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East Region Play-In Game

March 13, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

Siena “Prosperous”

by Adam Shandler

Siena will go down in history as only the second team to play two NCAA tourney games and still finish with a losing record. The Saints, who won four straight games to win the MAAC title, squeaked by SWAC champ Alcorn State, 81-77, in Dayton Tuesday night.

The future of Siena’s tournament status looked bleak when Dwayne Archbold, who averages 20 points per game, 28 in the MAAC Tourney, got tagged with his third foul with ten minutes to go in the first half. Enter Prosper Karangwa, a lanky point guard from Montreal, who didn’t start games until the tail-end of the season. Karangwa scored 31 points including an “and-1” with 46 seconds to play. This was arguably the turning point of the game, as the three-point play gave Rob Lanier’s club a 5-point lead and put the Saints up for good. Archbold, who had a less-than-Archbold shooting night, hit two free throws to seal the deal in the closing seconds.

Marcus Fleming’s double-double of 20 points, 17 rebounds (a career high) went for naught as the Braves of Alcorn State were eliminated. In their defense, it was the 8th game in 17 days for Davey Whitney’s program, and the Braves had been road warriors in that span.

Siena hopes to keep their Cinderlla story going against Maryland, the top-seed in the East Region and many feel the soon-to-be crowned National Champ. Karangwa will receive his greatest test against Juan Dixon, who could be player of the year. Lonny Baxter and Dwayne Archbold will battle underneath. Archbold could run into more foul trouble against the Terps as Baxter likes to frustrate his defenders with creative fake-outs down low.

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