Courtesy of GoGriffs.com
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Seven different Canisius players scored at least five points, led by senior Jermaine Crumpton and his game-high 16 points, and the Golden Griffins’ defense held visiting Elon University to a season-low 37 percent effort from the field, as the Blue and Gold ended a three-game losing streak with a 67-51 win over the Phoenix Tuesday night in the Koessler Athletic Center. Canisius is now 5-7 on the season, while Elon falls to 7-5 with the loss.
The 51 points allowed by Canisius are the fewest for the team since Feb. 8, 2015 when the Griffs allowed just 44 points in a road loss at Monmouth, and it stands as the fewest points allowed to a non-league opponent in the Koessler Athletic Center since Dec. 30, 2014 when the Griffs gave up 55 points in a home win over UMKC. Crumpton was one of three Griffs to record double-figures in the win, and he ended the night with five rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot in 33 minutes of action. Sophomore Malik Johnson was good for 13 points, a career-high eight rebounds and four assists, while freshman Takal Molson chipped in 11 points to the winning effort. For the game, Canisius shot 42.9 percent from the field, 32.4 percent from 3-point land and 72.7 percent from the free-throw line, while ending the night with a 37-32 advantage on the glass.
Elon had just one player score in double-figures in the loss, as redshirt-senior Brian Dawkins scored 13 points for the Phoenix in the losing effort. Elon shot 37 percent from the field, made 30.8 percent of its attempts from 3-point land and shot just 37.5 percent (3-for-8) from the charity stripe. The Phoenix were charged with 14 turnovers in the loss, which the Griffs turned into 19 points.
Canisius broke the game open early with a 10-0 in the opening minutes of the first half and never looked back. The Griffs led 36-26 at the break and then scored 12 of the first 17 points in the second stanza to open a 17-point cushion at 48-31 with 14:57 left to play. Canisius’ lead ballooned to as many as 22 late in the game at 67-45 after sophomore Spencer Foley drilled a 3-pointer from the near wing with 2:24 left to play. Foley ended the contest with nine points thanks to three makes from long-range. Senior Selvedin Planincic, who made his first career start on Tuesday, added seven points, five rebounds and a career-high five assists for the Blue and Gold, which ended the contest with 17 assists on 24-made field goals.
Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Postgame Comments
“I thought we really did a good job tonight of keeping [Elon] from going on runs by making threes. We came in looking to make it difficult for them to make threes. We didn’t shoot it as well as we can from three again tonight, but it was nice to see that we’re able to win games in other ways. I thought for the most part tonight, we took care of the basketball and we played pretty good defense.”
• This was the third all-time meeting between the two schools, and Canisius leads the series 3-0.
• Tuesday’s game marked the second time Elon has played in the Koessler Athletic Center. Canisius has won those two contests by 16 points (also defeated Elon 69-53 on March 20, 2013).
• Canisius led the game for 38:09. The game was tied for just 1:51 early in the first half.
• Crumpton’s 16 points allowed him to move past the 1,200-point mark for his career. Tuesday was the 100th game in the Canisius uniform for the Niagara Falls, N.Y., native.
• All of Johnson’s career-high eight rebounds came off the defensive glass.
• Sophomore Isaiah Reese had a game-high three steals in the win. He has been credited with multiple steals in four-straight games.
• Junior Jonathan Sanks scored five points off the bench, the most for him in a Canisius uniform, while freshman D.J. Heath grabbed a career-best two rebounds in the win.
Canisius will close out the non-league portion of its 2017-18 schedule on Friday, Dec. 22, when the Golden Griffins travel to play Robert Morris. That game, which will be played at Duquesne’s Palumbo Center, is set to tipoff at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live online through NEC Front Row, with the radio call available on Buffalo’s WECK 1230-AM and 102.9-FM, GoGriffs.com and the TUNEIN app.