This first meeting between these two teams comes during a season that has not gone the way either of these teams would have liked it to have gone. However, Marist and Siena enter the game tied for 8th in the MAAC, at 2-7. The winner of this game will have a chance to make a move toward that coveted 6th position, which automatically advances a team to the second round of the MAAC tournament. One game ahead of them in the standings are Manhattan and Fairfield, who are tied for 6th, at 3-6.
Coming into this game in Poughkeepsie, Siena is just beginning to get healthy. They have been without significant contributors in Rakeem Brookins, Rob Poole, Imoh Silas, Trenity Burdine, and Ryan Oliver. Burdine and Poole returned to the lineup for Siena’s 78-69 loss to Niagara on Friday, in which they combined for 23 points. However, Marist will have to find an answer for Evan Hymes who scored 30 against the conference-leading Purple Eagles on Friday. O.D. Anosike, Siena’s senior center will be Adam Kemp’s greatest challenge this season, and the Red Foxes will need Kemp to have a strong performance if they intend to keep hope alive for a first round bye in the MAAC tournament.
Marist will likely be without starting shooting guard and leading scorer Devin Price, who is still suffering from a sprained ankle. Though Price has made progress, and could possibly make an appearance in the Siena game, it is likely that he will return for the January 31st trip to Jersey City when Marist takes on Saint Peter’s. The Foxes will also be without starting forward Jay Bowie who is still struggling with concussion symptoms.
In the absence of Price and Bowie, players like Chavaughn Lewis and Anell Alexis have been relied on to fill the voids the absences of Price and Bowie leave. The key for Marist in this game will be how well they are able to handle Hymes and Anosike. Handling Hymes will likely be the responsibility of point guard Isaiah Morton, while Anosike and Kemp will be competing to control the boards.
Marist and Siena tip off at 2 p.m. today.