Buffalo (1-4) at Canisius (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 20, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Koessler Athletic Center (2,196) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Buffalo 0-1, Canisius 2-0. Away Record: Buffalo 1-1, Canisius 0-0. Neutral Record: Buffalo 0-2, Canisius 0-0. Conference Record: Buffalo 0-0, Canisius 0-0. Series Record: Canisius leads 29-15.
GAME NOTES: The Buffalo Bulls travel to the Koessler Athletic Center to square off against their crosstown rivals the Canisius Golden Griffins for the 45th game between the programs.
The Bulls have struggled early carrying a 1-4 record into this game and coming off a 63-59 loss to Yale. Both teams struggled offensively in the game with Buffalo shooting 34.7 from the field, and Yale shooting 34.0 percent. Jarod Oldham recorded a double-double in the loss with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Javon McCrea led the team with 17 points. After losing two in a row, the Bulls look to get back on track in this rivalry matchup.
The Golden Griffins have started off well this season, now 2-0 after a 72-69 win over St. Bonaventure. Harold Washington led the team with 23 points in the win and was 3-of-3 from three-point range. Isaac Sosa added 14 points for Canisius, which shot 48.1 percent in the second half to come from behind to win the game, after trailing 37-32 at the half. The Griffs forced 19 turnovers as they earned their second win and hope to finish out this three-game homestand to start the year with an unblemished record.
Canisius leads the series 29-15, but Buffalo took the last showdown convincingly, 94-59 last November.
Buffalo has really struggled thus far after losing the first two games to Princeton (57-53) and Florida State (95-68), before finally earning a win over Evansville (56-50). After that win it was back to losing as the Bulls fell to Western Illinois (67-58) and finally Yale. McCrea is the only player averaging in double figures for Buffalo at this time with 16.6 ppg. The team as a whole is only averaging 58.8 ppg, which has belied a strong defensive effort thus far, as the Bulls have held opponents to a respectable 66.4 ppg. Still, the team is averaging 16.8 turnovers a game which isn't helping the offensive slump. Buffalo has a lot of work to do if it plans to match its 20-win season from a year ago.
Canisius' wins over Boston University (83-75) and St. Bonaventure have shown a much different team than last season. Washington has been spectacular for the Griffins, leading them to their early success with a hefty 22.5 ppg. He has scored 20-plus points his last four times on the court. Billy Baron has added 15.0 ppg and Alshwan Hymes has contributed 10.0 ppg off the bench. The trio has obviously played a big part in the team's healthy 77.5 ppg thus far. Although the Griffs have shot 48.2 percent from the field, they have allowed their opponents to shoot 49.5 percent, perhaps a reason for concern. If the Griffs can find a way to extend their success to the defensive end this season, Canisius has a chance to make huge strides in the win/loss column compared to last year (5-25).
The Bulls will not be able to match the scoring of the Golden Griffins in this one. Canisius also gets this one at home, which despite still being in the city of Buffalo, has to tip the scales in its favor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Canisius 74, Buffalo 62
11/20 10:35:57 ET