BUFFALO, N.Y. – Canisius junior guards Gaby Belardo and Alshwan Hymes scored 18 points apiece, and freshman forward Kevin Bleeker added 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench as the host Golden Griffins defeated Marist 67-57 Friday night in the Koessler Athletic Center. The win snapped Canisius’ three-game losing streak and moved the team to 4-12 overall and 1-5 in MAAC play, while the Red Foxes slipped to 7-10 overall and 2-5 in league action.
Belardo and Hymes combined to shoot 14-for-27 from the field and 8-for-18 from 3-point land in the win, the team’s first victory in the 2012 calendar year. Belardo added four rebounds and four assists to his final stat line in the win, while Hymes chipped in four boards as well for the Blue and Gold. Junior guard Harold Washington was good for eight points, a career-high eight assists and four rebounds, while sophomore Chris Manhertz contributed six points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Sophomore Reggie Groves was credited with five points, two assists and matched a career-high with four steals in the win as the Blue and Gold ended the night shooting 40.9 percent from the floor and 37.9 percent from 3-point land.
For Marist, three players scored 11 points in the loss, which was the team’s third straight. Anell Alexis, Chavaugh Lewis and Isaiah Morton all scored 11 points for the Red Foxes, who shot 37.3 percent from the floor and 26.3 percent from 3-point land. Canisius was able to turn 14 Marist turnovers into 20 points in the win and closed out the night holding a 42-32 advantage on the glass.
“We came into this game tonight with the thought that if we took care of the things we worked on all week in practice, we’d have a really good chance to win,” Canisius head coach Tom Parrotta said. “I thought we really defended them, especially at the 3-point line where they are pretty good, we moved the ball well and we had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. I think our guys did a fantastic job all the way around.”
Canisius trailed by six points early at 11-5, but the Griffs took the game over with a 19-2 run over a span of 3:33 that gave the Griffs a 24-13 lead with 8:24 left before break. During that scoring run, Hymes counted for 10 points for the Griffs, and the scoring outburst was capped after Bleeker nocked down a triple from the left wing. After Marist knocked Canisius’ cushion under double-digits, Belardo hit three 3-pointers, with two coming just 18 seconds apart to make the score 33-19 with 3:40 left before the halftime break.
Canisius led by as many as 21 points midway through the second half and never looked back. Marist trimmed the Blue and Gold’s hold to eight points at 65-57 with 30 seconds left in the contest, bu Washington drained a pair of free-throws to secure the 10-point victory.
The Griffs will continue their three-game MAAC homestand Sunday when the team plays host to Saint Peter’s in the Koessler Athletic Center. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.
Game Notes: This was the 34th all-time meeting between Canisius and Marist, with the Griffs holding a 20-14 lead in the series… Canisius has now won six of the last seven games between these two schools in the Koessler Athletic Center… The Blue and Gold’s 17 assists are a season high… Canisius went to the free-throw line just two times, and that trip to the stripe came with 12.5 seconds left in regulation time… The two attempted free-throws are the fewest for the program since the team had two tries at the charity stripe at Washington State Nov. 25, 2008… Washington was held under 10 points for the first time this season… His eight assists are the most for a Canisius player since Robert Goldsberry had nine assists against Rider Jan. 9, 2011, at home… Manhertz is now averaging 12.3 rebounds per game in league play.