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  • The Griffin

Basketball comes up short against Bonnies

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

By: Aidan Joly, Editor-in-Chief

The Griffs put St. Bonaventure on upset watch for most of the day on Sunday, but ultimately it was not enough as they fell 69–60 to the nationally-ranked Bonnies at the Reilly Center.

The Griffs came into the second half up by five and, after starting the second half on a 10–4 run, found themselves up by 11 in the early minutes of the second frame.

However, after holding leads around double digits for the next handful of minutes, the Griffs went totally cold, going without a field goal for two long stretches of time, the first being just under five minutes from the 11:53 mark of the second half to the 6:54 mark of the second; then the second drought started from there and continued until Jordan Henderson made a garbage-time layup in the closing seconds.

“I think that was at the same time we weren’t locked in defensively and they got on our heels on the offensive end and we didn’t cut and move as hard,” Canisius head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. “I always think there’s things that lead up to that and there were some turnovers earlier that took us out of what we were doing, … and that catches up with you.”

St. Bonaventure ended the game on a 19–3 run, taking the lead for good on a three from Kyle Lofton with just over four minutes to play. Lofton and Jaren Holmes led the Bonnies with 17 points each.

Before those two droughts, though, it was all Griffs. They hung around in the first half and took the lead in the closing seconds of the first half, holding onto it until St. Bonaventure took over in the final 10 minutes of the game.

The key was the Bonnies turning around their shooting in a massive way in the second half. They shot 51.9% in the second half after shooting just 34.6% in the first half, while the Griffs’ percentages stayed relatively the same — 31.4% in the first and 32.3% in the second. They shot 7–28 from three for the night.

“I think Bonaventure did a really good job in the second half moving the basketball, but when you turn the basketball over and they get breakaway layups, it’s going to help their shooting; and there were some times where we had lapses and if you let good players see the ball go in and they start to find a rhythm, that really hurt us,” Witherspoon said.

The Griffs were led in the point column by Malek Green, who finished with 14 points on the night. It was a team effort on the offensive side of the ball, with Jacco Fritz and Ahamadou Fofana scoring 10 each. In addition, Henderson and Armon Harried had eight each, while Akrum Ahemed chipped in seven.

Following an 0–3 start, the Griffs have a bit of a break: five days without a game, before they travel to Cleveland on Saturday to take on Cleveland State.

“It’s always tough to continue to have road games, but we didn’t come out with any wins,” Green said. “We’re not that satisfied.”

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