Canisius scores 80-69 win at Fairfield

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Three Canisius players scored in double-figures, led by junior Malek Green and his career-high 29 points, as the Golden Griffins went on the road and scored their fifth-straight victory with an 80-69 win over Fairfield at Alumni Hall Friday evening.

The win moves the Griffs to 6-3 overall and 6-3 in MAAC play. The team’s current five-game win streak is the longest for the program since the 2017-18 campaign. Fairfield fell to 5-15 overall and 5-10 in league action with the loss.

Green’s 29 points came after he went 10-for-15 from the field, 4-for-6 from 3-point land and 5-for-7 from the free-throw line. He also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in the victory for Canisius to go with an assist and a steal. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native scored 19 of his 29 points after halftime, with nine of those points coming on the power of three made 3-point field goals in the second stanza. Fellow junior Jordan Henderson posted a season-high 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting, with two makes from 3-point land, and junior guard Ahmadou Fofana added 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the winning effort, as the Blue and Gold snapped a two-game losing skid to Fairfield dating back to last season.

Canisius trailed by as many as 11 points midway through the first half, but raced back and cut the Stags’ lead at halftime to 37-33. In the second half, Canisius trailed by seven at 42-35 less than 3:00 into the frame, but the Griffs used a 9-0 run over the game’s next 3:42 to take a 46-42 advantage. In that run, sophomore Jacco Fritz scored the Griffs’ first three points, and then Green capped the scoring spurt with back-to-back 3-point field goals in the span of 46 seconds.

Fairfield would trim Canisius’ cushion to one point at 50-49 with 9:17 left in the contest, but that was as close as the Stags would get for the rest of the game, as Canisius scored the game’s next seven points over a span of 52 seconds, capped by a 3-ball from Henderson that gave the visiting team a 57-49 advantage with 8:11 left on the clock.

The Griffs finished the game shooting 44.4 percent from the field, highlighted by a 53.3 percent shooting clip in the game’s second half. After starting the game going 0-for-8 from 3-point land, Canisius ended the game with eight 3-point makes, and the Blue and Gold hit on 16-of-22 chances from the free-throw line as well. The difference in the game was points off turnovers, as Canisius turned 15 Fairfield turnovers into 24 points, while also outscoring the Stags 8-0 in fast break points.

Fritz finished the game with nine points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal for Canisius, which has now overcome double-digit first-half deficits to earn wins in back-to-back weeks. Senior Majesty Brandon added eight points, two assists and a game-high two blocked shots off the bench.

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