Griffs hand out post-season awards

Photo by H. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Photo by H. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

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BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Canisius College men’s basketball team announced its postseason awards at the program’s annual end of the year luncheon April 13, at the new Science Hall Building on Canisius’ campus. The Golden Griffins finished the 2012-13 season with a 20-14 overall record and an 11-7 mark in MAAC play. The 20-wins are the most for the team since 2000-01 and it marked the program’s seventh 20-win campaign in school history. The Griffs ended their season by earning a berth into the Postseason Tournament, the team’s first postseason bid in 17 years.

Junior guard Billy Baron was named the 2012-13 Canisius Men’s Basketball Most Valuable Player. Baron led the team with his 17.2 points per game, which ranked third in the MAAC, and his 5.0 assists led the conference and ranked 62nd nationally. An All-MAAC First-Team honoree, he ranked among the top-10 in seven different statistical categories in the MAAC and his 584 total points during the season are the most for a Canisius player in the last 28 years. Baron scored his career-high 33 points in the team’s win at Niagara Feb. 10 and he is the first player since Canisius Hall of Famer Ray Hall in 1984-85 to score 30 or more points three times in the same season. Baron was named a finalist for the 2012-13 Lou Henson Award and he was recently named the Mid-Major Most Valuable Player as well.

Senior Harold Washington was named the Griffs’ Defensive Most Valuable Player after he finished second on the 2012-13 roster with 31 steals. Just the eighth player in program history to earn All-MAAC honors in multiple seasons, Washington often covered the opposing team’s top offensive threat, and 75 percent of his rebounds came off the defensive glass. A Third-Team All-MAAC honoree, the Brandywine, Md., native averaged 13.8 points per game on offense, which ranked second on the team.

Junior forward Chris Manhertz was named the team’s Most Improved Player for the 2012-13 season. Manhertz improved his scoring average by nearly a full point per game over his sophomore campaign and he averaged 1.5 more rebounds per game in 2012-13. He ended the year ranked first on the team, third in the MAAC and 55th in the country with his 8.7 rebounds per game and he had twice as many blocked shots (32 total) in 2012-13 than he did in 30 games during the 2011-12 season.

Junior forward Jordan Heath was presented with the Charles Eppolito Award by the team’s coaching staff. The Eppolito Award is given to the team’s unsung hero. Heath averaged 9.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his first season as a Griff and he ended the year ranked third in the MAAC in field goal percentage (53.2 percent) and blocked shots per game (1.7). His 23 assists on the year were the most for a member of the team’s frontcourt rotation and he ended his first year as a Griff by shooting 37.3 percent from 3-point land.

The Father Demske Academic Award was given to senior guard Isaac Sosa. Sosa holds a 3.48 grade point average as a finance major at the College and he will graduate with his undergraduate degree in May. He was named to the I-AAA Athletic Director’s Scholar-Athlete Team last week, and he was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team as well. A three-time Conference USA All-Academic Team selection during his career at Central Florida, Sosa was named to the 2012-13 MAAC All-Academic Team for his work in the classroom. On the court, Sosa ranked third on the team with his 11.6 points per game, and his 95 makes from 3-point land set a new school record for 3-point field goals in a single season. He ended the year ranked second in the MAAC and 28th nationally with his 2.8 3-pointers per game and he shot 40.9 percent from 3-point range for the season which ranked 32nd in the country.

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