Niagara (5-14) at Canisius (12-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 22, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Koessler Athletic Center (2,196) -- Buffalo, New York.
Television: none. Home Record: Niagara 4-4, Canisius 6-0. Away Record: Niagara
1-8, Canisius 4-6. Neutral Record: Niagara 0-2, Canisius 2-1. Conference
Record: Niagara 2-6, Canisius 6-2. Series Record: Niagara leads, 100-74.
GAME NOTES: The Canisius Golden Griffins look to remain unbeaten at home when
they tangle with the struggling Niagara Purple Eagles in Metro Atlantic
Athletic Conference action at the Koessler Athletic Center.
The Golden Griffins haven't lost in six home dates this season, but are coming
off a tough 83-82 defeat at Monmouth Sunday. Monmouth scored six points in the
game's final nine seconds to snap Canisius' three-game conference winning
streak. The Golden Griffins were led by Billy Baron with 21 points, six
rebounds, six assists and four steals, but he was also charged with eight
turnovers as the team saw a four-game win streak come to an end. Chris Perez
pitched in with 18 points, Phil Valenti 16, Zach Lewis 13 points and Jordan
Heath 10 in the losing cause.
Canisius has scored at least 80 points in four consecutive games for the first
time since Feb. 12-25, 1994. They are averaging 85.7 points over their six
home contests this season and have one of the top scorers in the nation in
senior guard Baron (23.1 ppg). Heath (11.5 ppg), a senior center, had four
blocks against Monmouth to give him 100 for his career. The Golden Griffins
have been strong on the perimeter this season, as they sport four players
shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point range in Baron, Heath, Perez and
Lewis. Canisius comes into tonight's game shooting 41.4 percent from 3-point
range. Baron leads the team and the MAAC by shooting 91.3 percent from the
foul line. Chris Manhertz (5.9 rpg) leads the team on the glass, but Canisius
has outrebounded an opponent only seven times this season.
The Purple Eagles wrap up their three-game road trip tonight following an
85-71 loss at Quinnipiac Saturday. Antoine Mason, who entered the contest
leading the nation in scoring with 27.6 ppg, poured in 28 points on 9-of-19
shooting from the floor. Tahjere McCall chipped in 14 points and Rayvon Harris
had 10 points. Marcus Ware came off the bench to contribute nine points and
eight boards before fouling out.
Niagara leads the MAAC in turnover margin (+2.63) and is second in the MAAC
with 7.8 steals per game. However, on the negative side, the Purple Eagles
are shooting just 28 percent from 3-point range and have one of the worst
defenses in the country. Ramone Snowden (9.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Marvin Jordan
(9.0 ppg) are also part of the starting lineup. Niagara is 4-0 this season
when holding opponents to under 40 percent from the field, but that doesn't
seem likely in this game.
Niagara is 18-4 versus the Golden Griffins since Feb. 12, 2003. Niagara has
beaten Canisius in six of the last eight meetings, but this season's team for
the Golden Griffins has plenty of offensive talent and will be a handful for
the Purple Eagles. Heath will supply the power inside and Baron will be
difficult to guard for Niagara, which is giving up an average of 84.3 ppg.
That is one of the worst marks out of the 345 Division I teams.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Canisius 88, Niagara 70
01/22 10:36:06 ET
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