MAAC action here as the Quinnipiac Bobcats host the Siena Saints. Sienna is locked in a tight race for the conference title so this game means everything to them, while Quinnipiac is in the middle of the pack at 7-9 in MAAC play. Oddsmakers have the Saints as a modest road favorite for this one, which will be streamed by ESPN+.
Siena Fighting For TitleSiena has been having a very solid season, and they have come a long way. Just two years ago they finished 8-24, so the fact that they are now competing for the MAAC title is very impressive. They entered this one a half-game back of the Saint Peter's Peacocks for first place, so they need each of their last four games like blood. They have been surging recently, winning eight of their last nine games with the only loss coming on the road against the aforementioned Peacocks. They haven't just been winning games they've been dominating them, as five of those eight recent wins came by at least 13 points. That includes when they first played his very same Quinnipiac team about a month ago, as they blew out the Bobcats by 23 points.
Jalen Pickett @jalenpickett2 had a huge game for Siena vs Rider with 27 points 9 assists and 4 rebounds! Up to an 87 overall!— NextOnes.com (@NXT1S) February 25, 2020
Full highlights and stats are on his profile: https://t.co/niwrESeUGX pic.twitter.com/sWtCOWUWZs
They rank 104th in overall offensive efficiency according to advanced analytics site kenpom.com, a very significant achievement for a MAAC program. Despite playing at a pretty slow pace they still put up a ton of points, and they have four different guys averaging at least 10.7 points per game. One thing I like about this Siena team is that they have a ton of length. In fact, eight of their top nine scorers this season are at least 6'4. That helps them get into passing lanes and force steals. Since they are a young team they understandably struggled on defense early in the year, but they have really stepped it up on that end of the floor lately. In eight of their last nine games, they have held their opponent to 64 or fewer points.
Quinnipiac On A SkidQuinnipiac is currently stuck in a state of mediocrity. They were right around .500 last year, and they will be lucky to get back to that mark this time around. With four games left to play, they enter this one at 12-14. They started conference play off hot but have collapsed recently, losing six of their last seven games. Their only win in that span came by just two points at home against a Canisius team that is at the bottom of the conference standings. They've been brutal against the spread as well, failing to cover the number in each of their last seven games. They are going up against a tough Siena offense here that is the best in the MAAC easily, and unfortunately for Quinnipiac, they might have the conference's worst defense.
They rank 310th out of 353 D1 teams in overall defensive efficiency according to kenpom, and the issues have only been getting worse recently. In their most recent game, they gave up 89 points in a double-digit loss to a mediocre Monmouth team that doesn't have a particularly strong offense. Their perimeter defense has been terrible, and they allowed Monmouth to shoot 12-29 from downtown in that game. They also forced only eight turnovers while giving it up 17 times themselves. It's not like they are particularly impressive on offense either, as they shoot only 41.7 percent from the floor as a team. They have a talented lead scorer in junior guard Rich Kelly, but he doesn't get too much help.
- 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games overall