Canisius (4-18) at Marist (7-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 4th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McCann Center (3,200) -- Poughkeepsie, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Canisius 2-8, Marist 6-3. Away Record: Canisius 2-10, Marist 0-11. Neutral Record: Canisius 0-0, Marist 1-1. Conference Record: Canisius 1-10, Marist 2-9. Series Record: Canisius leads, 20-14.
GAME NOTES: A pair of struggling MAAC foes meet on the hardwood tonight in Poughkeepsie, as the Marist Red Foxes host the Canisius Golden Griffins at the McCann Center.
The Golden Griffins are mired in a downward spiral that has resulted in six consecutive setbacks for the club. The string of losses has been par for the course in Canisius this season, as the squad enters tonight's affair with just four victories to show for the 2011-12 campaign. The Golden Griffins were most recently handed a 105-86 verdict at Iona on Thursday night, dropping to just 1-10 in conference action in the process.
As for Marist, it hasn't been exactly a banner year for the Red Foxes either, who come into this meeting touting a meager 7-15 overall ledger. The club is in the midst of an eight-game skid that began back on January 6th with a 99-86 loss at Rider, a contest that opened a stretch during which Marist played six of eight on the road. The Red Foxes own a mere 2-9 mark in MAAC play, and most recently fell, 73-51, at Manhattan on Thursday night, marking the second time in four weeks that Marist has been handed a setback courtesy of the Jaspers.
Canisius owns a 20-14 edge in terms of the all-time series between the two foes.
The Golden Griffins managed a 52.5 percent effort from the field that included 10-of-21 from beyond the arc, but turnovers and a lackluster effort in the paint doomed Canisius in the 19-point loss to Iona. The squad committed a costly 16 turnovers that translated into 23 Iona points, and the Golden Griffins were dominated down-low to the tune of 50-32. Canisius also allowed the Gaels to shoot at a 56.3 percent clip during the meeting, including a second stanza that saw Iona sink 7-of-13 from long range. Gaby Belardo scored 27 points to pace Canisius, while Alshwan Hymes added 23 points in a losing effort. Harold Washington finished with 13 points, and Josiah Heath chipped in 12 points to go with a team-high eight rebounds. The Golden Griffins are shooting at a mere 40.4 percent pace as a team this season, and the result has been a club that nets just 64.9 points per game. Still, as much as the team has struggled on offense, the situation at the other end of the court has been the most glaring weakness. The Golden Griffins have allowed the opposition to convert 46.7 percent of their attempts from the field en route to a whopping 76.3 ppg tally, and the squad has forced just 290 turnovers through 22 contests. The Golden Griffins have had some success at the charity stripe overall, however, (73.1 percent) and do boast three players with a double- digit scoring average. Washington leads with 16.6 ppg, with Hymes closely behind with his 15.0 ppg tally. Belardo rounds out the trio, chipping in 12.2 ppg, while Chris Manhertz owns a team-leading 8.1 rebounds per game.
The Red Foxes just couldn't seem to get anything going against the Jaspers, as an ice-cold shooting night resulted in a 22-point loss. Marist went just 37.7 percent from the field during the contest, a mark that included just 4-of-15 from long range. The Red Foxes were also guilty of a game-high 21 turnovers that did the club no favors, and were beaten to the boards by a 38-33 margin. The Red Foxes got to the foul line just 11 times during the meeting, but did sink seven of those opportunities. Chavaughn Lewis and Isiah Morton each netted 11 points to pace Marist, while Adam Kemp chipped in eight points to go with a game-high nine rebounds. The Red Foxes average a respectable 67.3 ppg on the year, but the squad is shooting at a lackluster 40.1 percent clip and has struggled with ball control (347 turnovers). Even worse, opponents are shooting at a 47.2 percent clip that includes a 39.3 percent conversion rate from three-point land, and are netting 76.2 ppg. Devin Price leads the way for the Red Foxes with a 13.0 ppg tally, while Lewis joins him in double figures as well, checking in at 12.9 ppg. Kemp rests right on the cusp of a double- digit average, tallying 9.0 points to go with a team-high 7.4 rebounds per contest.
Give a homecourt edge to the Red Foxes here, although if they can't protect the basketball, they could find themselves on the losing end. The Golden Griffins play defense just as loosely however, so expect this to be a relatively high-scoring affair with plenty of lead-changes.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Marist 78, Canisius 75
02/04 10:45:02 ET