By Paul Casey Gotham
BUFFALO – What goes around comes around. Unfortunately, Tom Parrotta and Canisius Golden Griffins men’s basketball team know the emotions experienced from both sides of that old saying.
Senior, Byron Mulkey had a career-best game as the UB Bulls dismantled the Canisius Golden Griffins 81-64 in a cross-town rivalry game at the Koessler Athletic Center Tuesday night.
Mulkey was a perfect six for six from the field including one 3 and two of two from the free throw line as the Bulls shot 64 percent and grabbed a 42-29 advantage at the half.
“He has a great stat line,” said 12th-year UB head coach Reggie Witherspoon considering his point guard’s output for the game. “The one that might be as big as all of them is controlling the tempo of the game. He controlled their press pretty well. He slowed the thing right down to the pace he wanted it to be at.”
“He was a great quarterback out there,” Parrotta commented on Mulkey. “He made shots, he got people the ball where they needed to get it. He was great tonight.”
Down 13 at half, the Golden Griffins came out and scored the first six of the second half.
Julius Coles hit a pull up jumper from the left side. The senior from Harlem, New York followed with an upfake and drive for a lay up. Tomas Vazquez-Simmons made it 42-35 with a rebound and putback. Coles picked Mulkey’s pocket on the next possession, but the Griffins could not convert, and seven was as close they would get.
UB only grabbed one offensive rebound in the first half – the result of missing just nine shots in the stanza. After the break, UB reigned in 10 boards on the offensive end.
“They beat us up on the glass,” commented Parrotta. “Win the battle of the boards, and we win the game.”
Three Griffs, Elton Frazier, Greg Logins and Vazquez-Simmons each pulled down five rebounds, but the Bulls won the battle of the boards 36-25.
Canisius took a hit in the paint when Frazier was whistled for his second foul less than three minutes into the contest. The senior played just 19 minutes for the game.
“That really hurt us,” Parrotta commented about his senior’s early foul troubles. “He does clean up a lot of things. If there’s balls bouncing , he’s the first off his feet and he’ll go up and get it.”
“They outplayed us,” Parrotta continued. “There’s no way around it. Half of me wants to burn the tape,” Parrotta said about the game film. “Half of me wants to say, you know what we got to learn from it.”
Canisius made just 11 shots in the first half.
“They did a good job of keeping us on the perimeter,” Parrotta noted. “We were settling for jump shots and hoping they would go in.”
The win was UB’s largest margin of victory in the series since a 40-23 victory in 1915. Canisius beat UB 73-71 a year ago. Saturday, the Griffs knocked off Eastern Michigan 71-51 to avenge last year’s defeat to the Eagles.
With the loss, the Griffs fall to 2-2. Canisius heads out on the road after the Thanksgiving holiday. The Griffs travel to Binghamton Tuesday before opening Metro-Atlantice Athletic Conference play at Iona on Friday the third.