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Canisius accepts invitation to CIT

---Canisius College has officially accepted an invitation to participate in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), ending the program’s 17-year postseason drought. The Golden Griffins’ first-round game will be played next Wednesday at the Koessler Athletic Center against an opponent to be determined.

This is the program’s first postseason game since playing Utah on March 14, 1996, in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Utes were national runner-up to Kentucky. It will be Canisius’ first home postseason game since March 23, 1995, when the team defeated Washington State at the Aud for a berth into the NIT Final Four.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Atlantic members Rider and Loyola (Md.) have also been invited to the CIT.

---Rodney McKissic

Postseason Hoops Honors

Catching up on some postseason honors that have been doled out while awaiting the start of the UB women's second-round MAC Tournament game against Miami here in Cleveland:

Ohio senior guard D.J. Cooper was named MAC Player of the Year today and Akron's Keith Dambrot was named Coach of the Year. I voted for both of them.

I was extremely high on UB's Javon McCrea but when the Bulls failed to finish .500 in conference I couldn't bring myself to cast the vote. And Cooper won me over with that go-ahead 3 he hit from Getzville in Ohio's 72-69 win at Alumni on March 5. Plus, Cooper will go down as one of the best guards in MAC history. It seemed kind of crazy he might leave never having won the award. So I'll admit it. Career achievement factored into my vote.

As for Dambrot, when you win the conference and put together a 19-game winning streak you don't leave much room for debate. Plus, I admired the way he responded to the Alex Abreu arrest that's probably going to cost the Zips an at-large if they don't win it all here.

The All-MAC first team consists of McCrea, Cooper, Akron center Zeke Marshall, Kent State forward Chris Evans and Toledo guard Rian Pearson. I believe that's exactly how I had it on my preseason ballot although ultimately Evans didn't make the preseason first-team.

UB's Jarryn Skeete was on the all-freshman team.

On the women's side, UB had two players receive honorable mention: freshman Mackenzie Loesing and sophomore Christa Baccas. Loesing also mad the all-freshman team.

* * * * *

In the MAAC, Coach of the Year Joe Mihalich is one of 20 finalists for the Skip Prosser Award given by collegeinsider.com. The award was initiated in 2008 and goes to a coach who achieves success on the court and demonstrates moral integrity off the court.
Western New York native and former ECC and Canisius coach John Beilein of Michigan also is a finalist.

Also from collegeinsider.com, Niagara's Juan'ya Green and Billy Baron of Canisius were tabbed as MAAC co-MVPs.

-- Bob DiCesare

Live blog: Canisius vs. Iona men's hoops at 4:30 p.m.

MAAC Matchups Set

Here's how the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament shapes up this week in Springfield, Mass.:

On the women's side, No. 7 Canisius plays No. 10 Saint Peter's at noon on Thursday. If the Griffs win they'll face No. 2 Iona in the quarters at 9:30 Friday morning. No. 5 Niagara faces No. 4 Rider in the quarters at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

On the men's side, No. 1 Niagara plays the winner of Friday's 8-9 game between Marist and Siena at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. No. 5 Canisius meet No. 4 Iona at 4:30 Saturday. If the Griffs and Purple Eagles both will they'll meet in Sunday 2 p.m. semifinal.

-- Bob DiCesare

 

 

Canisius-Niagara game analysis

Game analysis: Billy Baron did allow a buzzer to decide his team's fate this time around. Billy the Kid had his stroke going early and often against rival Niagara to the tune of 33 points as Canisius avenged its last-second loss two weeks at home, 77-70, on Sunday.

How Canisius won: Showered with chants of, "Daddy's Boy," Baron made his father proud especially with all the pounding he took in a physical game. Baron missed out playing the full 40 minutes only because he sat out two after hurting his ankle. Niagara was able to dig out of a first-half hole but failed to come up with a key basket in the final minutes. Antoine Mason, the team's go-to scorer, sat out the game with an ankle injury.

Turning Point: Baron broke a tie at 64 with a layup and then Canisius ceased control of the game when Jordan Heath followed a Harold Washington miss with a two-handed jam.

Player of the Game: Can't say enough about Baron.

Unsung player of the game: Washington has been fighting a viral infection the last few days but came through with 18 points and four assists.

Key stat: The Griffs had 16 turnovers and just six assists.

Key stat II: Niagara shot just 12 of 23 from the charity stripe.

What It Means: Despite the loss, Niagara remains in first place in the MAAC at 10-4, while Canisius is in a three-way tie for second.

Long time coming: Canisius won at Niagara for the first time since Nov. 30, 2002.

Tough night: Marvin Jordan hit the winning shot to beat Canisius in their last matchup but was scoreless this time around.

Working overtime: Referee Jeff Anderson worked Sunday's game after officiating Saturday's five overtime marathon between Notre Dame-Louisville game in South Bend. When asked how much sleep he got Anderson said, "Four hours."

In the House: Green Bay Packers running back and Niagara Falls native James Stark and NU great Tyrone Lewis were among the capacity crowd of 2,400 at the Gallagher Center.

He said it: "He was leading the team and we followed." - Harold Washington on Billy Baron.

Up next: The Golden Griffins play at Loyola while the Purple Eagles travel to Marist, both on Thursday.

---Rodney McKissic

Live: Canisius vs. Iona at the Koessler Center

Academic Honors

Canisius guard Isaac Sosa has been named to the Academic All-District 1 team, the only player in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference so honored. Sosa has a 3.48 gpa in finance and is the first Griff on the District team since Darren Fenn in 2000-01.

UB has put two players on the Academic All-Mid-American Conference team. They are receiver Alex Neutz, who has a 3.59 in management, and defensive end Colby Way, a 3.49 in computer engineering. Three Bulls -- receiver Rudy Johnson, tight end Matt Weiser and QB Alex Zordich, achieved honorable mention status.

-- Bob DiCesare

Live updates: Loyola at Canisius men's basketball at 7 p.m.

Canisius-Niagara Game Wrap

Niagara 66, Canisius 65

How Niagara Won: Marvin Jordan's three from the left corner with 2.9 seconds remaining stood as the winning points when Billy Baron's last-instant jumper was deemed to have come after time expired. Jordan's shot was set up by point guard Juan'ya Green, who raced up court, drove the lane and dished off as defenders converged.

Player of the Game: Jordan struck for a season-high 23 points on a night when leading scorers Antoine Mason and Green were limited by foul trouble. He played 34 minutes and went 9 of 18 from the floor with four rebounds and three steals.

Continue reading "Canisius-Niagara Game Wrap" »

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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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