Canisius 69, Elon 53
How Canisius Won: The Griffs are the more seasoned team and it played out that way. The Griffs forced 19 turnovers and came up with 11 steals and more than doubled the Phoenix in points scored off turnovers, 20-8. Elon placed third in the SoCon, the 27th-ranked conference in the country. They can be dangerous if they're hitting from three. But they weren't.
Player of the Game: Senior guard Harold Washington had that gleam in his eye from the opening tip. He went for 19 points, hitting 7 of 10 from the field.
Best Supporting Role: The Phoenix have some versatile big men but 6-10 Jordan Heath put them in their place. He scored 13 points, stepped outside for a pair of threes and swatted away five shots.
Best Player (Losing Effort): Elon has a nice player in 6-7 junior Ryley Beaumont, one of those versatile bigs. He had a 20 points and 12 boards -- both game highs. He also commited a game-high six turnovers, a reflection of how much he handles the ball.
What It Means: A postseason win for Canisius, its first since 1995. Elon finished 21-12.
Stat Check: Canisius was outrebounded 48-37 but it wasn't to fret about. When the opponent goes 9 of 34 from behind the arc there's going to be long rebounds difficult to chase down.
Stat Check II: Elon's 29.4 shooting percentage was the worst of the season by a Canisius opponent.
They Said It
Canisius coach Jim Baron on the effectiveness of the Griffs press: "We wanted to make them turn it over and I thought we did a great job forcing 19 turnovers. Again, I've always been a big believer of up-tempo, and we really stepped it up and I think it really got us going."
Baron on Washington: "It's amazing when you continue to play, guys that love to play the game, it doesn't matter, you know what I mean? You're still playing. You're career's still going. I told them, this is what, the first time in 18 years. You're part of Canisius history."
Washington on the press: "Just switching it up defensively threw them off guard. I think that's something we should do a lot more of, just throwing different things at teams, make them change up their strategy."
Jordan Heath on Baron's birthday: "We sang to him in the locker room."
Washington: "Where was I?"
-- Bob DiCesare
taggedCanisius | College basketball | Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference | Mid-Majors