Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

A Surprising End to Siena’s Win over Holy Cross

December 31, 2008 Columns No Comments

WORCESTER, Mass. – It was a surprising scene to end the game.  That’s the case not only because it happens so rarely, but also because of who was involved.

As the final seconds of Siena’s 83-71 win at Holy Cross ticked off the clock, Siena head coach Fran McCaffery motioned to all five of his players on the floor toward the exit.  At first glance, it might have looked like he was motioning to get the ball across mid-court to avoid a ten-second violation before dribbling out the final seconds, but once the buzzer sounded it was clear that wasn’t the case.  The Saints walked right out of the gym without shaking hands with the Holy Cross players and coaches.

Holy Cross head coach Ralph Willard, who did not comment on it after the game, stopped walking towards the bench once the Saints were walking away and looked as dumbfounded as just about everyone else in the gym.  McCaffery, who is well-respected among his peers for far more than just his winning ways as a head coach, made it clear why he did that.  Like everything else in life, it didn’t happen in a vacuum.

“I was upset at how our guys were being fouled,” McCaffery said.  “I’ve got guys bloodied, I’ve got guys with black eyes, I’ve got guys needing stitches.  That’s not how the game’s supposed to be played.”

McCaffery noted that last year’s game in Loudonville was similar to this.  Alex Franklin missed five games with a back injury after the meeting.  Asked if he thought the officiating, which did leave something to be desired, contributed to it, McCaffery said, alluding to Holy Cross, “I think it’s a result of how they play.”

In fact, McCaffery had no real issue with the officials, even though at times he appeared to get a little heated with them, as did Willard.  46 fouls were called in the game, with the Saints whistled for two more than the Crusaders, so the stat sheet alone won’t explain everything.  The Saints made three more free throws (25) than Holy Cross attempted (22).

While any tension that was mounting between the teams wasn’t obvious, anytime a game gets as physical as this one was, things can escalate between the teams.  That led McCaffery to approach getting help from the officials in a different way.

“I said, ‘what do you want me to do now?  What am I supposed to do?’  Because you really don’t want that, you don’t want me to ‘send in a goon’ and all of a sudden there’s a melee,” said McCaffery, who said he had no intention of doing such a thing.  “That’s not what we want.  But I’d like to know what recourse we had.”

The game was the fourth in a home-and-home series between the two schools.  One might first think that this will be it for a while, and the Siena game notes suggest as much since they said that this is the final game of a four-year series.  But a Holy Cross source said that the schools have a six-year series and are scheduled to meet next December in Loudonville for the fifth game.  It is not known how easily the Saints could get out of the final two games if they desire to, although the schools could agree to put off the next meeting by a year or two.

Comment on this Article:

Like Hoopville on Facebook


Your Phil of Hoops

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

Can this be the Army team that finally wins a Patriot League title?

September 24, 2015 by


Army was on a nice rise with its core up until Patriot League play last season, when they came back to earth. Now with a core of seniors, can this team be the one that finally takes home a Patriot League title?

Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

August 27, 2015 by


There has been some notable downward momentum at Washington recently, but there is more hope all the time that it could be reversed, and soon.

Hoopville Archives

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed listening to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by


The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by


The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by


Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by


Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.