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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 28, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Koessler Athletic Center (2,176) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: None. Home Record: SPC 5-8, Canisius 10-2. Away Record: SPC 4-9, Canisius 7-9. Neutral Record: SPC 0-1, Canisius 0-0. Conference Record: SPC 3-13, Canisius 10-6. Series Record: Canisius leads, 37-21.
GAME NOTES: The Canisius Golden Griffins try to keep pace in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference race as they host the Saint Peter's Peacocks at the Koessler Athletic Center.
These squads squared off on Feb. 16 with the Golden Griffins emerging as the victor with a 68-59 decision. Canisius took a 30-22 lead into the intermission before the Peacocks improved to 48.1 percent shooting from the floor after the break to take a 46-45 lead with 10:11 left. The Golden Griffins answered with a 9-1 run to go in front for good. Harold Washington scored 16 points for Canisius, which tallied 17 points off of SPC's 17 turnovers to earn the win. Desi Washington led the Peacocks with 20 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field.
SPC bounced back from its setback to Canisius with a 66-59 win at Hampton in the BracketBuster event. The victory over the Pirates lifted the Peacocks to a 9-18 overall record, but they still own the worst MAAC record at 3-13. Washington is leading the team in scoring with 14.9 ppg despite hitting on only 37.8 percent of his field goal tries. Yvon Raymond adds 10.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game to the mix while Blaise Ffrench deals out 4.7 assists and swipes 1.5 steals per tilt.
Washington poured in 26 points to power a second half comeback for SPC versus Hampton. Markese Tucker chimed in with 11 points for the Peacocks while Raymond tallied eight points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the winning effort. SPC went 23-of-55 (41.8 percent) from the field and racked up 15 points off of Hampton's 17 turnovers to overcome a 37-33 deficit in the rebounding battle. The Peacocks will try to carry their strong showing back to MAAC play, where they have been outproduced by an average of 8.8 ppg so far.
The Golden Griffins victory on Feb. 16 gave them a 37-21 all-time record versus SPC.
Canisius was not as lucky in the BracketBuster event, as it fell, 87-79, to Vermont after winning two of its previous three previous games. The Golden Griffins are one of the top teams in the very closely contested MAAC with a 10-6 record against league rivals. Billy Baron has produced an all-conference caliber campaign with 16.5 points and 5.1 assists per outing, while Chris Manhertz grabs 8.9 boards per tilt to pace the team in rebounding.
Harold Washington, who nets 13.4 ppg, pumped in 29 points against the Catamounts, but it was not enough to help Canisius overcome Vermont's 27-of-31 efficiency at the charity stripe. Alshwan Hymes provided a spark off the bench with 15 points, while Baron and Isaac Sosa scored 12 and 11 points, respectively. Despite the setback, the Golden Griffins managed to hit on 11- of-27 from 3-point range. Canisius has the third most productive offense in the MAAC with an average of 72.9 ppg, but it is just seventh in the league defensively with an allowed average of 69.5 ppg.
The Peacocks' win over Hampton was a good start, but they will have trouble transitioning their strong play to the Koessler Athletic Center. The Golden Griffins should have no problem recovering as Baron is due for a big game after playing below his potential versus Vermont.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Canisius 71, Saint Peter's 62
02/28 10:34:42 ET