Siena basketball tries to take home success on road


The Siena men’s basketball team faces the same old question this weekend, but with more urgency to find an answer since the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament is only five games away.

Can the Saints win away from Times Union Center?

Yes, they’ve done it once with a victory at Iona on Jan. 31. On the other hand, they’ve lost 10 road games. Siena faces four of its last five regular-season contests away from the comforts and fan enthusiasm of South Pearl Street, starting with Sunday’s game at Fairfield’s Alumni Hall.

Siena has a chance to prove it can string together consecutive victories in foreign buildings. It would be a good precedent to set, since they’ll have to win either three or four in a row in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall to capture the MAAC Tournament next month.

“We’re going to go out there (on the road) and play the same game,”https://www.timesunion.com/” Siena junior guard/forward Manny Camper said. “The game doesn’t change. It’s the place that we’re playing. We’ve got to play the same game we’ve been playing over this last home stretch and hopefully let the outcome be the outcome.”

Siena (14-10 overall, 10-5 MAAC) just completed a four-game home sweep that improved its TU Center to 13-0 and launched the Saints into a tie for first place in the MAAC with Saint Peter’s.

A victory over Fairfield would give Siena its first five-game winning streak since 2010.

The Saints are also in an excellent position to capture a top-five seed in the MAAC Tournament, which means a first-round bye, and even win their first regular-season title since 2010.

“I just hope we keep growing,”https://www.timesunion.com/” Siena graduate forward Elijah Burns of Troy said. “We’ve got four games on the road. I just hope we growing in conference play. It’s a great time for us to keep growing and keep playing together because we’re going to be on the road for the conference tournament. So just being able to play and able to work together.”

After Fairfield, Siena heads to Quinnipiac next Wednesday and then visits Marist on Feb. 28. Those are three of the bottom four teams in the MAAC with a combined home record of only 14-16. So the opportunity seems there for the Saints to build momentum.

“I hope our guys have that confidence to know how good we can be and take that edge into the next game,”https://www.timesunion.com/” head coach Carmen Maciariello said. “We’ve got to be able to bring our own energy all the time, no matter where we go, no matter our fans are there or not. But I think we’ll have some great fan support these next couple of road games, too, so I’m excited about that.”

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



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