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Siena vs. Fresno State Recap: 'Dogs Fade Late, Drop Game 1

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Fresno State had another fine defensive performance, but subpar free throw shooting and a rash of second-half turnovers allowed the Siena Saints to escape with a win.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps this is just Siena's year.

The Saints were held to just 33% shooting from the floor, including a 4-for-17 effort from three, but the visiting team was able to cash in at the free throw line late where the Bulldogs could not and left the Save Mart Center with a 61-57 victory on Monday night.

Fresno State led for most of the game and had its four leading scorers in double digits, paced by Cezar Guerrero's 15 points. Guerrero also led the Bulldogs with six rebounds and five assists, but his two missed three-pointers in the last 3:30 may stay with him for a while. Lavon Long led Siena with 13 points, including a layup and two free throws that put the Saints ahead for good with six minutes to go, while Rob Poole had 12 of his own.

Siena's charmed tournament continued as Fresno struggled to shoot free throws, converting just 6 of 11 after halftime while the Saints put down 15 of 17 at the line. In particular, Marvelle Harris missed an opportunity to tie the game in the last minute. The visitors also won the turnover battle handily, 16 to 8, softening their poor shooting just enough to provide the difference.

Game 2 of the CBI title series will be back east in Loudonville, so be sure to visit Mountain West Connection as the Bulldogs try to stay alive on Wednesday night.