Siena vs Monmouth Preview and Prediction
Siena vs Monmouth Preview
Monmouth Hawks (5-13, 1-5 MAAC) vs. Siena Saints (6-15, 2-6 MAAC)
Thursday, January 25, 2018 | 7:00pm ET
OceanFirst Bank Center, West Long Branch, NJ
The Siena Saints travel to the Jersey Shore to battle two-time defending MAAC Regular Season Champion Monmouth Hawks. Both teams are struggling mightily this year, as they sit at the bottom of the MAAC.
Siena concludes a challenging stretch tonight where the Saints play four of five games away from home, including road contests at two-time defending MAAC Tournament Champion and preseason No. 1 Iona, preseason No. 2 Manhattan, and two-time reigning regular season champion Monmouth.
Siena is 46th nationally in three-point field goal percentage at 38.7%. The Saints have shot a stellar 44.5% from three-point range over the past seven games, and rank second in the MAAC during conference play shooting 40.1% from distance .
Defensively, the Saints are getting back on track. They opened up the regular season disastrous on the defensive end of the floor, giving up 82.6 points in their first 10 games of the season. Since then, they are much better giving up only 69.7 points over its past 11 games.
Seven of Siena’s first eight MAAC games have been decided by single digits, including five by five points or less. Overall, the Saints have played in a total of nine games decided by five points or less this season, posting a 3-6 record. Their most impressive victory came five games ago when they gave MAAC leader Canisius their only loss in the conference this season, 65-62.
Balanced attack for the Saints
Siena has been led by a balanced scoring attack in conference play, with six players averaging between 7.1 – 12.5 points per game. Freshmen Jordan Horn (12.5) and Prince Oduro (10.5) have been the team’s leading scorers in MAAC action so far, and classmate guard Roman Penn has added 9.0 points, while leading the MAAC shooting a perfect 100% (17-17) from the free throw line.
The Saints have utilized 11 different starting lineup combinations this season, which is tied with both Ole Miss and San Francisco for sixth most nationally. Eleven different players have made starts, and no player has started every game.
Monmouth getting back on track
The Hawks have lost three games in a row, and their only conference win this season came against Manhattan, 77-66 on Jan. 5th.
What is helping get Monmouth back on track is senior guard Micah Seaborn, who returned from an injury against Iona last time out. The Hawks senior had missed the previous three games. Seaborn was 3-for-5 from three-point range, finishing with nine points and five rebounds in 21 minutes. Seaborn has now missed six games this year, and leads MU in scoring to this point.
Ray Salnave scored 16 points in the first half vs. Iona, two shy of a career-high. He was able to score quickly, once scoring seven points in 35 seconds before netting five points in six seconds to end the half. Each of those stretches included an and-one opportunity, including a four-point play in the first half.
Monmouth leads the all-time series 8-4.
The Hawks have won six of their last seven games against the Saints.
Monmouth took seven in a row from Siena between 2/14/15 and 2/24/17.
Siena topped Monmouth 89-85 in the MAAC Tournament semifinals last year.
MU has not lost to Siena at home since January 2, 2005.
Look at those series history numbers and you can gather who I am picking to win this game. Both teams are having sub par seasons and lack the necessary fire-power to compete for a MAAC title this season. With Micah Seaborn ready to play for Monmouth, I expect Hawks head coach King Rice to increase his workload and his impact will help seal a home victory for MU.
LINE: -8.5 Monmouth
The 8.5 spread scares me a bit, so I would not pick Monmouth minus those points. The Hawks will win outright however.
Monmouth 77 Siena 70