Griffs’ MAAC struggles continue in losses to Monmouth, Marist
By: Adam Gorski
It’s been tough sledding in the early half of Canisius women’s basketball’s MAAC schedule, and that trend continued this past week.
Multiple poor second-half stanzas resulted in the Griffs falling twice on the road, first on Saturday to Monmouth 60–48 and then on Monday to Marist 57–44.
After trailing 20–15 midway through the second quarter against the Hawks, Canisius got their offense going, thanks to an 11–2 run which was sparked by back-to-back Dani Haskell 3-pointers. An Ariana Vanderhoop buzzer-beating trey dented the Griffs’ lead, but they still clung to a 26–25 advantage, holding Monmouth to 34.9% shooting from the field in the first half.
However, the third quarter flipped the game on its head.
The Hawks started the frame on a 10–1 run and ended up winning it 21–8, giving them a large enough cushion to cruise to the final buzzer, as Canisius would not come any closer than seven points late in the fourth quarter.
A 2-for-14 shooting split in the third quarter was what did the Griffs in, and head coach Sahar Nusseibeh was well aware of it.
“We need to figure out how to put a more competitive third quarter,” Griffs head coach Sahar Nusseibeh told GoGriffs.com. “I thought we had more fight and discipline offensively overall today compared to Saint Peter's. We can't allow a minor momentum shift to turn into a major one.”
Haskell led the Griffs with 13 points, while freshman Athina Lexa put up 10. It was the Greek’s second straight game of double-digit points in her second straight start, as she put up 14 in the loss against St. Peter’s on Jan. 20.
Monmouth’s Stella Clark led all scorers with 14 points.
A dreadful start to game against Marist had the Griffs reeling early, as the Red Foxes jumped out to a 16–5 lead after the first quarter with Canisius’s lone two baskets coming off a Haskell 3-pointer and Lexa jumper, as they shot just 16.7% from the floor.
The Griffs did not pack it in, though, and they utilized a much stronger second quarter to get back into the game, going on a 15–6 run over the first five minutes of the frame that was capped by a Shaunae Brown 3-pointer. The run helped cut their deficit to just three (27–24) at halftime.
After trailing by just five after the third, another poor quarter reared its ugly head, this time in the form of losing the final stanza 14–6 and shooting 2-for-13 from the field. On the game, the Griffs shot just 32%.
While there was certainly some quality play, the Griffs again failed to put together a cohesive 40 minutes.
"We fought back after a poor start to the game, which showed some growth,” Nusseibeh told GoGriffs.com “We had a much better third quarter than we have had as of late, which shows growth. We still have a lot more room to grow. Lapses defensively and offensive execution need to improve. We will get back to Main Street and get back to work.”
Brown led the Griffs with 12 points coming off of four 3-pointers, and Haskell added 10 points and six rebounds. Trinasia Kennedy led Marist with 15 points.
Next up, Canisius faces off against Siena, who currently sits second in the MAAC standings, on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tipoff at the Koessler Athletic Center. They then travel to Iona on Thursday for a matchup with the Gaels, slated for a 7 p.m. tip.