By: Colin Richey
The Griffins lost their opening conference game to Siena, with a close score of 74-70.
Down 31-27 at the half, Canisius eventually went down by 7 points, before starting a 19-9 run against the Saints. At one point late in the game, the Griffs were up 61-56 with just 5:38 remaining. However, three fouls by Canisius gave Siena six free throws, which the Saints turned into 5 points, completely eliminating any lead Canisius had.
The lead for Siena was eventually stretched to 68-61. The Griffins put up a fight, creating a 6-0 run of their own to make it a one point game with 1:44 remaining. Siena would be able to hold onto the tight lead, and come away with the victory.
Canisius finished with a .415 FG%, while Siena recorded a .442 FG%. The Saints were also more efficient from the 3-point line, shooting .529 FG% compared to the Griff’s .440 FG%.
Graduate student Jordan Henderson led the team with 18 points, and graduate student Jamir Moultrie was right behind him with 17 points in his first career start for Canisius. Junior Bryce Okpoh also made his first career start, registering 4 points and an assist in the loss. With Henderson’s 4 three-pointers in the contest, he moved into 8th place on the school’s career three-pointers made with 155.
For their next game, Canisius failed to keep up with MAAC opponent Iona, losing the contest 90-60. The Gaels recorded 43 points in the first half and 47 points in the second half, while the Griffins didn’t reach 35 points in either half. The closest the score ever was came with 9:42 left in the first half.
After a three-pointer from sophomore Tre Dinkins, Canisius was within three at a 19-16 score. However, that would be as close as the Griffins would get to Iona, who outscored Canisius 24-10 in the remaining minutes of the first half.
The Gaels nearly doubled the Griffin’s shooting percentage, finishing with .559 FG% compared to .333 FG%. Iona also shot .500 FG% from the three-point line, compared to Canisius’ .318 FG%.
Senior Jacco Fritz recorded his 7th career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. He leads all active Canisius players in the statistic. Redshirt-freshman Tahj Staeskie scored a team high 13 points, while Moultrie recorded 11.
After the game, head coach Reggie Witherspoon said “Iona played really hard and they were able to sustain their intensity for the duration of the game and it really affected our ability to execute. In a game like this, your team learns exactly how hard you have to play, and the intensity level you need to bring every time.”
Canisius visits Toledo on Saturday December 10th for their next matchup, which will be broadcasted on ESPN3 at 2:00 PM.