Thursday, January 28, 2010

Peacocks Pose Threat to Siena's Streak

The nation's longest active win streak resides in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Siena has it, with its 11-game winning streak.

That stretch of wins entered the current week tied for the third-longest streak nationally. Since then, though, teams with longer or equal streaks (Kentucky, Bringham Young University and Northeastern) have all lost.

Siena now stands alone atop the list.

The streak will be tested tonight when Siena is at Saint Peter's, playing in the Peacocks' Yanitelli Center in Jersey City, N.J. Game time is 7 p.m., and you can view it online via streaming video for free. Just go to Saint Peter's website ( and follow the links to athletics, to basketball and, then, to the link for the free internet feed tonight.

Your humble blogger will definitely be among the on-line viewers.

Tonight’s game is also being broadcast live on WCKY in Cincinnati as part of their Mid-Major Game of the Week Coverage, a series of 10 games over the final two months of the season. Tonight's game is the only MAAC game on the schedule in that series.

Saint Peter's has won its last five games, including a rare sweep of its Western New York swing (victories at Niagara and Canisius). It was just the Peacocks' fourth sweep of the two games on that swing since Niagara and Canisius joined the MAAC for the 1989-90 season.

Clearly, this looks like the biggest test of Siena's MAAC superiority to date, or at least the latest.

Will the Saints' hopes for an unbeaten MAAC season end tonight?

Your blogger isn't the best at predictions, but yours truly would not be surprised if the Peacocks pull off the upset.

Here are some other notes of interest:

- Saint Peters' fourth year had coach, John Dunne, had formerly been an assistant coach at Siena working there one year as an assistant for Paul Hewitt (1999-00 season) and one year with Louis Orr (2000-01).

- Dunne's Peacock teams are 0-7 to date against Siena.

- Saint Peter's active five-game winning streak is the program's longest since midway through the 2005-06 season. If it wins tonight, it would be the program's longest winning streak since a nine-game string of success early in the 1995-96 season.

- Saint Peter's current 12-8 overall record is its best after 20 games since the 2003-04 season.

- There are eight Division I men's basketball programs in New Jersey and entering this week only two of them had winning records. Besides Saint Peter's (12-8), Seton Hall (12-6) was also above the .500 mark. Seton Hall, of course, is coached by Bobby Gonzalez, whose previous coaching position was at conference member Manhattan.

- Siena is a vulnerable right now as it has been all season. Its top reserve guard Kyle Downey (5.4 points per game) is out until late February, at the earliest; and, one of its top players, 6-6 senior forward Edwin Ubiles (15.8 points, 4.1 rebounds) is questionable (shoulder injury) for tonight's game.

It should be a great MAAC matchup. Saint Peter's lost the first meeting, 64-53, in Albany, but played that game without leading scorer guard Wesley Jenkins, who has returned to action since then. In that contest the Peacocks tied the game at 42-42 with 9:15 remaining before Siena was able to grind out what it needed to do down the stretch to secure the victory.

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