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  • Colin Richey

Men's basketball falls to Quinnipiac in MAAC Championship

By Colin Richey, Assistant Sports Editor

& Colton Pankiewicz, Sports Editor

A 24-1 Quinnipiac run that bridged across the two halves put an end to Canisius’ season with a 76-52 final in favor of the Bobcats.

The Griffs took the lead seven minutes into the contest and found themselves just one point behind with two minutes remaining in the opening frame. Trailing 28–27, Quinnipiac would score 19 unanswered points, and 24 of the next 25. The Griffs answered with eight unanswered but were immediately matched with an eight-point run from the Bobcats. In the end, Quinnipiac’s well-rested, high-powered offense was no match for a depleted Canisius squad. 

In the loss, Junior Tre Dinkins led the team with 17 points, shooting 35% from the floor and 25% from three-point range. Sophomore Devean Williams added 13 points, while junior Frank Mitchell recorded seven rebounds. Off the bench, sophomore Youri Fritz generated seven points and five rebounds. 

As a team, Canisius shot 35.5% from the floor, and 23.1% from three-point range, including making just one three-pointer in the second half. The team was two for six on free throws, all of which came in the second half.

Quinnipiac junior Paul Otieno dominated Canisius all night. Otieno led all players with 19 and 12 rebounds. Senior Matt Balanc added 17 points and three rebounds. The Bobcats shot 49.2% from the floor and 42.9% from three-point range while making eight of 10 free throws.

“They were making shots, they were making plays down the stretch. Obviously, it wasn’t the way we wanted [it] to go–but I'm proud of the effort that we put in,” said Dinkins. 

Canisius came into the game with just six scholarship players dressed, and seven total players dressed. The Griffs lost more minutes to injuries during the season than any other team in the MAAC. Quinnipiac, who plays with the fastest pace in the MAAC, used 12 different players in the effort. Playing on back-to-back nights, Canisius simply ran out of gas against the team that had five days of rest. 

Uncertainties surround the program with head coach Reggie Witherspoon’s contract expiring and reports that he will not return looming. Canisius’ athletic department denied The Griffin’s question regarding Witherspoon’s plans during the postgame press conference.

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