Griffs’ late surge not enough against Penguins
By: Adam Gorski
Canisius women’s basketball strung together a late rally in their final home non-conference game, but it came up just short.
A 23–12 run to close the final six minutes of the game was not enough, as the Griffs fell 69–66 to Youngstown State on Wednesday night.
"I'm proud of the fight our girls showed for 40 minutes,” Canisius head coach Sahar Nusseibeh told GoGriffs.com. “It was incredible to watch the fight, especially in the second half, from our competitors, our warriors. They were incredible in terms of their heart and fight. The focus of our players, it has nothing to do with the scoreboard. It's about winning the possession they are in and completing the possession they are in and they did just that.”
The Penguins (8–0) led for the vast majority of the first half, failing to truly pull away until halftime approached, as the visitors ended the final five minutes of the second quarter on a 10–2 run to take a 33–25 lead into the break.
Coming out of the half, the Griffs (2–6) would respond with a 14–2 run that gave them their first lead since 5–3 in the early minutes. A three-point Dani Haskell play with 6:03 to play in the third quarter capped off the stretch, giving Canisius a 39–37 advantage.
The Penguins took back control swiftly, however, as they answered back with a 20–4 run of their own over the next 12 minutes or so to give them a strong enough lead that would see through to the final whistle.
Redshirt senior guard Chelsea Olson led all scorers with 28 points for the Penguins, finishing an efficient 12-for-16 from the field.
For Nusseibeh, competing with the Penguins — who remained unbeaten with their win on Wednesday — was indicative of her team’s compete level. Despite trailing by 14 points with six minutes to play, they did not pack it in.
“They turned off the scoreboard and just went at it offensively, defensively and we were met with a lot of success,” Nusseibeh told GoGriffs.com. “I think we rattled Youngstown State: Youngstown State is an incredibly talented team. Unfortunately, to be outrebounded the way we were, I think we gave them a ton of offensive rebounds and second chance opportunities. We just got to do a better job capitalizing at the free-throw line. They struggled to defend us on the drive and we just got to knock [free throws] down."
Leading the way for Canisius were familiar faces in sophomore Dani Haskell (14 points) and senior Erika Joseph (16 points), as the duo combined to shoot 71.4% from the field.
Next up for the Griffs is their final non-conference game, an away tilt with Albany on Dec. 15 with tip-off set for 7 p.m.