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Long scoreless stretch dooms Griffs in loss to Buffalo

By: Adam Gorski

It was all going well for the Canisius women’s basketball team in their season opener against Buffalo – until it wasn’t.

A 26-0 Bulls run spanning nearly eight minutes over the first and second quarters sunk the Griffs in a 102-42 defeat at Alumni Arena on Tuesday night.

Canisius (0-1) got out to a solid start, keeping it close with a talented Buffalo (1-0) team that is considered to be one of the favorites to win the Mid-American Conference this season. Through 6:30 of play, the Griffs trailed just 16-13 after Erika Joseph drained a 3-pointer, but then the game-defining Bulls run turned the game on its head.

“Buffalo is one of the best teams among the mid-major conferences in women’s basketball,” Canisius head coach Sahar Nusseibeh told “Tonight, unfortunately, I don’t think we could battle with their size, speed or depth … I thought there were moments where our young women strung some really good minutes, where they competed and they fought.”

After a second quarter where Canisius shot just 2-for-14 from the field, as they trailed 51-17 at halftime, a much-improved third stanza allowed for the Griffs to get back into rhythm and compete with the Bulls, as they ended the frame a much improved 8-for-17 and were outscored just 24-19. However, a dismal Canisius fourth quarter allowed Buffalo to extend their advantage before the final whistle.

Seven Bulls finished in double figures, as junior Dyaisha Fair put up a game-high 16 points. Redshirt fifth-year senior Summer Hemphill contributed a double-double, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Canisius was led by the duo of Joseph and sophomore Dani Haskell as the two both finished with 13 points, with Haskell tacking on seven rebounds and two assists to her final stat line.

Nusseibeh spoke highly of Joseph to, somebody she looks to as a leader on a very young team. The senior put in a shift, playing a team-high 37 minutes and knocking down three triples.

“[Joseph] has been one of the most consistent leaders we’ve had so far,” she said. “She was tremendous today. She has stayed composed through a lot already. It's no surprise that she performed as soundly as she did tonight.”

One of the question marks surrounding this season opening matchup was how Nusseibeh, in her first game as a head coach, would utilize her seven freshmen. In the end, four saw the floor, with Lydia Gattozzi seeing 28 minutes and ending with five points. Rhay Porter and Cheyenne Stubbs both made their collegiate debuts and tallied their first collegiate points, while Xanthippi Karatasiou also debuted and clocked 18 scoreless minutes.

Next up for Canisius is a trip to Binghamton where they’ll face off with Bearcats on Nov. 13, with tipoff set for noon. After that, a matchup with St. Bonaventure at the Reilly Center awaits at 6 p.m. on Nov. 17.

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