Highlights: Canisius Basketball vs. Quinnipiac
Eleven Canisius players scored at least two points, led by senior Majesty Brandon and his game-high 17, and the Golden Griffins shot 50.0 percent from the field for the game as the Blue and Gold posted an 89-70 road win over Quinnipiac Saturday afternoon at People's United Center in Hamden, Conn.
The win, Canisius' fourth straight, moves the Griffs to 5-3 overall and 5-3 in MAAC play, while the Bobcats dropped their third-straight to fall to 5-9 overall and 3-7 in league action. With the pair of wins over Quinnipiac, Canisius joins with Monmouth, Siena and Saint Peter's as the only four schools in the conference to claim multiple "series sweeps" this season. The Griffs also swept Saint Peter's at home back on Jan. 1-2.
Brandon scored his game-high 17 points after he went 7-for-12 from the field with a 3-point field goal and two made free-throws. He also grabbed five rebounds to go with a career-high four blocked shots in 22-plus minutes off the bench. Junior Jordan Henderson and sophomore Jacco Fritz each had 13 points in the victory, while four players – juniors Ahamadou Fofana and Malek Green, sophomore Akrum Ahemed and freshman Siem Uijtendaal – all added eight points, respectively. Canisius shot 50.0 percent from the field as a team, drained nine 3-pointers and also knocked down 18 free-throws on 22 chances en route to the 89-point performance.
For Quinnipiac, Savion Lewis was the lone Bobcat player to record double-figures in the scoring column with his team-high 15 points. Two other Bobcat players scored nine points in the win, but only one Quinnipiac player, Matt Balanc, had five-or more rebounds, as Canisius won the battle on the glass by a 39-26 count. Of those 39 rebounds for the Griffs, nine came off the offensive glass, which the Blue and Gold turned into 17 second-chance points.
Quinnipiac led the game 21-20 with 10:00 left in the first half, but Canisius took the lead for good moments later when junior George Maslennikov banged home a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make the score 23-21 in favor of the road team. The Griffs used a 14-6 run over the game's next 4:50 to take a 10-point lead at 37-27 with 4:06 left before intermission. Canisius led at the break by a 43-33 count thanks in large part to the team shooting 54.8 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from 3-point land in the contest's opening 20 minutes.
The second half saw more of the same for Canisius, as the Griffs never allowed the Bobcats to get any closer than eight points. Canisius took its largest lead of the season in any game with 6:25 left to play after sophomore Armon Harried hit a pair from the charity stripe to make the score 76-53 in favor of the Blue and Gold. Harried ended the game with four points to go with three rebounds.
Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon's Postgame Comments
"I am just so proud of the effort these guys put in, not just weekend, but all year. They are representing Canisius College and our basketball program the right way. Make no mistake, it is a tall challenge, especially this year with everything that we are dealing with, but these guys are working together as a team and playing with a "for each other" mentality and it is extremely commendable."
"I thought we played reasonably well today – happy with the effort and energy for sure, but we know we still have a few things to work on moving forward. Our guys stayed locked in throughout. With Quinnipiac, they shoot the three so well, you have to keep giving them less and less time and space to get shots off. In the beginning of the game, they were driving and making some really difficult two-point baskets. So give them credit for their fight, but as the game wore on, I think we forced them deeper into the bench, and we were able to use our size at the guard position to make things tougher on them."
"Both of these games this weekend saw us get great contributions from everyone. The guys who came off the bench made impactful plays and kept us flowing. That's a tremendous energy boost for everyone. With this being the second game of a back-to-back without playing for a while, we really tried to spread out the minutes across the line-up, and we were able to do that because when guys came into the game, they were locked in and they hit the floor running."