Game Analysis: Canisius led by 12 points with 9:38 left in the game but poor shooting and turnovers turned a potential blowout into a game near the end. The Griffs had an escape clause - two key defensive plays and free throws – which helped them to a sorely needed, 70-66, win over James Madison.
How Canisius Won: The Dukes are long and athletic but they don’t necessarily have consistent shot blockers. The Griffs were able to connect early on three-pointers (10 of 24) but once the treys stopped dropping Frank Turner was able to penetrate to the basket for easy layups.
Turning Point: Once James Madison tied the game at 66, the Griffs locked in defensively. In the final minute Robert Goldsberry came up with a loose ball during a scramble and alertly called timeout then Tomas Vazquez-Simmons blocked Denzel Bowles shot to help protect a two-point lead. Canisius (barely) made enough free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.
Player of the game: In his final game at the Koessler Center, Turner flirted with a triple double (16 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists).
Welcome back: Canisius freshman Alshwan Hymes, playing for the first time in six games because of a knee injury, percolated immediately during his first five minutes off the bench, scoring six points including a four-point play.
Fashion statement: The entire Canisius team wore headbands – usually Turner’s chosen apparel – in honor of the senior guard.
BracketBuster? We love it!: The Griffs are now 4-1 in BracketBuster matchups.
Stat of the Game: James Madison's Denzel Bowles also flirted with a triple double but not one he can be proud of with 11 points, nine rebounds and six turnovers.
He Said It: “We talked about body punching them and body punching them and I think that was the difference.’’ – Canisius coach Tom Parrotta on his team’s ability to go the body to fatigue James Madison in the second half.
In the House: 1,326 turned out for Turner’s and Bob Bevilacqua’s final game in the Koessler Center.
Next Up: Canisius plays next Friday at Loyola, who the Griffs defeated 70-65 back on Dec. 4 in the Koessler Center.
taggedBig 4 | Canisius | College basketball | Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference | National