Canisius fights back for road win at Quinnipiac

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The Canisius men’s basketball team shot 51.5 percent from the field, hit five 3-point baskets and drained 14-of-18 chances from the free-throw line in the game’s second half to comeback from a 15-point first-half deficit en route to a 74-67 win at Quinnipiac Friday afternoon in Hamden, Conn.

The win, Canisius’ third-straight, came after the team had been sidelined since Jan. 6 due to Covid-19 related issues. The Golden Griffins are now 4-3 overall and 4-3 in MAAC play with the victory, while Quinnipiac slipped to 5-8 overall and 3-6 in league action.

Sophomore Jacco Fritz led all scorers with a game-high 18 points, with 10 of those points coming from the free-throw line. He also grabbed nine rebounds to go with two assists and two blocked shots in 31:20 of game action. Junior Ahamadou Fofana scored 16 points, 13 of which came after halftime, and fellow junior Malek Green was good for 11 points, nine boards and two steals off the bench. For the game, Canisius shot just 31.9 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from 3-point land, but the Blue and Gold made 22-of-28 free-throws in the victory and ended up out-rebounding the Bobcats by a 45-39 clip.

Fritz scored the game’s first basket to put Canisius ahead 2-0 1:28 into the contest, but Quinnipiac took over from there, scoring the game’s next 15 points to take a 15-2 lead with 9:54 left before halftime. The Bobcats took their largest lead of the game at 34-19 with 1:13 left in the opening stanza on the power a of 3-point field goal by Tymu Chenery, and the home team held a 34-21 lead over the Griffs at intermission after Canisius shot just 15.4 percent (6-for-39) from the field in the opening 20 minutes of action.

The Griffs came out of the intermission and quickly cut Quinnipiac’s lead to 10 at 34-24 thanks to a 3-point make by Fofana, but the Bobcats were able to keep their distance from the Blue and Gold until the 13:00 mark of the second half when Green scored a buck off an assist from Fofana to make the score 46-42 in favor of the home team. That was as close as Canisius would get for the game’s next 7:51, however, before the Griffs made it a one-possession game on a 3-ball make by senior Majesty Brandon, who finished the day with eight points.

Canisius took the lead for good with 3:44 left to play when Fofana drained the third of his three 3-point makes on the day – a bucket that gave the Griffs a 63-62 lead. Down the stretch, Canisius made nine free-throws in the game’s closing 55 seconds to seal the win, a win which snapped the Griffs’ two-game losing skid to Quinnipiac, dating back to last season.

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