By Andrew Reilly
In a game of two teams from the same city, a win would surely earn bragging rights. For the third straight year, Siena secured its right to say it is the best team in the Capital District. They proved this to a packed house of 13, 262 at the Times Union Center filled with fans decked out in gold.
The Saints started off the game strong winning the tip off and scoring 8 points right away and continued to put points on the board, going on a 17-0 run to put distance between them and Albany. But Albany would battle back to put them with in 10 points at half time, making the score 43-33 in Siena’s favor.
In the second half, the Saints came out strong again taking a commanding lead of 56-36, making the game look to be a blow out, but the Great Danes thought otherwise. They would again battle back shutting down the Saints offense for almost eight minutes and coming up with their own 16-0 run to put them within 4 points of the lead with only 4:38 to left in the game. This forced McCaffery to call a time out and slow down Albany.
After the Time out Alex Franklin stopped Albany’s momentum with an offensive rebound resulting in a 3 point play, Franklin also added a huge dunk over two defenders to make the score 68-59 with 2:24 to play, but Albany would keep coming back being within 2 points with 6.6 seconds left. But Franklins 2 foul shots with 6 seconds left secured the victory for Siena 75-71
Siena shot 51 percent from the field and forced 17 turnovers, while Albany shot 41 percent from the field. Alex Franklin led the Saints in scoring with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Kenny Hasbrouck added 18 points.
Coach McCaffery should be pleased with the win after a tough loss against Cornell. “We need to utilize the basketball and come out with a win to build up confidence” McCaffery said prior to the game. The Saints (3-3) will go to Fairfield this week to open MAAC play, hoping to improve their record before going into the long Christmas break.