 23-10 since taking the reins of his alma mater, to mark the best 33-game head coaching start in program history.

Siena will look to complete the series sweep tomorrow at 4 p.m. on ESPN3.

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