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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 ( or email

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Iona holds off Siena in MAAC quarters

Albany, N.Y. >> Tim Cluess spent the week griping that his Iona team had to play a road game in the quarterfinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament.

Cluess wasn’t backing off that after the Gaels withstood a late charge by Siena and held on for a 74-71 victory Saturday afternoon at the Times Union Center.

The T-U Center as it’s known, of course, is Siena’s home court.

“I’m very proud of my team for winning its 12th road game of the year,” Cluess said. “When you win on the road, it’s a great thing.” 

A.J. English scored 32 points, including a huge 3 with 32.7 seconds left that put Iona (25-7) up by five.

“A.J. English is a good player,” Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said. “I hope everybody enjoyed him because he’s going to be in the NBA.”

The Gaels led the majority of the game by 8-12 points until the Saints, buoyed on by the crowd, made their run.

Siena’s Ryan Oliver hit a 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining that cut Iona’s lead to two.

English answered with his contested 3 and then made a pair of free throws to ice the game.

“(My teammates) gave me the look to go ahead,” English said. “I’m thankful the shot went in.”

Lavon Long scored 17 points for the Saints and Oliver added 16.

Siena had won 10 straight MAAC Tournament games at the Times Union Center.

The league tried its hand in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts, the past four years, but small crowds offset the neutrality many of the league’s coaches and administrators were seeking.

Monmouth 60, Canisius 54

Justin Robinson scored 16 points, Deon Jones added 11 and the fourth-seeded Hawks upended the fifth-seeded Golden Griffins, setting up a semifinal Sunday against Iona.

Monmouth (18-14) split two regular-season matchups with the Gaels.

This was the first postseason win for the Hawks since 2005-06 when they were a member of the Northeast Conference.

Jeremiah Williams paced Canisius (16-14) with 18 points.

The Hawks went up by seven on a jumper by Robinson with 4:16 left.

The Griffs closed the gap to three (54-51), but Monmouth made its final six free throws — four by Jones to secure the victory.


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