Canisius grinds out win over Texas State

Canisius sophomore Isaiah Reese (13) scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the game’s second half, and the Golden Griffins shot 68.2 percent from the field as a team after intermission. (Photo : Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports)

Courtesy of GoGriffs.com

STOCKTON, CALIF. – Canisius sophomore Isaiah Reese scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the game’s second half, and the Golden Griffins shot 68.2 percent from the field as a team after intermission, as the Blue and Gold scored a 68-62 win over Texas State Friday night in the Men Against Breast Cancer Showcase in Pacific’s Spanos Center in Stockton, Calif. The win moves Canisius to 2-3 on the season, while the Bobcats fell to 2-3 with the loss.

Reese added seven rebounds, five assists and four steals to his final stat line in the win for the Griffs, the program’s first victory in the state of California in three tries. Senior Jermaine Crumpton added 14 points, five boards and three assists to the winning effort, while fellow senior Selvedin Planincic came off the bench to record a season-high 10 points along with five rebounds and a blocked shot. Canisius shot 50 percent (25-for-50) from the floor in the win, with 15 of those makes coming in the game’s second half.

Texas State’s Nijal Pearson led all scorers with 17 points in the loss. He also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Marlin Davis was good for nine points and four assists in the loss for the Bobcats, who shot 40 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from 3-point land and 69.6 percent from the free-throw line. Texas State ended the night with 18 turnovers, which the Griffs were able to turn into 26 points.

Canisius trailed by five at 44-39 with 10:15 left to play, but a 21-6 run by the Griffs over the span of 5:03, powered by 11 points from Reese, put the Blue and Gold up 60-50 with 4:53 left to play. Texas State cut Canisius’ cushion to four at 64-60 with 56 seconds left on the clock, but the Griffs were able to seal the victory thanks to four-straight points from freshman Takal Molson in the game’s final 30 seconds.

Eight of the nine Canisius players who saw time on the floor Friday night scored at least two points, and six players had at least two rebounds. Canisius ended the night with a 34-26 advantage on points scored in the paint, while the Bobcats ended up leading the battle of the glass, outrebounding the Griffs 34-26.

Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Postgame Comments
“We’ve challenged our guys, and we’ve asked them if we can win a game where we need to grind it out. Tonight was a grind-it-out game for sure. I was concerned at halftime because we had taken 28 shots, and 15 of those were from three. In the second half, we focused on running offense and getting the ball to the basket. That ended up being the difference for us.”

Game Notes
• This was the first meeting between Canisius and Texas State. Canisius has now played 257 different opponents (NCAA Divisions I, II and III) in the school’s 114-year history.
• The Griffs are now 4-2 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference.
Friday’s game was Canisius’ first in the state of California since Dec. 23, 1989 when the Griffs played Princeton in the consolation game of the Met Life Classic in Sa Francisco.
• Reese has scored in double-figures in all five games this season and in six of the team’s last eight games, dating back to last season.
• Crumpton has dished out three assists in each of the team’s last two games, which matches a career-high.
• Planincic played a career-high 27 minutes, and his 10 points marks the second time in his career where he’s scored in double-figures.

Up Next
Canisius will continue its three-games in three days stretch in Stockton, Calif., on Saturday night when the Blue and Gold plays Arkansas Pine Bluff as part of the Men Against Breast Cancer Showcase. Tipoff is set for 11:30 p.m., Eastern. There will be no video for the game, but fans can listen to the action live as Ben Wagner has the call on WECK Radio 1230-AM/102.9-FM, GoGriffs.com and through the TuneIn app

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