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Vote for Hobey

Fan voting is open for the annual Hobey Baker award given to the best player in college hockey.

Niagara has two players on the intial list of 77 players -- goalie Carsen Chubak and forward Giancarlo Iuorio. Canisius has one player, goalie Tony Capobianco. Fans can vote once per day at votehobey.com through March 10 with fan voting accouting for one percent in each round of balloting.

Chubak has the third-best goals against average in the country (1.45) and ranks first in save percentage (.954) and shutouts (five).

Iuorio is tied for third in the nation in goals with 12 whiel his 1.11 points-per game average ranks him 24th.

Capobianco paces the Canisius defense which is ranked fifth in the country giving up 1.85 goals a game. HIs 1.86 goals against average ranks 10th nationally.

Rp_primary_HobeyBakerWebsite

 

-- Amy Moritz
www.twitter.com/amymoritz

Photo from www.purpleeagles.com 

Niagara's Green POW

Niagara's Juan'ya Green has been named MAAC Player of the Week. Here's the league release:

EDISON, N.J. – Sophomore Juan’ya Green was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Player of the Week on Monday for the first time in his career.

Green helped lead the Niagara Purple Eagles to a 2-0 weekend as they defeated Marist and Fairfield to extend their conference winning streak to three games. Green averaged 26.0 points per game while shooting a blistering 65.5 percent (19-for-29) from the field and 92.3 percent (12-for-13) at the free throw-line line; he also converted on both 3-pointers he attempted. The Philadelphia native led the team with 4.0 assists per game and 3.0 steals per game. Green recorded consecutive 20-plus point games, beginning on Thursday versus Marist. Green finished with 21 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals as the Purple Eagles had season-highs in points (94) and in field goal percentage (52.2).

Green was the catalyst to NU’s first win against Fairfield since Jan. 4, 2010. Green led all scorers with a season-high 31 points, which is the most by a Purple Eagle this season, for his fourth career 30-point game. Green, who played in the entire game, scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half. Green put NU back in front twice in the second half and was clutch at the free-throw line as NU held off Fairfield for the 71-67 win. Green’s game-high 12 free throws tied a career-best and are the most this season for NU. Green added a game-high four steals and led NU with three assists.

Niagara's Green POW

Marist-Canisius game analysis

Game analysis: This was a little more like the Canisius team we've seen over the last month or so. They shot 56 percent in the first half and built a 16-point lead in the second. While Marist whittled the advantage down to six in the last few minutes, the Golden Griffins held on for a 73-64 win on Saturday.

How Canisius won: The offensive punch missing from Thursday's loss against Fairfield returned against Marist. Isaac Sosa was 5 of 11 from 3-point range and finished with a team-high 22 points while Billy Baron added 17 points and 10 assists. The Griffs were 10 of 23 from beyond the arc.

Turning Point: The 9-0 run to start the game was huge for Canisius, who struggled to find anything positive offensively from the Fairfield blow out. Baron set the tone by nailing his first two threes and everything fell into place.

Player of the Game: Sosa's stretch of four consecutive 3-pointers gave the Griffs enough breathing room to hold back hard-charging Marist at the end.

Unsung player of the game: Chris Manhertz. You'll be hard pressed to find someone who works the boards harder than the 6-6 glass master from the Bronx. He grabbed 14 rebounds and when you factor in his 18-rebound effort against the Red Foxes on Dec. 9, he averaged 16 boards in two games against Marist. He also averaged 6.5 offensive rebounds.

Key stat: Marist's bench went scoreless.

Key stat II: Canisius had 17 assists AND 17 turnovers. Not good.

Suspended: Senior guard Alshwan Hymes was been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. A source said Hymes got into an argument with an assistant coach. Hymes seemed to be working his way out of the guard rotation recently and in his last five games he was just 3 of 9 and hadn't attempted a 3-pointer in the last two. He played just three minutes on Thursday against Fairfield.

"It's a team issue, that's what it is," coach Jim Baron said. "We'll see, we're taking it day to day. It's my decision."

What It Means: Canisius and rival Niagara are tied for first place in the MAAC at 3-1. Way too early to get excited.

In the House: 1,401 at the KAC.

He said it: "He's got a will. It's hard when a kid has will. He's not excepting a box out." - Marist Chuck Martin coach on Manherz.

Up next: Canisius hits the road for last place Siena at 7 p.m. on Friday.

---Rodney McKissic

Niagara-Fairfield Game Wrap

Niagara 71, Fairfield 67

How Niagara Won: A look at Fairfield's shooting numbers (28 of 53) might spring the conclusion the Purple Eagles somehow escaped a sub-par defensive effort. A look at Fairfield turnover count (21) shines a light on what really transpired. A lack of size leaves Niagara's zone susceptible on the interior, but their quickness creates the kind of mayhem that leads to mistakes and the Stags made too many to escape with what would have been a third straight sweep of a trip to Western New York.

Player of the Game: There was no stopping Juan'ya Green. He took the game into his own hands over the final 10 minutes, scored 15 of Niagara's final 20 points and finished with a season-high 31. It's understandable that coach Joe Mihalich wants to work freshman point guard Tahjere McCall into the mix. But the fact is Green's at his best when he's quarterbacking the offense instead of playing the 2 guard.

Best Supporting Role: Niagara center Devon White made his presence felt right from the outset with two steals inside the opening three minutes. He finished with eight points, eight rebounds, three steals and a block. But it's worrisome he picked up at least his third flagrant foul of the season. If he gets ejected at some point Niagara will have issues.

What It Means: The Purple Eagles (7-7. 2-2) retained a share of first place by knocking off a team that had won six straight, including Thursday night's destruction of Canisius at the Koessler Center. Size could be an issue for the Stags (10-6, 2-2) over the long haul but they were only a decent Derek Needham shooting night away from maybe leaving Buffalo with two wins. Needham, one of the conference's top guards, was just 5 of 17 from the field, including 1 of 9 from three.

In the House: The students are still at home but the local support (1,445) appears to be growing.

Stat Check: This shows how effective Niagara was in taking dribble-penetration straight to the basket. The Purple Eagles had 21 field goals -- and only four assists. (Green had three of them).

Stat Check II: Someone look up the last time the Purple Eagles scored 71 points with only two threes to their credit.

They Said It:

Joe Mihalich on Niagara's array of offensive weapons: "We have the luxury of (Green) having the ball or Antoine having the ball. If MJ’s in there you got to guard him because he can shoot. Now you got Devon that can score down low. Ameen. So it’s a balance and I think Juan’ya be the first guy to tell you that the reason he can play some one-on-one there is they can’t help off of Mason, they can’t help  off of MJ, they can’t help off of Dev now. Tonight was his chance to kind of take advantage of what was there. Maybe next time it could be Mason. After that it could be Devon being able to do it."

Mihalich on the mindset coming in: "We talked about being tough early because we thought that those games that they won Fairfield was the toughest team early on. So I thought we won that little game within the game."

Fairfield coach Sydney Johnson: "For us it came down to our missed free throws (6 of 15), out turnovers (21) and the free throw disparity (Niagara shot 37). Those were three things that were amazing. We were very poor from the line. We threw the ball all over the place, and Joe's team forced us to do a lot of that. And the free throws, the disparity's almost insurmountable."

Heating Up: Green had 52 points over the last two games, marking the first time this season he's gone over 20 in consecutive starts.

Cooling Off: Freshman T.J Cline's unorthodox shooting stroke might appear less ugly if a shot found the basket every now and then. He started out the season shooting 5 of 8 from three. Since then he's 9 for 50, including 0 of 4 Saturday.

Next Up: The Purple Eagles step outside the MAAC to play at Brown Tuesday night. Fairfield plays its fourth straight conference road game at Loyola Friday night then returns home Sunday for a rapid-turnaround rematch with Niagara.

-- Bob DiCesare

Hymes suspended from Canisius

Senior guard Alshwan Hymes has been suspended indefinitely from the Canisius men's basketball team for a violation of team rules, the school announced during tonight's game against Marist.

According to a source Hymes got into an argument with an assistant coach on Saturday. Hymes wasn't on the bench for the game.

Hymes is averaging 6.3 points this season, but his playing time had been limited over the last five games. He played only three minutes of last Thursday's loss against Fairfield.

---Rodney McKissic

Canisius women stun Siena on halfcourt prayer

The Canisius women's basketball team improved to 4-8 by posting a 65-62 win over Siena Friday afternoon before a Kids Day crowd of 2,196 in the Koessler Center. Standard issue stuff until you see how it ended.

After Siena tied the game on a Kanika Cummings layup with three seconds left, the Griffs won it on a half-court bank shot by freshman Tiahana Mills that officials ruled good on replays.

The school is sending the video to ESPN in hopes of making the SportsCenter Top 10 but you can see it along with the, um, excitable call of play-by-play man Mike Scott below.

---Mike Harrington
@BNHarrington

(4:30 p.m. update: I didn't get the wrestling reference on the call. The explanation is here.

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

Niagara-Marist Game Wrap

Niagara 94, Marist 72

How Niagara Won: They looked like two teams coming off the holidays as the Purple Eagles and Red Foxes combined for miss the game's first 10 shots. Niagara kicked it in then and there, making 29 of its next 32, opening a 51-30 halftime bulge and coasting from there.

Turning Point: Marist went scoreless the opening 7 minutes and 23 seconds, fell behind 13-0 and never made a serious run.

Player of the Game: Ameen Tanksley played only 27 minutes but still came up with his third double-double of the season. His 22 points were a season-high and his 12 boards matched his season's best.

Best Supporting Role: Malcolm Lemmons scored 11 points off the bench for the second time in four games. He's made 11 of his last 16 shots from the floor. Trouble is, guard minutes are hard to come by on Monteagle Ridge.

What It Means: Niagara is 2-1 and has won its conference home opener for the first time in three years. They have a share of the MAAC lead after three games for the first time since '08-09.

Stat Check: Niagara's 94 points against just nine turnovers is quite the feat.

Stat Check II: Can someone please look up the last time Niagara scored 50 points in the paint?

In the House: Just 1,159 with the students still on break.

They Said It:

Juan'ya Green on playing more 2 guard with freshman Tanjere McCall handling some of the point: "I'm trying to adjust to it but I think it's worked out for both of us."

Niagara coach Joe Mihalich on the point position: "The feeling from our point of view is it's like I have two point guards out there."

Mihalich on Tanksley's grit: "That's when he's at his best. We talk about attitude and so forth. That's what makes Ameen a good player, when he plays that way."

Next Up: Red-hot Fairfield brings its seven-game winning streak to the Gallagher Center at 3 Saturday afternoon.

-- Bob DiCesare

WNY College Sports Chat - 3 p.m.

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About Campus Watch

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.

@TBNDicesare | bdicesare@buffnews.com


Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic began his journalism career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for The Buffalo News since 2001. A proud father of four children, he enjoys reading in his spare time.

@RodneyMcKissic | rmckissic@buffnews.com


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.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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