ALBANY, NY – Freshman guard Jordan Horn drilled the game-winning three with just 5.3 seconds remaining to send Siena Basketball to its first win of both 2018 and MAAC play with a 65-62 triumph over Canisius at the Times Union Center. Sophomore guard Ahsante Shivers scored a team-high 18 points and beat the shot clock buzzer three separate times with clutch baskets down the stretch for the Saints which closed out their season long three-game homestand to open the New Year on a high note.
Horn made 1-2 free throws to extend the Siena (5-12, 1-3) lead to 62-59 with 37.9 ticks to go, but fellow freshman and reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week Takal Molson converted a three-point play at the other end to draw Canisius (9-8, 3-1) even one final time with 25.2 seconds left.
On the winning possession, freshman guard Roman Penn kicked a pass out to Horn on the right wing. The freshman took one dribble and stepped into the game-winning triple to send the 6,114 at the Times Union Center into bedlam. The Golden Griffins got a great look from straight on at the potential game-tying three, but Jermaine Crumpton’s attempt was off the mark as time expired.
Horn scored nine of his 12 points in the second half as the only remaining winless team in MAAC competition, Siena, defeated the last remaining unbeaten squad in Canisius. Junior forward Evan Fisher contributed 16 points and nine rebounds, and freshman forward Prince Oduro added 13 points to round out four double figure scorers for the Saints which improved to a stellar 35-8 at home vs. Canisius during the program’s Division I era.
Molson led all scorers with 21 points for the Golden Griffins which saw their five-game winning streak snapped. Isaiah Reese added 12 points, seven assists, and five steals, and Crumpton contributed 11 points for Canisius which committed just three miscues while holding a 17-4 advantage in points off turnovers.
Siena clamped down in boasting its best defensive performance of the year in achieving season benchmarks in both fewest points allowed (62) and fewest points surrendered in a half (21 in the first half), while also limiting the MAAC’s top shooting team to just 38% from the field including only 6-26 (23%) from three.
The Saints held the Golden Griffins scoreless for the final 8:12 of the first half and ended the stanza on a 17-3 run to claim a 28-21 lead at the break. Canisius missed its final 15 shots to close out the first half, and shot just 24% overall in the stanza.
Siena opened as much as a nine-point advantage early in the second half, but the Golden Griffins shot 52% in the final stanza to stick around. Shivers beat the shot clock buzzer to put Siena up five with 4:02 to go and, after Crumpton rallied the Golden Griffins within 57-56 exactly one minute later, the Saints’ sophomore twice more beat the buzzer with clutch baskets on the next two Siena possessions to extend the lead back to five with 88 seconds remaining.
The Saints were buoyed by strong team performances both on the glass and at the free throw line in improving to 4-1 in afternoon tip-offs this season. Siena dominated the battle of the boards 43-24, and shot 17-22 from the charity stripe as opposed to just 8-9 for Canisius.
The Saints’ first road game of the New Year features a MAAC Championship rematch when Siena battles rival Iona Thursday at 7 p.m. in New Rochelle.