By Colin Richey, Assistant Sports Editor
Canisius men’s basketball lost both away games over the weekend, falling to Iona 70–58 on Friday and Saint Peter’s 70–59 on Sunday.
The Griffs were in a tight battle during the first half of Friday’s contest in New Rochelle, as a 9–4 run from Canisius gave them a 20–16 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Iona answered with their own run, a commanding 12–2 momentum shift. A three-pointer from junior Tre Dinkins brought Canisius back within three, but the Gaels were on the finishing end of eight of the half’s final 10 points.
Just 1:20 into the second half, two quick baskets by the Griffs put them within five points, forcing Iona to use a timeout. The timeout proved fruitful, fueling an 8–2 run from Iona to extend their lead out of reach for Canisius. Junior Frank Mitchell recorded his MAAC-leading eighth double-double of the season, scoring a team-high 13 points to pair with his game-high 17 rebounds. The 17 boards moved his average in conference contests to 11.0 per MAAC game.
Canisius then traveled to Jersey City, where they fell to Saint Peter’s despite leading at halftime. Midway through the opening half, the Peacocks used a 12–2 run to take a 24–12 lead. A strong comeback from the Griffs saw the game tied 31–31 with 3:48 remaining in the half. By halftime, Canisius was leading 37–36. A 15–5 run from Saint Peter’s out of halftime helped the Peacocks pull away. The lead proved too much for the Griffs to overcome, only coming as close as six points away from the lead.
Sophomore Devean Williamson posted a career-high 15 points, while seeing a career-high 29:59 of playing time on the court. Junior Tre Dinkins added 12 points, while Mitchell generated eight points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
Following the two losses, Mitchell is still confident that the team can turn things around. “I think we’re a very dangerous transition team, and we just have to go back to running the ball, locking in and listening to what our coach has to say.” He added that the team is “understanding the effort it takes to be great” and needs to “harness that energy to really go on a run.” The Griffs will need that run, as they currently sit in 10th place in the MAAC standings.
Throughout the month of January, Canisius went 1–5, including a win versus Siena and an overtime loss at Rider. The win against Siena ended a four game losing streak that stretched back to early December.
The Griffs host Manhattan on Friday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center.