Canisius 90, Fairfield 78
How Canisius Won: Recent opponents have been shredding the Canisius defense at the KAC. Manhattan did it. Iona. Quinnipiac. And Fairfield was on the same track after a 57 percent first-half shooting effort. So the number that stands out it what the Stags shot after intermission: 29 percent. Would it have been different if point guard KJ Rose hadn't been ejected? Maybe so. But you have to play the hand you're dealt.
Turning Point: The Griffs trailed by four when Jordan Heath was called for an offensive foul with 14:22 left. Bodies tangled. A skirmish ensued. Rose was ejected to his overzealous actions during during the scuffle. Billy Baron made 5 of 6 free throws to Fairfield's two and the Griffs took the lead for good soon after.
Player of the Game: Baron made just two field goals, both first-half threes. But he finished with a team-high 22 points with a 16-for-18 showing at the foul line. And he handed out nine assists, his second-highest total of the season. Funny how drastically he impacts a game when it seems like he's not impacting the game.
Best Supporting Role: Freshman guard Zach Lewis found his stroke, going 4 of 6 from three, 7 of 8 from the line and scoring 21 points. And he did it on an afternoon when Canisius needed him to do it.
Stat Check: The Griffs went 26 of 36 from the foul line in the second half alone. They were 29 of 40 for the game.
What It Means: Canisius is tied for third with Manhattan with two games left -- at Rider and at Manhattan. The Griffs can finish no worse than fourth.
In the House: Billy the Kid's among four seniors playing their final regular-season home game and it's not a sellout???? The attendance checked in at 1,909.
-- Bob DiCesare
taggedCanisius | College basketball | Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference