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Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko (https://twitter.com/kj_franko) or email kfranko@trentonian.com.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Title-game thriller: Siena 72, Fairfield 65

This was a classic the likes of which the MAAC has rarely seen in its 30-year history.

Top-seeded Siena and second-seeded Fairfield went back and forth Monday night at the Times Union Center, exchanging blows and responding with improbable plays at improbable times.

Against a team that has dominated the MAAC over the past three seasons, Fairfield was nearly flawless in the first half and resilient over the last 10 minutes of regulation.

In the end, though, Siena was too much.

Edwin Ubiles scored 27 points, Player of the Year Alex Franklin had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Siena beat the underdog Stags 72-65 in just the third overtime title game in league history. The other two overtime title games came in 1982 and 1995.

Derek Needham scored 16 points and Anthony Johnson had 14 for the Stags, who have played themselves on to the NIT bubble.

The Stags (22-10) had the ball with a chance to win it in regulation, but after a series of Siena fouls, Colin Nickerson's baseline fadeaway rimmed out as time expired.

Franklin, named the tournament MVP, and Ubiles, proved too much to handle in the extra session, in which Siena (27-6) outscored the Stags 12-5.

Franklin, Ubiles, Ryan Rossiter, Ronald Moore, Needham and Johnson were named to the all-tournament team.

Both teams will find out their fates -- Siena its NCAA Tournament seeding and Fairfield its postseason destination -- on Sunday.

8 Comments:

Blogger Zach said...

An ESPN graphic referred to this as a "home game" for Siena. Precisely why the MAAC tourney should be moved to a neutral site. Won't ever have a crowd like that in my beloved Springfield, but you can be sure that Siena's huge comeback would've been far less likely had they not had the support of 95% of the fans at the TUC.

March 9, 2010 at 12:12 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets not forget the support of the three officials...

1) Phantom 2nd foul on AJ. Siena may go in down 20 at half if refs don't decide he needs to go to the bench so Fran can keep contact.

2) Intentional foul on Needham???? That was as intentional as Moore giving the fouls with 13 seconds to go.

3) Siena pressed, trapped, and swiped all second half and had two fouls with 13 seconds to go????


I propose this to the MAAC commissioner. If you want Siena to win the tournament, just announce it at the banquet, and save everyone the time.

Fairfield was the best team all weekend and deserved to win the tournament.

March 9, 2010 at 3:24 AM 
Anonymous #1 Rider Fan said...

I am not a big conspiracy guy but you have to start to wonder a little bit about the fairness of the MAAC. This was always an extremely competitive league with a unpredicable conference tournament.

The last three years, the 1 and 2 seeds have met in the final with the 1 seed winning. You begin to think the top seeds are protected.

And its not a Siena thing. Remember Ty Lewis fouled out in crunch time the night before.

When you see Mike Kitts show up in both the semi-final and final for the MAAC (in the Siena games), after being suspended off the Big East tournament for questionable behavior, its fair to ask the question.

March 9, 2010 at 6:39 AM 
Anonymous Marko said...

I am glad that the MAAC is moving to a neutral court. Yes, the attendance won't be the same, but it is fair. I believe this year if the games were at a neutral site Siena would have lost before they reached the finals.

Ben, I also heard a rumor that the MAAC was planning on adding two New England schools. Did you hear anything about it? If true I guess it would be Quinnipac and either (Northeastern, Holy Cross or BU.)

March 9, 2010 at 7:33 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After watching the game last night, I hope the NCAA can wake up and adopt the NBA rule, 2nd foul inside of two minutes automatically puts you in the penalty.

All the giveaways ruined the final possession.

March 9, 2010 at 8:02 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes the MAAC should be flooded with calls today. Kitts ref 2 straight games for Siena??? How is that possible They need to look more closely at the game and watched ensors reactions. He clearly wanted Siena to win......
They need to do an investigation because something didn't seem right from the manhattan siena game on....

March 9, 2010 at 11:04 AM 
Anonymous #1 Rider Fan said...

Ensor is a lawyer who made his chops in one of the most corrupt states in the country.

Lawyer with Jersey ties. Sounds like a breeding ground for corruption.

March 9, 2010 at 11:59 AM 
Anonymous MaacFan said...

The Maac should absoutley be flooded with calls today with the reffing and the situation with Siena. Some of those calls last night were awful and Kitts needs to be looked at as to why he was reffing 2 Siena games in a row. McCraffery should also be reprimanded for pulling his team in such a CLASSLESS act during the Manahttan game. Good showing Stags. Everyone in the MAAC was cheering for you last night in hopes of shutting up those awful, aggorant fans in Albany.

March 9, 2010 at 7:34 PM 

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