The Siena Saints (3-2) play the Ole Miss Rebels (5-0) on Friday in the semifinals of the ESPN Events Invitational at the State Farm Field House in Kissimmee, Florida. Siena opened up its tournament with a big upset victory over Florida State 80-63 on Thursday. Andrew Platek scored 20 points and Javian McCollum scored 18 for the Saints. Ole Miss reached the semifinals with a 72-68 victory over Stanford on Thursday. Amaree Abram was the leading scorer for Ole Miss with 26 points. Thailand Owens is questionable for Siena on Friday and Daeshun Ruffin is out indefinitely for Ole Miss.
Siena’s Offense Comes through againSiena is scoring an average of 76.6 points per game, while shooting 48.6% overall and 41.3% from behind the three-point line. The Saints came through big again in their opening game of this tournament, scoring 80 points, while shooting 51.9% overall and 40.9% from three-point land. Sienna made 9 of 22 three-point attempts. The Saints also came up big at the free throw line hitting 17 of 20 or 85%. Javian McCollum is the leading scorer for Siena with an average of 15.8 points per game and is also the dish leader with an average of 4.5 assists per game.
Siena’s defense showed improvement as well, as the Saints allowed the highly talented Florida State Seminoles to just 63 points. Siena held Florida State to 36.4% shooting overall and 26.7% from three-point land. The Saints defense also forced Florida State into 17 turnovers. Siena must improve on the defensive glass, as they gave up 10 offensive rebounds to Florida State. Siena’s leading rebounder is Michael Baer with an average of 6.2 boards per contest while Andrew Platek is the leader in steals with an average of 1.0 swats per contest.
Ole Miss will rely on its tough defenseOle Miss gave up 68 points in its opening game of this tournament on Thursday and on the season the Rebels are allowing an average of 63.8 points per game. Ole Miss is holding opponents to a field goal shooting percentage of 40.1% overall and a 3-point shooting percentage of just 36.8%. In their victory over Stanford on Thursday Ole Miss held the Cardinal to 40.4% shooting overall and 31.8% shooting from behind the line. The Rebels outrebounded the Cardinal 35-30. The leading rebounder for Ole Miss is Robert Allen with an average of 5.8 boards per contest and Myles Burns is the leader in steals with an average of 3.2 per game.
On the season, Ole Miss is scoring an average of 73.4 points per game while shooting 45.3% overall and 35.1% from behind the line. In Thursday's victory, Ole Miss shot 50.0% overall and 36.4% from three-point land, the Rebels hit 4 of 11 three-point attempts. Offensively, Matthew Murrell is the leading scorer for Ole Miss with an average of 17.8 points per game and is shooting just 41.0% overall while the second leading scorer is Robert Allen has an average of just 9.3 points per game and shoots 50.0%.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Ole Miss has a very talented defense that is allowing an average of only 63.8 points per game and will shut down the Siena Saints on Friday. At the other end of the court, Ole Miss is scoring an average of 73.4 points per game and will use its superior size, speed and skill to wear down the Saints defense. Sienna has covered the spread in only two of its last seven games overall. The Ole Miss Rebels were able to shut down the perimeter game of Sanford and will do the same to Siena, which relies on its three-point shooting, but will not get many easy looks from long range because of the defense of Matthew Murrell, TJ Caldwell, Amaree Abram and others.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Ole Miss defense will be too much for the Siena offense. Ole Miss is allowing an average 63.8 points per game and opponents are shooting just 40.1% overall. Ole Miss held Stanford to just 68 points. Ole Miss held Stanford to only 31.8% shooting from long range and will prevent Siena from open shots on the perimeter and will clear the defensive glass well giving the Saints few second look opportunities.