All season Siena fans have been left to wonder when the Saints would break through against one of the top tier teams in the MAAC, they received their answer tonight against Manhattan. A raucus crowd of 7,928 were treated to another close game at the Times Union Center, only this time it was Siena that emerged on top, downing Manhattan 67-63. Siena has now won the last ten straight over the Jaspers at the Times Union Center.

The win was aided in large part to the first half scoring performance of Evan Hymes. Hymes hit three shots from beyond the three point arc in the first half, with the third pushing the Junior guard over the 1,000 point mark for his career. Hymes is just the 39th player in Siena history to reach the mark.

“My team mates definitely helped me to get to that 1,000 points today,” Hymes said following the game. “Without Quis getting me the ball, without Robbie making plays for me I don’t think I would have gotten it tonight.”

The game see-sawed back and forth throughout the second half before Ryan Oliver hit deep threes on back to back possessions to give the Saints a 60-54 advantage with 1:53 left.

“The first one I just wanted to get a shot off before the (shot clock) buzzer and if I missed we could get the rebound,” said Oliver. “After I made the first one, I knew he second one was going in. I was pretty confident.”

Manhattan was able to cut into the Siena lead and had a chance to tie with 14 seconds remaining but Shane Richards missed two of three free throw attempts to keep the Saints in front. On the other end Rob Poole hit five of six free throws in the final 19 seconds to ice the win for Siena.

“I think Steve Masiello’s team has a very good chance to win the MAAC Tournament,” said Siena’s Jimmy Patsos. “They’re deep. They play really hard. They have a lot of different guys. For us to win that game was a minor miracle.”

Free Throws played a major role in the outcome tonight. Manhattan shot a dismal 19-42, 45.2%, while Siena was 16-22, 72.7%.

“They missed some free throws and we got lucky,” said Rob Poole. “I think luck just kinda bounced our way this time and it usually doesn’t. We got the win which was great and we just have to keep on playing.”

Rob Poole and Evan Hymes led all scorers with 17 points a piece. George Beamon also scored 17 points for the Jaspers.

“I thought Rob Poole, Evan and Ryan, I talked to them the other day about this is your team,” said Patsos. “Don’t just say it’s a young kids team. Don’t be afraid to take ownership. And, I thought Rob, Ryan and Evan really did.”