Posted at: 02/24/2013 5:07 PM
By: Siena Athletics
Siena’s final BracketBusters game was a memorable one. The Saints rallied from eight points down with less than a minute remaining in regulation to force overtime, and rode the momentum to a 65-57 win over Radford Sunday afternoon in Albany.
“Just a gutty win,” Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro said. “We go over (late game) situations all the time in practice, so our kids were ready and we executed.”
Radford led 52-44 with 57 seconds to play after a pair of Lucas Dyer free throws, but Siena scored the next five points to close within three on an O.D. Anosike tip-in. After Brandon Holcomb hit two free throws for the Highlanders, Rob Poole drained a 3-pointer to pull Siena within two points with 16 seconds to play.
After a Radford timeout with 10 seconds to play, the Saints forced a five-second violation to get the ball back. Poole missed a 16-foot runner, but Anosike was pushed out-of-bounds going for the rebound. The senior calmly sank both free throws with 4.8 seconds on the clock to tie the game, and Siena stole the ball at midcourt on Radford’s final possession to force overtime.
Davis Martens scored six of his career-high 18 points in overtime, and the Saints out-scored the Highlanders 11-3 in the extra session to snap their five-game losing streak.
Walk-on point guard Chris Leppanen played a huge role in the victory, starting in place of Evan Hymes who injured his ankle in practice this week. The Troy, N.Y. native finished with seven points, seven assists, two steals and just two turnovers in 35 minutes played.
Trenity Burdine continued his hot play over the last month with 13 points on 4-6 shooting in 43 minutes. Anosike finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out in the extra session, but he was just 3-13 from the field and turned the ball over eight times. Poole added 12 points, but made just 2-14 shots and 1-6 3-pointers.
Martens doubled his previous career-high in scoring which he set in Siena’s loss to Loyola eight days ago. He also tied his career-high with nine rebounds.
“Davis is a junior, and he’s been playing better,” Buonaguro said. “He’s practiced hard and I’ve given him more time. We’re going to need him to continue to play this way.”
Radford got 18 points from R.J. Price who hit 4-12 3-pointers. The Highlanders had a chance to take the lead with less than a minute to play in overtime after the referees charged Anosike with a flagrant foul (his fifth) following video review. Siena held a 59-56 lead with 51 seconds left when the foul was assessed, but Kyle Noreen hit just 1-2 free throws, and after a missed Ya Ya Anderson 3-pointer, Martens soared for the rebound and made two free throws to make it a two possession game.
Siena finishes BracketBusters play 5-3 all-time. The Saints finish regular-season play with a pair of league games next weekend. Anosike will be honored prior to the final home game of the year Friday night at 7 p.m. against archrival Marist.