Hot-Shooting Marist knocks off Canisius

Courtesy of GoGriffs.com

Marist senior Chavaughn Lewis scored a career-high 35 points and the visiting Red Foxes shot 54.3 percent from the field en route to a 75-67 victory over Canisius Sunday afternoon in the Koessler Athletic Center. The win, Marist’s third-straight, ended the program’s six-game road losing streak to the Golden Griffins and improved the team to 4-18 overall and 3-9 in MAAC play. The Griffs slipped to 12-9 overall and 7-5 in conference play, as the Blue and Gold saw their three-game home win streak come to an end.

For Canisius, sophomore Zach Lewis scored a team-high 19 points to go with a career-high eight rebounds and three assists. Redshirt-freshman Jermaine Crumpton was good for a career-high 18 points after he went 6-for-10 from the floor and 5-for-9 from the free-throw line, and senior Josiah Heath registered nine points and a game-high 17 boards in the losing effort. As a team, Canisius shot 30.7 percent from the field, 26.9 percent from 3-point land and 70 percent from the free-throw line.

Lewis, Marist’s top scorer, entered the game ranked fourth in the MAAC in scoring average at 19.9 points per game. He was efficient from the field, going 14-for-16 for the day while going just 6-for-12 from the charity stripe. He also added six rebounds and three assists to his final stat line. Sophomore Khallid Hart added 13 points and four rebounds to Marist’s effort on Sunday, as Marist picked up a sweep of the two Western New York MAAC teams for the first time since the school joined the conference prior to the start of the 1997-98 academic year.

“I give Marist a lot of credit, that’s a very talented team,” Canisius head coach Jim Baron said. “They’re getting healthy and they’ve got some of the pieces back that they didn’t have when we played them at their place in January. [Chavaughn] Lewis is one of the best wing players in the league. We couldn’t guard him today. We dug ourselves a hole and we just couldn’t get back. We got within six midway through the second half and they turned us over and just kept us at an arm’s length. We did a great job on the boards, but we need to capitalize on that and make shots.”

Marist shot 58.6 percent from the floor and 46.2 percent from behind the 3-point line in the game’s first 20 minutes to take a 41-35 lead at the break. In the second half, Canisius trailed by six points at 48-42, but a Canisius turnover and two made free-throws by Hart started a 5-0 run for Marist that drove the Red Foxes’ lead to 11 at 53-42 with 12:50 left to play. Canisius trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half, but the Blue and Gold battled back to get within five at 67-62 with 1:25 left to play on a 3-point field goal from Crumpton. But that would be as close as the Griffs could get down the stretch, as Marist went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line in the game’s final 1:10 to seal the victory.

Canisius ended the game with a 53-29 advantage on the glass, highlighted by a 28-2 margin on the offensive boards, but Marist outscored Canisius 36-26 in the paint and the Red Foxes turned 11 Griff turnovers into 17 points.

The Griffs will return to the road for their next two games, starting Friday, Feb. 6, when the team plays at Manhattan. That game in Riverdale, N.Y., will be broadcast live on ESPN3, with tipoff set for 7 p.m.

Game Notes: This was the 41st all-time meeting between these two schools, with Canisius holding a 24-17 lead in the series… Marist’s win in the Koessler Athletic Center on Sunday was the program’s first since Dec. 5, 2007… The Griffs’ 53 rebounds are the most for the team in a game since Feb. 15, 2012 when the Blue and Gold pulled down 56 rebounds at Niagara… Canisius’ 75 field goal attempts in Sunday’s loss are the most for the team since Feb. 20, 2014 when the Griffs also had 75 attempts in a home loss to Quinnipiac… The Griffs are now 9-4 this season when scoring between 60-69 points… Heath’s 17 rebounds are one shy of his career-high, set Dec. 16, 2011, at UMKC… Eight of the 10 players that saw time for Canisius had an assist in the game… Crumpton made his first career start in place of sophomore Phil Valenti, who is out indefinitely with a right ankle joint injury, suffered Friday in the win over Quinnipiac

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