Canisius rolls past UIC

Courtesy of GoGriffs.com

The Canisius men’s basketball team kept its winning ways rolling on Tuesday, as the Golden Griffins went on the road and smoked the UIC Flames 94-64 at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago, Ill. The win, the Griffs’ third straight, moved the team to 3-2 on the year, while UIC fell to 2-5 with the 30-point defeat.

Canisius had three players record double-figures in the victory, led by junior Majesty Brandon, who came off the bench and scored 21 points to go with seven rebounds, five steals and four assists in 27 minutes of action. Fellow junior Jalanni Whiterecorded a career-high with 20 points after he went 8-for-12 from the field while pulling down five boards to go with two blocks and sophomore Jordan Henderson added a career-high 18 points on the power of six makes from 3-point land. For the game, Canisius shot 55.7 percent from the field and 55.6 percent (15-for-27) from 3-point range, while out-rebounding the host Flames 45-29.

Nine of the 11 Canisius players that saw action in the game scored at least two points in the victory. Sophomore Sam Rautins was good for a career-high nine points after he made three 3-pointers, while freshman Armon Harried chipped in seven points to go with six boards, three assists and a steal. Senior Malik Johnson, who came into the game as the MAAC’s leading scorer, did not score any points in the win, but he did dish out a game-high eight assists to go with four rebounds in 25 minutes of action.

UIC held the lead for just 36 seconds at 2-0, as the Flames opened the game with a dunk by Braelen Bridges. Canisius broke the game open a short time later with a 16-3 run over the span of 7:34. In that decisive run, Harried scored all seven of his points on the night, and back-to-back makes by Brandon put the Blue and Gold up 22-7 with 11:54 left before halftime, forcing a UIC timeout.

The Griffs shot 62.5 percent from the field and 75 percent from 3-point land in the opening stanza, using nine treys to take a 52-25 lead into the locker room at intermission. In the opening moments of the second half UIC used a 7-0 run fueled by four Canisius personal fouls and three Griff turnovers to make the score 59-36 in favor of the Blue and Gold before Canisius took a timeout. Out of that timeout, Canisius went on a 14-1 run over the game’s next 3:47 to make the score 73-37 with 11:28 left on the clock.

Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon‘s Postgame Comments
“We have been working to establish a presence on both the defensive end of the floor and in the rebounding battle, and I thought we made another positive step in that direction tonight. We really shared the basketball with 28 assists on 34 field goals. We moved the ball well tonight and found guys in rhythm, and guys were able to knock down open shots.”

“In a game like tonight, we were able to play some guys in some different rotations, and when we chose to sit Malik [Johnson] there for a while, it pushed a few guys to step up and take some responsibility and leadership of the team on the floor. It was good for us to get some different guys extended minutes tonight because it allowed them to get into a flow at both ends of the floor.”

“We still have work to do. Obviously, we need to take better care of the basketball and start to work to limit our turnovers. But a game tonight is a good example of what happens when you come to work and play hard from start to finish.”

Game Notes
• This was the first meeting between the two schools.
• Canisius was playing it first game in the city of Chicago since Nov. 17, 2009. The win is the program’s first in the Windy City since the Griffs defeated Loyola University Chicago 73-68 on Dec. 15, 1959.
• Canisius finished the month of November with a winning record for the first time since 2012-13.
• The 94 points are the most for the Griffs in a regulation game since Feb. 25, 2018, when the Blue and Gold beat Marist at home 98-74.
• The 94-point effort on Tuesday also stands as the most points for the Griffs in a road regulation game since Dec. 9, 2012 – a 94-82 road win over Marist.
• Canisius’ 30-point win is the largest for the program since Nov. 25, 2017 when the Blue and Gold defeated Arkansas Pine-Bluff by 33 points.
• The Griffs’ 15 makes from 3-point land gives Canisius 10-or-more makes from behind the arc in 79 games since the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
• The Griffs are 23-5 under head coach Reggie Witherspoon when shooting 50.0 percent or better from the field for the game.

Up Next
Canisius will travel south to play three games in the Boca Raton Beach Classic, starting Sunday, Dec. 1, when the Griffs take on Mercer in the first game of the Naismith Bracket of the tournament. Sunday’s game, which tips off at noon, will be streamed through CUSA.tv, and the radio call will be available through WECK Buffalo Radio (1230-AM, 100.5-FM and 102.9-FM).

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