Siena men's basketball beaten by Monmouth

CaptionCloseAlbanySiena's Marquis Wright and Monmouth's Justin Robinson kidded each other prior to the season about who's the better player.They looked forward to their game on Monday because too often they'd missed facing each other because of injury.The...

Siena men's basketball beaten by Monmouth

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Siena's Marquis Wright and Monmouth's Justin Robinson kidded each other prior to the season about who's the better player.

They looked forward to their game on Monday because too often they'd missed facing each other because of injury.

The senior point guards finally stepped on the court together and gave quite a show to the 5,716 who came to Times Union Center to see the teams that were picked 1-2 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason poll.

"I guess that's just what everyone wants to see, me and Justin go at it," Wright said. "I mean, it's fun. And all out of respect, like I said. He's a good player. I'm a good player. It's basketball. Just competing."

While Wright scored a career-high 36 points, Robinson topped him with a career-best 40 points in a 102-82 victory that further solidified preseason favorite Monmouth as the team to beat when the MAAC Tournament comes back here in three weeks.

Robinson's previous high also came at Times Union Center, 36 points in a win over Siena last season.

"I love the Times Union (Center)," said Robinson, the reigning MAAC Player of the Year. "I used to come here to watch (former Siena guard) Tay Fisher play. That's my cousin. It's always a great atmosphere and it's a fun environment to play in."

MONMOUTH 102, SIENA 82

Siena (12-15, 9-7)

Player Min FG FT R A Pts

Bisping 24 2-5 3-3 3 5 7

Ogunyemi 34 6-7 4-5 7 1 16

Wright 39 11-19 8-10 1 3 36

Long 34 2-2 2-2 5 3 6

Shivers 19 1-2 2-2 1 1 4

Fisher 6 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Friday 2 1-1 0-0 0 0 2

Huerter Jr. 2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Clareth 26 4-13 1-4 4 2 11

Smithen 8 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

Richard 4 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

Merrill 1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

Brandwijk 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

TEAM

Totals 27-50 20-26 23 16 82

Monmouth (22-5, 14-2)

Player Min FG FT R A Pts

Brady 16 2-3 0-0 3 1 4

Seaborn 29 3-7 0-0 1 1 8

Hornbeak 24 7-10 1-1 3 0 18

James 26 4-6 2-2 2 2 10

Robinson 33 14-20 4-4 6 3 40

Sarr 3 1-1 0-0 0 0 2

Quinn 12 0-1 0-0 1 0 0

Traore 6 1-2 0-0 3 1 2

Ibiezugbe 10 0-0 1-3 4 0 1

Stewart 14 2-7 2-2 1 0 6

Tilghman 25 4-9 3-4 5 1 11

Totals 38-66 13-16 32 9 102

Halftime—Monmouth, 47-46. 3-point goals—Siena 8-17 (Wright 6-11, Clareth 2-6). Monmouth 13-24 (Seaborn 2-3, Hornbeak 3-4, James 0-1, Robinson 8-13, Stewart 0-3). Fouls—Siena 22 (Bisping 4, Ogunyemi 2, Wright 2, Long 3, Shivers 3, Fisher 1, Clareth 2, Smithen 2, Richard 3). Monmouth 24 (Brady 4, Seaborn 2, Hornbeak 4, Robinson 3, Sarr 1, Quinn 4, Traore 1, Ibiezugbe 2, Stewart 3). Blocked shots—Siena 4 (Ogunyemi 3, Long 1). Monmouth 4 (Brady 2, Ibiezugbe 1, Quinn 1). Turnovers—Siena 19 (Bisping 3, Ogunyemi 2, Wright 5, Long 5, Shivers 1, Clareth 2, Smithen 1). Monmouth 15 (Seaborn 2, Hornbeak 2, Robinson 3, Quinn 2, Traore 1, Stewart 5). Steals—Siena 6 (Bisping 1, Long 3, Clareth 2). Monmouth 6 (Hornbeak 1, James 2, Quinn 1, Stewart 1, Tilghman 1). Technical fouls—None. A—5,716.

The Hawks (22-5 overall, 14-2 league) earned their school-record 12th straight victory.

Robinson, who made 8 of 13 3-point attempts, tied the fourth-most points scored by a college basketball player at Times Union Center since its opening in 1990.

"Marquis is very talented," Robinson said. "He's a very tough player. And I have the utmost respect for Marquis. We just wanted to battle it out. We talked before the season about who was better, jokingly, and we didn't get to play each other last year because he was hurt. We didn't get to play each other twice my freshman year because I was hurt. And we haven't played each other since our sophomore seasons. So to come in here tonight and have a battle like this against Marquis was very fun."

They didn't really guard each other with Monmouth coach King Rice and Siena's Jimmy Patsos using bigger defenders on the 6-foot-1 Wright and 5-8 Robinson.

Wright gave Siena (12-15, 9-7) its last lead at 59-57 when he made his sixth and final 3-pointer from the left side with 15:31 left.

But Robinson answered with nine points on a conventional three-point play followed by two 3-pointers during a 15-1 run that put Monmouth ahead for good at 72-60 with 10:51 to play.

Wright took only one field-goal attempt over a stretch of 9:08 because he said the coaching staff wanted to go to other mismatches inside to Brett Bisping and Lavon Long.

"Coaches wanted to run whatever specific play for that," Wright said. "I can't argue with my coaches. If it's a mismatch, that's the best way to go."

However, Bisping had another off game with seven points and three rebounds while Long finished with six points and five rebounds.

"Lavon and Brett have to play better if we're going to beat Monmouth," Patsos said. "They're great kids. There's nothing wrong. They've been playing great. That's two games in a row they didn't play so well."

Senior forward Javion Ogunyemi added 16 points for Siena, which tied its most points allowed in a regulation game since a 104-83 loss at Niagara on Jan. 7, 2001.

Siena lost its third straight home game.

"We gave up 102 points," Ogunyemi said. "If we want to win the MAAC championship, we can't allow that to happen. That's the most frustrating thing."

Monmouth outscored Siena 44-24 in the paint and had 28 points off 19 Saints turnovers. They meet again at Monmouth Feb. 24.

msingelais@timesunion.com • 518-454-5509 • @MarkSingelais

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