During the post game press conference Head Coach Chuck Martin had plenty to say about why the Red Foxes were unable to come away with a win against Siena at home. The Red Foxes fell by a final score of 79-75 at home against one of their fiercest MAAC rivals.
“We had chances we just weren’t tough enough to win the game, you give a guy 21 rebounds you’re not winning the game,” Martin said.
That guy was O.D. Anosike, Siena’s 6’8″ senior man-beast. Anosike finished the game with 20 points, 21 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Anosike showed both superior physicality and smooth technique throughout the entire game as he had his way with the Marist front-court.
Anosike has given the Redfoxes trouble since his freshman year but this performance was by far his most dominant yet. Something that was made very apparent by Martin after the game.
“We have got to do a better job in the post,” Martin said. “We’re going to play him again and I don’t think coach is going to take him out of the lineup. We better learn how to play him in the post.”
This was not the way it seemed like it would go after the opening minutes that saw Marist take a 21-10 lead at the 11 minute mark in the first half. Marist was rolling in the early going with senior captain Devin Price connecting on two long three pointers and junior center Adam Kemp anchoring an energetic defense.
It was at about the nine-minute mark of the first when Siena figured things out and never really looked back. At half time Siena had created a 41-33 lead behind the scoring of Anosike in the post and guard Evan Hymes out on the perimeter. Hymes finished with 21 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field.
Chavaughn Lewis attributed the blown lead to a lack of intensity after the game.
“As a team we have to learn that we can’t spot teams a lot of points,” Lewis said. “We have to play more aggressive throughout the first half.”
Martin took the idea that this team needs to learn to play harder and ran with it.
“The margin for error for our team is like this [small],” Martin said. “The truth of the matter is when we’re healthy, we have everyone, we’re a very competitive team but we’re still not the best team in the league. So if we don’t play with intensity for 40 minutes we’re not beating anyone, our record reflects that. When we play hard, Vanderbilt SEC team, we hold them to a national record but our guys right now don’t understand intensity. There’s a huge gap between their definition and mine in terms of interpretation. So when you don’t play hard, my version of playing hard, we’re not winning games. If you don’t play with unbelievable intensity you can’t win games and we don’t understand that right now. We’re not getting that lesson, because clearly we’re 5-16.”
The Redfoxes will get their chance to show how much they learned from this loss next Thursday night against St.Peter’s on the road.