Loudonville, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Siena Basketball secured at least a share of the program’s ninth MAAC Regular Season Championship with a 73-66 victory over Canisius at the UHY Center. The Saints clinched the No. 1 seed in next week’s 2021 Hercules Tires MAAC Championships at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey with the squad’s second straight regular season crown.
Four players scored between 15 and 18 points as part of a balanced attack for Siena (12-3, 12-3) who will open MAAC Tournament action Wednesday at 5 p.m. on ESPN+ in the quarterfinal round vs. the winner of Tuesday’s 8/9 game. Jackson Stormo scored a career-high 18 points for the second straight game, shooting 8-10 from the field while adding eight rebounds for the Saints who improved to 37-9 (.804) at home vs. Canisius (6-5, 6-5) during the program’s Division I era.
Malek Green came off the bench to score 19 of his 21 points in the second half for the Golden Griffins who had entered play winners of five of their previous six. Fellow reserve Majesty Brandon contributed 12 points for Canisius which received 41 of its 66 points from their bench.
Siena closed out the first half with a 25-10 run over the final 9:38 to claim at 36-25 lead at the break. The Saints extended the advantage to as much as 17 at 44-27 with 16:49 remaining in the contest.
But Canisius rallied with a 15-2 run to close within 46-42 with still 11:08 to go. The Golden Griffins whittled the deficit down to as little as one on several occasions, the final of which cut the Siena advantage to 61-60 with 3:24 remaining.
But with a chance at winning back-to-back MAAC Regular Season Championships on the line, the Saints dug deep to get the job done. Siena responded with a decisive 10-2 run late, with reigning MAAC Player of the Week Manny Camper providing the first five points, while freshman Colin Golson, Jr. delivered the exclamation point with a SportsCenter Top-10 worthy windmill jam in the closing seconds to secure the win.
Camper registered his sixth double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Saints who were plus-nine on the glass, including 13 offensive rebounds which led to 15 second chance points. Jalen Pickett added a season-high five threes for 15 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists, while Jordan King contributed 15 points for Siena who shot 17-23 (74%) from the free throw line compared to just 3-9 for Canisius.
The Saints will look to build momentum for the trip to the Jersey Shore when they conclude regular season action against the Golden Griffins Friday night at 7 p.m. at the UHY Center on My4 Albany and ESPN3.