Canisius (15-8) at Manhattan (7-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 7, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Draddy Gym (3,000) -- Riverdale, New York. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Canisius 10-2, Manhattan 4-3. Away Record: Canisius 5-6, Manhattan 3-10. Neutral Record: Canisius 0-0, Manhattan 0-2. Conference Record: Canisius 8-4, Manhattan 5-7. Series Record: Manhattan leads, 48-33.
GAME NOTES: The Manhattan Jaspers will try to serve up some revenge when they welcome the Canisius Golden Griffins to Draddy Gym for a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference matchup.
Canisius claimed a 64-60 victory behind a season-high 25 points from Isaac Sosa when these teams met up on Jan. 17 in Buffalo. Still, Manhattan leads the all-time series, 48-33.
Canisius has won five of its last six games and entered the week in a three- way tie for second place in the MAAC standings. The Golden Griffins were in action this past Saturday, as they notched a 77-74 victory over Iona to wrap up a three-game homestand. The Griffs face a tough stretch ahead as tonight's outing begins a crucial five-game road trip.
Manhattan was just 3-7 in the month of January, but the team has picked things up of late with wins in two of its last three outings. Most recently, the Jaspers claimed a 57-49 victory over Saint Peter's on Sunday. Tonight's contest is the second game in a stretch that will see them play four of five at home.
The Golden Griffins were red-hot from beyond the arc against Iona, as they knocked down 14-of-30 3-pointers (.467) to earn the victory. Still, they had to withstand quite a fight from the Gaels, who turned a 10-point deficit into a seven-point lead early in the second half. Iona also held a sizeable 49-35 rebounding advantage, including a 20-8 edge on the offensive glass. However, Canisius used a balanced effort to pull out the win, as all five starters scored in double figures. Billy Baron led the way with a game-high 23 points to go along with six assists. Baron has been the key cog for Canisius this season, as he leads four players averaging double figures with 16.3 points per game. The Golden Griffins are downright lethal from beyond the arc, as they entered the week ranked third in the nation in 3-pointers made per game (9.6), and their 40-percent accuracy as a team ranks 12th.
The Jaspers hoped to lean on reigning MAAC scoring champion George Beamon this season, but his campaign was cut short due to an ankle injury after only four games. His absence has left the team scrambling to find offensive production from game to game, as the Jaspers are averaging a mere 57.9 ppg. Rhamel Brown is the lone double-figure scorer with 11.9 points and a team-best 6.9 rebounds per contest. However, while the Jaspers continue to struggle on offense, they have picked things up defensively and have held three of their last four opponents to 51 points or fewer. In Sunday's victory over Saint Peter's, Brown swatted away seven shots to go along with 10 rebounds and 21 points. The Jaspers made 30-of-36 free throws as a team, while limiting Saint Peter's to 34.5-percent shooting from the floor.
The Golden Griffins are firing on all cylinders at the moment, but they should not expect too many open looks in this matchup, particularly on Manhattan's home floor. Still, look for Canisius to earn the season sweep with a hard- fought victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Canisius 59, Manhattan 56
02/07 10:34:40 ET