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Siena seeks CBI crown in showdown with Fresno State

Loudonville, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The series to decide the College Basketball Invitational championship shifts to upstate New York on Wednesday night, as the Siena Saints attempts to wrap up the title against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Alumni Recreation Center.

The teams met for the first-ever time in the opening game of the series on Monday night at the Save Mart Center, with Siena coming from behind to capture a 61-57 victory. Fresno State made the most of its homecourt advantage early by opening up a six-point halftime lead, and that advantage swelled to as many as 12 early in the second stanza, but Siena charged back with a 17-6 run later in the frame and took the lead for good at a the 5:51 mark following a Lavon Long layup. In a one-possession game late, the Bulldogs shot 0-of-6 from the field over the final 6:59 and committed a pair of turnovers over the final 24 seconds. Long paced the Saints' winning effort with 13 points, while Rob Poole and Ryan Oliver netted 12 and 10 points, respectively. For Fresno State, Cezar Guerrero tallied 15 points, six rebounds and five assists, Marvelle Harris and Alex Davis poured in 12 points apiece and Tyler Johnson scored 10.

A win for Siena in this matchup would secure its first Division I national postseason title ever. The Saints' only previous postseason championship came in the 1950 National Catholic Invitational. If Fresno State comes away victorious, a decisive Game 3 will take place on Saturday afternoon at the Alumni Recreation Center.

Fresno State (20-17) earned a berth in the championship series by conquering Texas-El Paso on the road in the first round (61-56) before returning home to take down Princeton (72-56) and Old Dominion (71-64). It has been led this season by a stellar offensive attack that puts up 72.4 ppg on 43.8 percent field goal shooting and 72.7 percent at the free-throw line, which is just good enough to support a modest scoring defense (70.1 ppg). It also generates extra possessions with a stellar turnover margin (+1.3). Johnson acts as a catalyst and is a multi-faceted performer, scoring 15.7 ppg with great percentages from the field (.481), 3-point range (.431) and the free-throw line (.814) while adding 7.3 rpg, 3.0 apg and 1.1 spg to boot. Harris brings 14.6 ppg to the table, while Guerrero (12.9 ppg, 3.6 apg) and Paul Watson (10.0 ppg) are also regular contributors.

Siena (19-17), also participating in its first CBI, downed Stony Brook (66-55), Penn State (54-52) and Illinois State (61-49) in the earlier rounds prior to its Game 1 victory, giving the surging Saints eight wins in their last nine games. The team is also 13-4 at home this season, but this marks the first time it will play at the Alumni Recreation Center since 1997, as its home games are typically played at the Times Union Center in downtown Albany. The squad's offensive attack hasn't been much to brag about this season (.417 FG percentage, 68.9 ppg), but it boasts an impressive defense (.413, 69.6 ppg), which has held opponents to a mere 53.3 ppg during this event. Poole (14.6 ppg) has drained 69 3-pointers at a 36.3 percent clip. Brett Bisping puts up 11.1 ppg and 6.6 rpg, while Long, Evan Hymes and Marquis Wright all score between 9.5 and 8.4 ppg.

04/02 10:24:42 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
3rd
SFG 1
KAN 3
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
4th
WASU 30
ARZ 52
 
3rd
CLEM 3
SYR 6
 
3rd
LAMON 18
TXST 7
 
3rd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 24
 
3rd
COLST 31
WYO 3
 
Half
LSU 3
MISS 7
 
Half
TENN 10
ALA 27
 
Half
AUB 21
SCAR 21
 
2nd
PSU 0
OSU 10
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
3rd
TOR 0
BOS 3
 
3rd
NYI 4
DAL 4
 
3rd
PHI 3
DET 2
 
3rd
OTT 1
NJD 2
 
3rd
MON 2
NYR 1
 
2nd
STL 1
CHI 1
 
2nd
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
2nd
MIN 5
TAM 1
 
1st
ARI 0
FLA 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14