By Paul Casey Gotham
VESTAL, N.Y. – Tom Parrotta and his Canisius Golden Griffins spent the past seven days contemplating their season. After a demoralizing loss to a cross-town rival, the Griffs knew what was needed.
Stingy defense. Check.
Patient offense. Check.
Relentless rebounding. Check.
Elton Frazier finished at the rim. Alshwan Hymes connected from long distance. Greg Logins did his work in between, and the Canisius Golden Griffins held off a late rally to defeat Binghamton University 55-45 at The Events Center.
Logins started a 10-0 first-half run with a 3 from the corner assisted by Robert Goldsberry. After a Binghamton turnover, Gaby Belardo dished to Frazier for the lay up. One minute later, Goldsberry again found Logins – this time for a deuce. Hymes capped the run with a three from the corner, and the Griffs held a 20-10 advantage.
Canisius outscored Binghamton 8-2 in the final five minutes of the half for a 28-12 advantage.
The Griffs held the Bearcats to 22 percent shooting from the field in the first stanza.
Hymes and Logins displayed the Blue and Gold’s defensive intensity when the duo combined to take a charge just five minutes into the game.
Frazier made all four of his field goals before the break.
Canisius extended its lead to 18 with 14 minutes remaining on the game clock.
Frazier hit a jumper in the lane. Julius Coles finished a lay up then found Hymes for another trifecta and Canisius led 36-18.
Despite hitting just 14 shots from the field Binghamton scratched their way back into the game. After failing to get to the free throw line in the first half, the Bearcats hit 14-18 in the second half drawing as close as seven, 50-43, with just over a minute remaining.
Goldsberry iced the game with a pair of free throws, and Frazier added one more for insurance.
“We’re still making the transition from scoring when running full court and having to grind it out in the half court,” associate head coach Rob Norris said. “We still need to be aggressive while grinding it out. Against Bonaventure we scored early in the shot clock. That doesn’t always happen. We missed a lot of chippies around the basket.”
Frazier led the Griffs with 13 points on 5-10 shooting. The senior from Syracuse, New York corralled seven rebounds. Hymes went 4-8 from behind the arc. Canisius shot 7-12 from long range. Logins added nine points and six rebounds. Tomas Vazquez-Simmons led all with nine boards. The Griffs out-rebounded Binghamton 37-28.
The win comes one week after a disheartening 81-64 loss to the University of Buffalo. Canisius opened the season with an 80-70 triumph over St. Bonaventure.
Binghamton’s Greer Wright led all scorers with 23 points.
The game was the first of four on the round for Canisius. The Golden Griffins open Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference play Friday night at New Rochelle against the Iona Gaels.
With the win Canisius improves to 3-2 on the season.