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Turnovers rear its ugly head for Knights

Usually being the team who creates havoc for their opponent, FDU struggled themselves taking care of the ball. The absence of their starting point guard was evident as the team turned the ball over 31 times. For the Saints, their freshmen played a big part gaining confidence heading into conference play Saturday.

Teaneck, NJ - The dreaded turnover reared its ugly head. For FDU, a total of 31 miscues on the offensive end, led to an 81-65 defeat at the hands of Siena. Wednesday evening’s contest saw the last non-conference game for FDU until Northeast Conference play begins on Saturday.

"Turnovers were the difference," said FDU coach Pete Cinella as he studied the stat sheet revealing the essence of the outcome. "We lost our point guard Maddie (ankle sprain) and that really affected us. Other than the turnovers, I think we were fairly even with them (Siena) in other areas."

FDU trailed by 14 at the half. Erika Livermore, the key inside threat, had just one field goal and four points by halftime. Early in the second half, Livermore was on a roll, and the deficit was cut to six.

FDU could get no closer as the visiting Saints regrouped and went on a run of their own to push the margin back to double digits. Livermore and senior guard Kelsey Cruz, shared game scoring honors with 20 points each. Anastasia Williams had a nice nine points and five rebounds effort.

Still, Cinella searches for that consistent scorer outside of Livermore and Cruz. "In our three wins we had someone significantly step up and provide that additional scoring," Cinella said. "To date, even in practice we have been searching, but unable to find that individual who can help us consistently."

It was the second straight home loss for the Knights; they dropped a decision to Brown a day earlier. "In both games we did some things that were encouraging," Cinella said. "Hopefully, beginning conference play at home will help us."

For Siena, it was a pleasing to put points on the board in generous numbers. The type of game coach Ali Jaques was waiting for.

"FDU is disruptive," Jaques said. "They switch defenses a great deal and keep you off balance. To handle all those defenses and score as we did was very satisfying."

Without a senior lining up for the opening tip, it hasn’t been an easy non-conference ride for Siena. The Saints average barely over fifty points (56.2) a game and came in with a 78 offensive efficiency. The last game out was a 52-50 loss at Colgate two days earlier. On this night, the efficiency broke 100 at 104 and the Saints put up 44 points by halftime. A good deal of the scoring was due to turnovers (28-13 edge in points off turnovers).

Half court offense also provided a number of attack the basket sets the Saints cashed in on. Five players were in double figures. The balance and offensive threats are what a coach literally diagrams on the grease board to obtain.

Kollyns Scarbrough, a sophomore guard, and Siena’s leading scorer at 13.5 ppg,  led the way with 15 points. The Saints also got great contributions from Symone Kelly and Joella Gibson.

"It is really positive heading into (MAAC) conference play," Jaques said. The Siena mentor referenced the main portion of MAAC play. Each team plays two games in December and wins over Monmouth and St. Peter’s, the Saints begin the new year on a positive note in MAAC play. Siena improved to 4-7, while FDU fell to 3-9.

"We put up some nice numbers tonight," Jaques concluded. "It was good to see some of our freshman breaking out and contributing.