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Fairfield-Canisius game analysis

Game analysis: Fairfield, picked fourth in the MAAC's preseason poll, looks prepared to make another run at the league championship. The Stags (10-5, 2-1) drilled Canisius, 66-45, on Thursday by forcing the Golden Griffins (9-5, 2-1) into 21 turnovers and limiting the offensive looks of leading scorers Billy Baron, Harold Washington and Issac Sosa.

How Canisius lost: The three-guard lineup combined to shoot 4-for-22 overall and 2 of 10 from 3-point range. Both threes were made by Baron and the other was by Reggie Grove with 24 seconds left in the game. The Griffs rely heavily on 3-pointers - they're shooting 40.8 percent - and Fairfield made certain they didn't get any empty looks. And Stags coach Sydney Johnson was unhappy Canisius attempted 15 threes. Fairfield also converted 21 turnovers into 24 points.

Turning Point: Fairfield went up 11-0 to start the game, a run Canisius never recovered from. They pulled within four on a dunk by Manhertz with 14 minutes left in the first half but never got closer from the remainder of the game.

Player of the Game: Maurice Barrow (career-high 21 points) says he likes coming off the bench. The Griffs would prefer if he stayed on the bench for 40 minutes.

Key stat: Manhertz gobbled up seven offensive boards, one shy of Fairfield's total.

Key stat II: The Griffs registered just six assists.

Out of the rotation?: It's been a rough few games for senior guard Alshwan Hymes. In his last five games, Hymes is just 3 of 9 and hasn't attempted a 3-pointer in the last two. He played just three minutes on Thursday.

What It Means: Canisius was alone in first place before Thursday but it learned no one is going to roll over and give them the MAAC title. The word "complacency" was dropped often during Canisius' post-game press conference and perhaps the team needed to be bounced by 21 points to regain focus.

In the House: 1,106 at the KAC.

He said it: "Canisius has been the class of the league and so we had to play one of our best games. I thought our guys were tremendous in doing so. Obviously we feel like Canisius is going to be there in the hunt for the championship. ... We realize how good a team Canisius is and we were fortunate for the win." - Fairfield coach Sydney Johnson.

Up next: Canisius hosts Marist, who was blown away by Niagara on Thursday, 94-72, at 7 p.m. Saturday.

---Rodney McKissic


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Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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