Canisius scores 70-58 win over Saint Peter’s

Takal Molson scored a game-high 23 points, as Canisius improved to 4-1 in MAAC play. (Photo courtesy of www.tomwolf.smugmug.com)

Courtesy of GoGriffs.com

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Canisius men’s basketball team shot 52.1 percent from the field against the MAAC’s top-rated defense, and freshman Takal Molson scored a game-high 23 points, as the Golden Griffins posted a 70-58 win over Saint Peter’s Friday night in the Koessler Athletic Center. The win, Canisius’ sixth in its last seven outings, moved the Blue and Gold to 10-8 overall and 4-1 in MAAC play, while the Peacocks fell to 8-8 overall and 2-3 in conference action.

Molson scored his game-high 23 points after he went 9-for-12 from the field, 4-for-6 from 3-point land and 1-for-1 from the free-throw line to go along with four rebounds and an assist in 30 minutes of action. Senior Jermaine Crumpton was good for 14 points, while fellow senior Selvedin Planincic matched a career-high with 11 points to go along with five boards and a blocked shot. For the game, Canisius shot 52.1 percent from the field, while holding Saint Peter’s to a 38.3 percent shooting clip, including a 26.1 percent effort from 3-point land.

Canisius used a 22-9 run over the final 7:11 of the first half to turn a four-point Saint Peter’s cushion into a 38-29 lead at intermission. Molson led the way for Canisius in the first half, scoring 16 points in the opening 20 minutes before he was sent to the bench late in the opening period with his second foul. The Griffs shot 56.5 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from long-range in the first stanza, while holding Saint Peter’s to just 11-for-30 from the floor and 2-of-9 from behind the arc.

In the second half, Crumpton scored the Griff’s first eight points, and a 3-pointer by Planincic off a feed from Reese had the Griffs up nine at 49-40 with 11:00 left on the clock. Canisius took its first double-digit lead of the contest moments later when Planincic completed a traditional 3-point play, and a one-handed jam by Crumpton off a backdoor pass by Reese with 3:12 remaining pushed the Griffs’ cushion to 11 points at 63-52. Reese ended the night with eight points, five rebounds and a game-high five assists in the victory as Canisius ended the contest with 18 assists on 25 makes from the field.

Davauhnte Turner came off the bench and scored a team-high 12 points in the loss for Saint Peter’s, while teammate Elijah Gonzales chipped in 10 points, four rebounds and four assists. After being out-rebounded in both games last weekend, the Griffs won the battle of the glass on Friday night, 32-26, highlighted by a plus-11 rebounding margin in the second half. Reese, Planincic and junior Jonathan Sanks were all credited with five boards in the win for the Blue and Gold.

Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Postgame Comments
“We knew coming into this game that we were going to have to grind one out because that’s the way Saint Peter’s wants you play. I thought we did a really good job moving the ball and not settling for 3-pointers early in the shot clock, which is what they’ve done to us in the past. I also thought we did a good job on the glass. We started in the hole a bit, but we ended up plus-11 in the second half and we out-rebounded them by six for the game. We still have some work to do there, obviously, but after last weekend where we were really out-rebounded, I thought we did a better job as a group.”

Game Notes
• This was the 79th all-time meeting between these two schools, with Canisius leading the series 44-35.
• The win moved the Griffs to 6-1 at home this season. Last year, the team won seven games in its home building.
• The 23-point effort was the fourth game of 20-or more points scored this season by Molson, with three of those occasions coming in MAAC play.
• Crumpton became the 16th player in Canisius history to reach the 1,300-career point milestone in the win. He now has scored in double-figures in 14-straight games.
• Reese added two more steals to his season total, and extended his string of games with at least one steal to 10 consecutive contests.
• Ten of the 13 Canisius players that saw time on Friday scored at least one point.

Up Next
Canisius will close out its brief two-game MAAC homestand on Sunday, Jan. 14, when the team plays host to Monmouth, with tipoff in the Koessler Athletic Center set for 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3, and the radio call will be available on Buffalo’s WECK 1230-AM and 102.9-FM, GoGriffs.com and the TUNEIN app.

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