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Canisius (17-10) at Vermont (17-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Patrick Gymnasium (4,003) -- Burlington, Vermont. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Canisius 10-2, Vermont 9-3. Away Record: Canisius 7-8, Vermont 8-6. Neutral Record: Canisius 0-0, Vermont 0-0. Conference Record: Canisius 10-6, Vermont 10-4. Series Record: Canisius leads, 16-1.
GAME NOTES: Early Saturday afternoon, the Vermont Catamounts will play host to the Golden Griffins of Canisius in a BracketBusters showdown at Patrick Gymnasium.
Canisius most recently posted a 68-59 win over Saint Peter's. It was the fourth win in the last six games for the Golden Griffins, who moved to 17-10 overall and 10-6 in MAAC play. This is the last of a five-game road swing for Canisius before heading home for a pair of games to end the regular season. The squad is 2-2 so far on this trip and looks to close it on a positive note.
Vermont is fresh off a 73-61 win over Maine. The victory got the Catamounts out of a two-game slump and gave them their fifth win in the last seven games. Vermont is now 17-9 overall and 10-4 in the America East Conference, good for second place in the conference standings. This is the second of a two-game homestand before getting back to AEC action at Binghamton.
The Golden Griffins have dominated the series between these teams winning 16 of the 17 meetings. The last time these two schools saw each other was in late January of 1992 when Canisius earned a 79-64 win.
In the win over Saint Peter's, the Griffins were led by three players in double-figure scoring, including Harold Washington who posted 16 points, knocking down three 3-pointers. Billy Baron added 10 points and Isaac Sosa managed 10 points and three steals. They were able to hold Saint Peter's under 40.0 percent shooting from the field and forced the Peacocks into 17 turnovers.
Baron is the team's top scorer this season with 16.7 ppg, while Washington adds 12.8 and Sosa contributes 12.1. Both Washington and Sosa shoot over 40.0 percent from 3-point range, while Baron shoots 83.3 percent from the free- throw line and leads the team in assists with 139 on the season. Although they allow nearly 69.0 ppg, the Golden Griffins score 72.6 ppg.
Although he did not score much, Brian Voelkel was the key to the win for Vermont, recording a double-double consisting of 16 rebounds and 10 assists. Sandro Carissimo led the team in scoring with 15 points, while Clancy Rugg had 14. Luke Apfeld had 13 points and Brendan Kilpatrick added 12 in Vermont's victory. The team took care of business at the free-throw line, knocking down 23-of-26 attempts.
Rugg shoots over 45.0 percent from the field and leads the Catamounts in scoring with 11.2 ppg. Apfeld adds 10.5 ppg and Carissimo contributes 10.2 ppg. Voelkel leads the team in both rebounding and assists with 9.0 rpg and 4.8 apg. Vermont is strong on the defensive end where it holds opponents to 58.0 ppg and 40.1 percent shooting from the field.
This will be a matchup between both an explosive offense and a strong, solid defense. With the Catamounts having the homecourt advantage and Canisius' defensive play being less than impressive, Vermont should take this one in a close bout.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Vermont 67, Canisius 66
02/23 10:39:19 ET