December 2, 2011 - 6:35 PM
It's the first weekend of December and you know what that means -- two early men's basketball games in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Canisius (1-3) hosts Iona (4-1) in the Koessler Center. If you're a fan of offense, this should be the game for you. The Gaels have the best scoring average in the country, netting 95.4 points a game. The Griffs are no slouches, scoring 72.2.
All those points for Iona lends to the opportunity for plenty of assists. Just ask senior point guard Scott Machado who leads the nation in assists per game, averaging 12.2. In fact, his 61 assists well surpasses the total of the entire Canisius team, which has 41 collective assists on the season.
Check back for updates throughout the game.
Final: Iona 60, Canisius 57.
15:43 left: Iona, 42-38. The Gaels have applied a press and picked up the defense forcing three straight turnoers by the Griffs. Canisius opened the half with three-pointers from Harold Washington and Alshwan Hymes before Iona's pressure kicked in.
11:54 left: Iona, 51-46. The Griffs got some points by going inside and getting to the free throw line, but Iona is starting to click on offense.
7:58 left: Iona, 57-50. The Griffs cut the lead to three, 53-50, when Kevin Bleeker made one of two free throws, but Canisius is moving too fast in transition and Iona is hitting 50 percent from the field for the half, including getting 19 points off turnovers for the game.
3:53 left: Iona, 61-52. The Gaels have their transition game working and the Griffs started throwing the ball around. Looks like Iona is going to espcae this lower-scoring affair.
Halftime: Iona, 33-32. A three-point attempt at the buzzer hit the rim for Iona. The Griffs are shooting 59.1 percent from the field (13 for 22) including hitting 5 of 7 from three-point range. The Griffs also hold a 14-13 edge on the boards. Harold Washington leads all scorers with 12 points. The first four minutes will be key to see which team dictates tempo and sets the tone for the rest of the game. Right now, it's a toss-up folks, something few outside the Canisiuis locker room anticipated before the game.
15:40 left: Tied, 10-10. Reggie Groves has a pair of three-pointers for the Griffs, but Iona counters by quickly getting the ball up court and getting behind the Canisius defense before it can set up.
11:42 left: Iona, 17-16. With the shotclock set to expire Groves took a poor three-point shot from the top of the key. But Iona played it as a defensive win before securing the ball and Chris Manhertz easily collected the rebound for a put back and a foul. He will go to the line for one out of the official timeout.
7:46 left: Iona, 23-21. Jeremel Jenkins has eight points off the bench for Iona including a pair of three-pointers in that segment. The Griffs are having some trouble with control on offense. This half they've been whistled for four travels and two offensive fouls.
3:56 left: Iona, 31-28. The Griffs are liking the three-pointer as the shot clock winds down. They've done it three times -- and came away with points on all three of them. Iona is doing a great job of penetrating and kicking to the open jump shooter. That's how Kyle Smyth nailed his three-pointer to break a 28-28 tie just before this last official time out of the half.
--- Amy Moritz