Late rally comes up short as Canisius falls to Albany

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ALBANY, N.Y – Canisius sophomore Isaiah Reese scored 19 points and senior Jermaine Crumpton added 16 points and nine rebounds, but it was not enough for the Golden Griffins, as the team fell to host Albany 68-65 Saturday night at SEFCU Arena in Albany, N.Y. The win moves the Great Danes to 11-2 on the season, while the Griffs, who have now dropped three straight, fell to 4-7 overall.

Canisius trailed 68-65 with 3.4 seconds left to play after Albany fouled the Griffs just over the midcourt stripe. With no timeouts, Canisius was able to get a decent look from 3-point land from the far corner, but Reese’s 3-point attempts banged off the side-iron of the hoop as the final horn sounded. The Griffs ended the game by shooting 45.9 percent from the field, but the team went just 6-for-22 (27.3 percent) from behind the 3-point line.

The Great Danes led by nine at 66-57 with 37 seconds left to play, but Canisius kept battling, and trimmed the Albany lead to just four at 66-62 thanks to a trey by Reese, followed by a steal and a lay-up from sophomore Malik Johnson with 25 seconds left on the clock. After Albany’s Joe Cremo made one-of-two free-throws, Canisius came down and scored another 3-ball, as Reese knocked one down from the top of the key with five seconds left off an assist by junior Jonathan Sanks. Canisius fouled Albany guard David Nichols on the ensuing in-bounds play, and he made just one of two charity tosses with 4.5 seconds left to give the home team the 68-65 margin.

Albany elected to foul the Griffs as the Blue and Gold raced across midcourt, setting up the last-second in-bounds play for Canisius. Johnson was able to find Reese in the far corner, but the Miami, Fla., native’s chance to tie hit the side of the bucket as the horn sounded, allowing Albany to remain undefeated at home this year.

Canisius led by as many as 10 midway through the first half, but the Great Danes battled back and trimmed the Griffs’ lead to 35-34 at the halftime break. Albany took the lead for good with 11:55 left to play on a traditional three-point play by forward Travis Charles. He finished the night with a game-high 24 points in the win for Albany, while Cremo added 16 points, five assists and four rebounds to the winning cause.

Reese added six assists, five rebounds and two steals to his final stats in the loss for Canisius, while Crumpton matched a season-high with his nine boards. Freshman Takal Molson had nine points for the Griffs and Johnson chipped in eight points and five assists for the Blue and Gold, which ended the night with 19 assists on 28 made field goals.

Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Postgame Comments
“We knew coming into tonight that we were in store for a good battle. This was certainly a hard-fought game. When you have a young team like we do, and you play a big, veteran team like [Albany], you have to be prepared to be locked in for 40 minutes. I thought in the first half, we showed some signs of mental fatigue late, and they took advantage. In the second half, we got in a stretch where we needed to convert and make some baskets. We had some good looks, we just couldn’t get any to fall, and that allowed them to get too far away from us.”

Game Notes

  • Saturday’s game was the fourth meeting between these two programs, and the series is now tied at 2-2. The home team has won all four games in this series.
    • The Griffs fell to 0-2 this season in games decided by five points or less.
    • Canisius was charged with a season-low 10 turnovers in the loss.
  • Reese hit three 3-point field goals Saturday night, the ninth time this season he’s hit multiple 3-point field goals in a game.
    • Crumpton has recorded double-figures in the scoring column 61 times in his career. Saturday marked the 99th career game in a Canisius uniform for the Niagara Falls, N.Y., native.
  • The game featured five ties and six lead changes.


Up Next
Canisius will close out the home portion of the 2017-18 non-conference slate on Tuesday, Dec. 19, when the Golden Griffins play host to Elon. Game time in the Koessler Athletic Center is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3, with the radio call available on Buffalo’s WECK 1230-AM and 102.9-FM, and the TUNEIN app.

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