Canisius earns road win at Robert Morris

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Four Canisius players scored in double-figures, led by sophomore Isaiah Reese and his team-high 18 points, and the Golden Griffins shot 55.4 percent from the field as a team en route to a 76-62 win over Robert Morris in the Palumbo Center on the campus of Duquesne University Friday night. The win, Canisius’ first road victory of the season, moves to the Blue and Gold to 6-7 overall, while the Colonials fell to 6-7 with the loss.


Reese scored 12 of his team-high 18 points in the second half, and he also collected seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in the winning effort. Fellow sophomore Malik Johnson added 13 points on the power of a career-high three makes from 3-point land, and senior Selvedin Planincic chipped in 11 points, five boards and a career-high five blocked shots. Senior Jermaine Crumpton added 10 points in the second half for Canisius, which ended the night with nine of 10 players who saw the court scoring at least two points.


For Robert Morris, sophomore Koby Thomas had a game-high 20 points to go with eight rebounds. The Colonials shot just 36 percent from the floor for the game, including a 4-for-20 effort from 3-point land.


Canisius broke the game open with a 13-4 run in the closing 5:16 of the first half to take a 37-28 lead into the locker room at intermission. In that run, Planincic had four points, freshman Takal Molson scored three points and fellow rookie D.J. Heath had a basket to fuel the scoring spurt for the Griffs. Canisius shot 57.1 percent from the field in the game’s opening stanza, while holding the Colonials to 37.5 percent from the floor, and 0-for-9 from 3-point land.


In the second half, Robert Morris got within seven at 60-53 with 6:09 to play, but the Griffs put the game away with a 14-2 run over the next 3:52, highlighted by a pair of 3-point field goals by Reese and junior Jonathan Sanks. Canisius ended the night with nine makes from long-range and the Blue and Gold out-rebounded the Colonials by a 37-32 clip.


Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Postgame Comments
“It was nice to get a quality minutes and balanced play from a number of guys tonight. We needed that because we had some guys get in foul trouble, but also because guys are working hard at both ends of the floor and that’s earning them more minutes. Robert Morris is a really athletic team and they’re well-coached. I thought our defensive effort on the perimeter and off the ball really threw them off their rhythm and allowed us to get out in transition.”


Game Notes
Friday marked the eighth all-time meeting between the two schools in a series that Robert Morris leads 6-2.
• The Griffs’ victory on Friday ended the Colonials’ six-game winning streak in the series, which dated back to 1988.
• Canisius shot better than 50 percent for both halves. The Griffs have been 50 percent or better from the field in 10 different halves this year.

  • Reese has now scored in double-figures 10 times this season and 17 times in his career. His three steals extended his streak of games with multiple steals to five.
    • Crumpton’s 10 points gives him double-figures in the scoring column in nine-straight contests. It also gives the Niagara Falls, N.Y., native 1,217 career points, which ranks 20th all-time in program history.
    • Planincic matched a career-high with the 11 points, and he set a new career-high in minutes played with 30.
    • Sanks’ eight points is a season-high for the junior from Warner Robins, Ga.
    • Heath’s lay-up in the first half marked his first collegiate points.
    • Freshman Jalanni White recorded two blocked shots in the win for Canisius, and the Griffs matched a season-high with seven blocks as a team.


Up Next
The Griffs will have a week off before returning to the court Dec. 29 when the team opens MAAC play at home against Rider. Tipoff in the Koessler Athletic Center is set for 4:30 p.m., as the Griffs open league action in the second-half of a hoops doubleheader with the Canisius women’s team.

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