Siena men’s basketball stunned by No. 23 St. Bonaventure in Season Opener

NS. BONAVENTURE — Siena basketball coach Carmen Maciariello saw his new team baskets traded with the nation’s 23rd team during a thrilling first half in Tuesday’s season opener.

He saw enough in the first 20 minutes to be encouraged. What he saw in the second half made it clear that this team still has a long way to go.

After taking a 10-point early lead, Siena racked up just 15 points in the bottom half of a 75-47 loss against defending Atlantic 10 champion, St. Bonaventure, in front of an emotional crowd of 4,617 at Reilly Center.

“If you’ve seen the first 18 minutes, I think you’re really encouraged,” Maciariello said. “We have to be able to do it for 40 minutes. I never doubt the heart of these guys, their motive, their work ethic, the desire to win. They all came to Siena to do something special and we still believe in that , I wanted to play with this team on the road to start our season and show how hard we have to play and what we have to do to get where we want to be.”

Sophomore guard Aidan Carpenter and senior guard Jayce Johnson led Siena by 10 points each in the team’s first official game since all-league players Manny Camper, who plays in the G League, Jalen Pickett (Penn State) and Jordan King (East). Tennessee). left the program after winning their second consecutive regular-season title of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference last season.

Siena added nine stock players in the off-season, including six transfers.

None of Siena’s players were made available to the media after Tuesday’s loss. Maciariello told a team spokesperson that no one was playing well enough to talk.

Siena led 18-8 in the first eight minutes and trailed just 36-32 at halftime. But St. Bonaventure turned up the defensive pressure in the second half as Siena shot 6-for-25 from the field. The Bonnies defeated the Saints 39-15 after halftime.

Siena put in 15 turnovers which St. Bonaventure turned into 22 points.

“Obviously a difficult game,” said Maciariello. “We know what we’re dealing with when we come to the Reilly Center against a nationally ranked opponent. I think it’s great for these guys to understand that it’s not just a 20 minute game. had done some good things. At the end of game day, you have to be able to let guys come in and get the job done. It’s a great opportunity for us to watch this movie and get better.”

The Saints missed four purse players: junior striker Jordan Kellier and freshman guard Jared Billups, who made the trip, and freshman guards Javian McCollum and Taihland Owens, who didn’t.

Maciariello said Kellier and Billups were both injured in Saturday’s practice, with Billups hurting his lower body and Kellier injuring his upper body. Maciariello said he hoped Billups can play in Saturday’s home opener against Delaware at Times Union Center. Kelly will see a doctor.

Maciariello said McCollum went to the doctor with a lower body injury. Owens was due to have an MRI on his knee later this month.

“Yes, it’s difficult,” Maciariello said. “We never talk about who hasn’t played, right? We talk about who has played. I thought Jayce Johnson was getting back into shape and that was great for him to go out and show flashes of what he can do. … We need those other guys to get healthy and get back on the pitch and I think that will increase our depth and hopefully we can play 40 minutes.”

The Bonnies went on a 16-0 run to grab a 65-42 lead. Senior guards Kyle Lofton and Jaren Holmes each finished with 17 points ahead of the Bonnies, ranked first in 50 years. Osun Osunniyi Senior Center had nine points and seven blocks.

“The maturity of our team, we don’t let that kind of thing get us down,” Lofton said of the early deficit. “We know basketball is a running game. They had a hot start. We started slow and eventually we picked it up.”

The Bonnies had a pregame ring ceremony and NCAA Tournament banner hoist.

“That’s emotional,” said St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt. “We had to come back and refocus and I thought we hadn’t done a great job at the beginning of the game. But I thought once we got down, I didn’t think we were rushing things. I thought we were calm and took it one possession at a time.”

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