By Paul Casey Gotham
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Senior, Elton Frazier turned in a career performance, but found himself outdone by another.
In a game featuring a dramatic change of pace from Tuesday night’s victory at Binghamton, Tom Parrotta’s Canisius Golden Griffins dug an 18-point second half trench before coming within a missed 3 of a single-possession game as the Iona Gaels topped the Canisius 94-85 in a Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference opener at the Hynes Center in New Rochelle.
Iona’s Mike Glover dropped 39 points on 15-23 shooting along with 9 of 11 free throws and 14 rebounds as the Gaels opened MAAC play with a win.
“What’s there to say. He asserted himself early and often,” Parrotta commented on Glover. “We really didn’t have an answer for him.”
Glover scored 18 in the first half as Iona rebounded from an early seven-point deficit.
Frazier scored six points as the Griffs jumped to a 14-7 lead in the game’s first four minutes. Gaby Belardo put bookends on the early surge. The redshirt sophomore knocked down a jumper on the game’s first possession and gave Canisius the 14-7 edge after Julius Coles grabbed an offensive rebound to keep alive the possession which Belardo finished with another jumper. Coles also hit a free throw and a 3 during the game’s first minutes.
From there, Glover and the Gaels outscored Canisius 38-20 including a 13-2 run in the final three minutes of the stanza. With Glover creating match-up problems in the paint, the Gaels took advantage and hit four 3s during the first half. Iona went 7-18 from behind the arc for the contest.
“That created separation,” noted Parrotta about the shots from long range. “I thought that was the difference in the game.”
Iona stretched its lead to 18 with 10:47 remaining before the Griffs chipped into the lead.
Eric Kindler got the ball to Frazier for a layup to start the rally. After an Iona bucket, the Griffs rattled off nine straight. Alshwan Hymes found Robert Goldsberry for a trifecta. Frazier had an offensive rebound and a putback. One possession later, the senior finished a pair of free throws before getting another rebound and bucket, and the Griffs trailed 77-68.
Frazier knocked down a jumper in the lane, Coles hit a 3, and Hymes led freshman, Chris Manhertz for a dunk and the Griffs made it an 83-77 game with with just under three minutes remaining. On the ensuing possession, Goldsberry doubled-down and stole the ball from Glover. The Griffs got an open look but rattled out a 3, and the Gaels took over from there.
Frazier corralled nine rebounds and finished with a career-high 26 points.
“It’s a career game because of points, but it’s not a career effort,” said Parrotta of his senior forward. “He does that every day in practice.”
Coles finished with a double-double, 16 points and ten rebounds. The senior went 2-4 from long range and dished two assists and had one steal.
Manhertz added six points including his first collegiate bucket. The freshman from the Bronx made the most of his 14 minutes also getting seven rebounds.
Three other Gaels scored in double figures. Jermel Jenkins connected four times from behind the arc and had 16 points. Scott Machado added 18 for the Gaels.
Canisius hit nearly twice as many field goals as in the win over Binghamton, but came up short against the up-tempo Gaels. The Griffs went 20-50 in the 55-45 win Tuesday. Against Iona, the Blue and Gold hit 35-69. The Gales employ a 15-second shot clock in practice. They wasted little time in transition getting the ball and looking for the first open shot – Glover and Machado the primary beneficiaries of the tact finishing with numerous lay ups.
Canisius falls to 3-3, and Iona improves to 4-3. The Griffs travel to Poughkeepsie for a meeting with Marist on Sunday as Iona continues MAAC play hosting Niagara. Iona visits the Koessler Athletic Center on Sunday, January 23rd.