Canisius Men’s Basketball Goes 3-4 in January
By Colin Richey
The Griffins have played seven of their eight games for the month of January, all against MAAC opponents, finishing 3-4 in that stretch. They are currently ranked 10th out of 11 teams in the conference, but still have ten games remaining in the season to turn around their 3-7 MAAC record.
After ending 2022 on an eight game losing streak, the Griffins wouldn’t need to wait long to end their tilt. Following a narrow 64-60 loss to Mount St. Mary’s, Canisius defeated Manhattan by a score of 64-57. Sophomore TJ Gadsden registered a career-high 16 points, in what was his first career start with the Griffs. His 16 points were followed closely by sophomore Xzavier Long ‘s 14, and the two were the only Canisius players to reach double digit points. The Griffins won back-to-back games for the first time this season, edging out Saint Peter’s in overtime by a final score of 67-60. This time, five different players for Canisius scored double digit points, with the team being led by graduate student Jamir Moultrie’s 17. Redshirt-freshman Tahj Staveskie added 14, including four consecutive free throws in overtime to help earn the win for Canisius. The team recorded a season high 23 makes from the free-throw line.
The win streak for Canisius quickly came to an end, with Marist beating the Golden Griffins 76-58. Despite the score being 38-37 after the first half, Canisius was only able to score 21 in the second, compared to Marist’s 38. Staveskie recorded a team-high 18 points, while Moultrie (12) and Gadsden (11) also reached double digits. The Griffins bounced back with a 66-62 win over Siena, the top ranked team in the MAAC. This was Siena’s first loss to a conference opponent this season, as the team was riding on a seven-game win streak entering the game.
Sophomore Tre Dinkins led the team with 18 points, marking a new career-high. Dinkins is now one of seven different players to lead the Griffs in scoring for a game this season. Graduate student George Maslennikov also set a new career-high with 14 points. The Griffs have now won 6 straight home games versus Siena, their longest active home win streak over any MAAC opponent.
Canisius was unable to build off of the momentum of beating the top ranked team in the conference, losing their next two games against Fairfield and Quinnipiac, both top 5 teams in the MAAC. The 67-58 deficit to Fairfield saw Canisius shoot 41.1% from the field and only 17.6% from three point range. At one point, the Griffs led the game 27-20, but the Stags took a 32-31 lead at the half, and never looked back. Despite a late surge by Canisius that saw them score 51 points in the second half, they ultimately fell short to Quinnipiac 87-82. Gadsden set a new career-high with 22 points, leading the team. Dinkins recorded 19, while graduate student Jordan Henderson and senior Jacco Fritz both registered 12 points. With his appearance against the Bobcats, Henderson became just the 14th player in program history to play in 119 or more career games.
The Griffins host Manhattan on Sunday January 29th at 1:00 PM for their final game of the month, as they look to reach .500 in 2023.