Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Hasbrouck Leads Siena Back to Big Dance; NCAA Automatic Bids
The Siena Saints are dancing again.
A year after stunning Vanderbilt in the NCAA Tournament, Siena will return to the Big Dance thanks to Kenny Hasbrouck.
The senior guard overcame a nagging calf injury and a poor first half to score 19 points in leading defending MAAC champion Siena to a 77-70 win over Niagara in Albany, N.Y.
“Siena could win a game or two [in the NCAAs] and get to the Sweet 16, and this may sound self-serving, but all that will do is show us how good we are and how good our league is,” Niagara coach Joe Mihalich told The New York Times.
Ryan Rossiter added 16 points and 14 rebounds as the Saints (26-7) clinched their program’s fifth NCAA tournament berth. Siena also completed its season with a 17-0 record on its home court, and extended its win streak to 21 dating to last season.
Tyrone Lewis scored 22 for the Purple Eagles (26-8), who will still get an NIT berth. Niagara lost for only the second time in 14 games and squandered an opportunity to match a school single-season record for wins.
As the final buzzer sounded, a throng of green and gold Saints supporters rushed the floor and carried Hasbrouck away with them in a frenzied celebration.
It was a fitting end for Hasbrouck, because all eyes were on him before tipoff after the MAAC player of the year hurt his right calf in the Saints’ 80-65 win over Fairfield on Sunday.
NCAA AUTOMATIC BIDS
East Tennessee State
(AP and New York Times contributed)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.