Courtesy of GoGriffs.com
BRIDGEPORT, CONN. – Canisius junior Jermaine Crumpton recorded his first career double-double with a career-high 32 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Phil Valenti added 20 points, six rebounds and three assists as the Golden Griffins went on the road and defeated Fairfield 86-72 in Webster Bank Arena. The win moved Canisius to 11-6 overall and 4-2 in MAAC play, while the Stags fell to 8-6 overall and 3-2 in league games.
Crumpton’s 32 points came after he went 11-for-19 from the floor and 10-for-12 from the free-throw line. He had 17 of his points in the game’s second half, and he also grabbed eight of his 10 boards in the game’s final 20 minutes. Valenti went 8-for-10 from the field, 1-for-1 from 3-point land and 3-for-4 from the charity stripe in the win, with 11 of his 20 points coming in the first half, including the team’s first five points of the ball game. Junior Kassius Robertson scored 13 points, while freshman Isaiah Reese came off the bench to score eight points to go with four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Fairfield scored the game’s first eight points before Valenti got the Griffs on the board 1:54 into the contest. Valenti’s basket started an 11-1 run for the Blue and Gold over the game’s next 3:54 to give Canisius an 11-9 advantage with 15:12 left before halftime. After Fairfield knotted the game at 11-11, Canisius broke the game open with an 8-0 run over the next 2:10 to make the score 19-11 with 12:08 left before intermission.
Canisius stretched its lead to as many as 17 late in the first half, and the Griffs took a 46-31 lead into the locker room at halftime. In the second half, Canisius pushed its lead to as many as 22 points with 14:33 left to play before the Stags battled to get back in the game. Fairfield was able to whittle Canisius’ cushion to eight at 71-63 with 5:36 left on the clock, but Canisius answered with an 8-3 run over the next 1:50 to push its lead to 79-64 with 3:05 left to play.
Canisius shot 51.7 percent from the field in the win, and every Griff that saw time on the floor Tuesday night had at least one point. Junior Tyler Nelson, the MAAC’s leading scorer, led the Stags with 24 points, one of four Fairfield players to record double-figures in the loss.
Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Postgame Comments
“This was a really good bounce-back win for us tonight. Fairfield is a really good team that can score quickly and when they get hot, they’re tough to guard. I thought our guys were really locked in the last two days with what we were asking them to do, and it showed tonight. We were better tonight. We have a ways to go, but tonight we were better”
“I think we have look at ourselves and decide where we see ourselves [in the league]. It’s early, but we’re a quarter of the way through the schedule now. We have to decide what we’re will to go through to be successful. I think we showed tonight that when we’re locked in to playing like a team and we are focused, we can be a really good team .”
“I thought [Jermaine Crumpton] was dominated and the effort and energy Phil [Valenti] brought tonight was so important to us. Yesterday in practice, those guys were locked in. In all our video session, they were focused and locked in. I thought tonight Phil and Crump were really the difference for us.”
Inside the Box Score
• Canisius out rebounded Fairfield 32-29 and the Griffs out scored Fairfield 48-30 in the paint.
• Fairfield turned the ball over a season-high 22 times, and the Griffs turned those 22 miscues into 25 points.
• Canisius’ 15-point halftime lead was the team’s largest of the season.
• This was the 82nd all-time meeting between these two Jesuit schools, with Fairfield holding a 46-36 lead in the series.
• Canisius’ win snapped Fairfield’s two-game win streak in the series, and gives the Griffs six wins in the last 10 meetings between the two schools.
• The Griffs improved to 8-1 this season when scoring 80-plus points in a game.
• The win on Tuesday was the program’s seventh road victory of the season, which ties Canisius for the nation’s lead in road wins with fellow MAAC school Rider.
• Crumpton is the first Canisius player to score 30-or more points in a game twice in the same season since Billy Baron in 2013-14.
• Crumpton is just the ninth player in school history to score 32-or more points in a road game.
• Valenti’s 20 points gives him 1,098 for his career, which ranks 25th in school history.
• Robertson made two 3-point field goals in the win for Canisius, the 50th time in his career where he’s made multiple 3-pointers in a game.
Canisius will return home Saturday, Jan. 14 when the team hosts Marist. Tipoff in the Koessler Athletic Center is set for 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3, and the audio call will be on Timeless WECK 1230-AM and 102.9-FM in Buffalo and the Golden Griffin Broadcast Network.