Courtesy of GoGriffs.com
HAMDEN, CONN. – Canisius sophomore Isaiah Reese scored a team-high 20 points and dished out five assists and senior forward Jermaine Crumpton added 19 points after he drilled four 3-pointers, as the visiting Golden Griffins won their fifth-straight game, defeating Quinnipiac on the road by the score of 82-74 Friday night in the TD Bank Sports Center. The win moves Canisius to 9-7 overall and 3-0 in MAAC play, while the Bobcats fell to 5-10 overall and 2-1 in conference action. The 3-0 start in league play is just the third in program history, and the first for the Blue and Gold since 2013-14.
Nine of the 10 Canisius players that saw time in the game scored at least one point in the victory for the Griffs, who shot 48.1 percent from the field, 48.1 percent from 3-point land and 70.4 percent from the free-throw line for the game. As a team, Canisius matched a season-high with 13 makes from behind the 3-point line, and the Blue and Gold ended the night with 17 assists on 25 makes from the field.
Reese went 6-for-11 from the floor, 4-for-6 from long-range and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the win, the program’s fourth win in five trips to Quinnipiac’s TD Bank Sports Center. Crumpton was 7-for-10 from the field, and his four treys are a season high for the Niagara Falls, N.Y., native, while senior Selvedin Planincic added nine points, three boards and a block in 20 minutes of action. Freshman Scott Hitchon came off the bench to add a career-high eight points to the winning effort, while fellow freshman Takal Molson matched a career-best with 10 boards for the Griffs. Sophomore Malik Johnson, who made his 50th career start on Friday, added eight points, six boards, three assists and two steals to the winning cause.
Canisius led 48-34 at the halftime break after the Blue and Gold shot 54.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point land in the game’s first 20 minutes. The Bobcats came out of the locker room after halftime and trimmed Canisius’ hold to just five points at 51-46 thanks to a 12-3 run over the first 4:15 of the second stanza. Canisius was able to keep Quinnipiac at arm’s length for the next nine-plus minutes, but an odd sequence that saw the Griffs get called for an intentional foul on a made Quinnipiac 3-pointer cut Canisius’ lead to 65-63 with 5:36 left to play.
On that play, Quinnipiac’s Jacob Rigoni hit a 3-pointer from the near wing, and as the ball went through the hoop, Canisius’ Jonathan Sanks was called for a flagrant foul, which give the Bobcats two free-throws and the ball. Quinnipiac made both of those free-throws and on the ensuing possession, Quinnipiac’s Cameron Young was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer from the top of the key. He made two of those charity tosses to make it a two-point game at 65-63 in favor of Canisius, but Sanks answered for the Griffs, drilling a triple on Canisius’ next trip down the floor to stretch the Griffs’ hold back out to five points at 68-63. Quinnipiac was able to get within two points at 70-68 with 4:16 left to play, but a dunk from Hitchon, a free-throw by Planincic and a lay-up by Crumpton in the span of 1:24 pushed Canisius’ cushion back to 75-68 with 1:39 left on the game clock.
Young scored a game-high 23 points in the loss for Quinnipiac, with 16 of those points coming from the free-throw line. Chaise Daniels scored 11 points for the Bobcats, while Abdulai Bundu grabbed a career-high 16 boards in the loss, as Quinnipoiac out-rebounded Canisius 43-28 for the game.
Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Postgame Comments
“I thought we got good early, active minutes from guys off the bench tonight, especially from Scott Hitchon and Jonathan Sanks. We tell the guys that in league play, you don’t know when your number is going to be called, so you need to be ready. We got a lot of contributions from everyone tonight, which is critical to success when you’re on the road.”
“We keep stressing to them that we need to keep our poise when things get difficult. That means being mentally focused at both ends, and really locking in on what we’re trying to do. I think this was another step in the right direction there, but with a young team like we have, we need to continue to get better as we move through the conference schedule.”
• This was the ninth all-time meeting in the series, which Canisius leads 6-3.
• The Griffs improved to 4-0 this season when scoring more than 80 points in a game this season.
• The 2017-18 edition of the Griffs joins the 2013-14 and 1994-95 teams as the only squads in program history to start MAAC play 3-0.
• Friday marked the third time this season and the fourth time in his career where Reese has scored 20-or more points in a game.
• Reese has now hit multiple 3-point field goals in four-straight games and 14 times this year.
• Crumpton’s 19 points extends his string of scoring in double-figures to 12-straight games.
• Molson is averaging 9.7 rebounds per game in the team’s last three contests.
• Five Canisius players had multiple assists in the victory on Friday, including Hitchon, who was credited with his first two career assists.
The Griffs will return to action on Sunday, Jan. 7, when the team plays at Siena in Times Union Center in downtown Albany, N.Y. Game time is set for 3 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3. The radio call will available on Buffalo’s WECK 1230-AM and 102.9-FM, GoGriffs.com and the TUNEIN app.