Siena 61

(19-17, 11-9 MAAC)

Fresno State 57

(20-17, 9-9 MW)

    Coverage: CBSSN

    10:00 PM ET, March 31, 2014

    Save Mart Center, Fresno, California

    1 2 T
    SIE 26 3561
    FRES 32 2557

    Top Performers

    Siena: L. Long 13 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Fresno St: C. Guerrero 15 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast

    Siena wins Game 1 of CBI finals over Fresno State

    Associated Press

    FRESNO, Calif. -- Lavon Long scored 13 points, and Siena rallied from 12 points down in the second half to beat Fresno State 61-57 in Game 1 of the College Basketball Invitational final series Monday.

    Siena did not allow a field goal over the final 6:59, using a stifling press to shut down the Bulldogs. On Fresno State's final possession, with the score tied, Marvelle Harris was called for charging as he drove to the basket.

    Rob Poole made two free throws with 2 seconds left to seal it for the Saints.

    "We were lucky they kept missing shots," Saints coach Jimmy Patsos said. "When you're in trouble, you can always press. Sometimes pressing makes you forget all the pressure of being on national television and stuff."

    The best-of-three series moves to upstate New York, where Siena will host Fresno State in Game 2 on Wednesday.

    The Saints (19-17) will also host Game 3, if necessary, on Saturday. In the tournament's previous six championship series, the winner of the opening game went on to win the title.

    Cezar Guerrero led Fresno State (20-17) with 15 points, and Alex Davis had 12.

    The Saints took their first lead of the second half on freshman Marquis Wright's jump shot to make it 50-49 with 7:27 left.

    Guerrero gave the Bulldogs back the lead with a deep 3-pointer at 6:59 -- and that was Fresno State's last field goal for the game.

    "It was tough to find the legs," said Siena's Ryan Oliver, who had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench. "We had to find a way. We wanted to get the win in a tough environment."

    Siena forced the Bulldogs into 16 turnovers -- their third-most this season -- and cleaned up on the boards.

    "You cannot give up 17 offensive rebounds," Bulldogs coach Rodney Terry said. "That's the difference in the game. There were times in the huddle I said, 'They want to right now more than we do.' That hurts me as a coach to say that."

    Long made consecutive layups on hard drives inside, as well as two free throws, to give Siena a 56-53 lead before he fouled out with 5:25 left.

    For all its defensive dominance, Siena could not pull away, though, missing its final five field goal attempts but holding on at the foul line.

    Wright made a free throw with 29 seconds left -- Siena's first points since the 5:25 mark -- for a 59-57 lead.

    Poole finished with 12 points.

    "We got a little lucky," Patsos said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 61 57
    FG Made-Attempted 21-63 (.333) 22-46 (.478)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-17 (.235) 5-16 (.313)
    FT Made-Attempted 15-17 (.882) 8-13 (.615)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 13 (0/0) 17 (0/0)


    » Mar 31, 2014 SIE 61, @FRES 57Recap
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    Apr 5, 2014 @SIE 81, FRES 68Recap