It's Chapter Two of Canisius-St. Joe's and the Bernard J. Kennedy Field House is packed here on the Canisius campus on Delaware Ave. in Buffalo.
Thanks to a old-school school desk set up here adjacent to the scorer's table, I'm up and running and will have updates throughout the game.
4:20 p.m. With 3:01 left in the first quarter, St. Joe's takes a timeout with an 8-5 lead. Marauders look a whole lot bettter than the teams' last meeting.
4:25 p.m. Yikes. James Gaines had a steal and a breakaway but went for a highlight jam and instead jammed the ball right on the rim.
4:27 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, St. Joe's leads Canisius, 10-7.
I expected a great game, particularly after the Marauders won on the road at Maple Grove and then Timon. After such a big win the first time, and with the usual top-level energy of these games, I thought conditions were ripe for a great contest and maybe even what would be an upset win for St. Joe's.
4:34 p.m. St. Joe's calls a timeout with 5:17 left in the second with Canisius up, 17-12.
A moment ago, Blair Helton scored on a layup to eclipse the 1,000-point mark.
Canisius called for the horn to stop play and make an announcement that Helton had acheived the mark. And that was it. If you're going to stop play, there should be a presentation or something (I've seen teams do a presentation of a commemorative basketball). If not, then make the announcement in between quarters or something. No reason to stop play just for an announcement. I've certainly seen that before, and the player gets their due with an announcement prior to the ball being put in play at the next quarter. It's a great accomplishment, I just would like to see it honored in a different way.
4:36 p.m. Canisius' Blair Helton gets fouled, then shoves a player to the floor and rightly gets called for a technical. Kyle Wojciechowski hits one free throw and the game is tied at 17-17 with 4:31 left in the second.
A moment later, Canisius usual starting guard Aaron Nevins came into the game -- not sure if he was out in lieu of seniors on senior day but we're definitely not used to not seeing him on the court.
4:45 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and St. Joe's leads Canisus, 28-24.
Some great action in the first half, including just here at the close. With Canisius leading, 21-19, St. Joe's sophomore Chad Kelly took a charge, then Wojciechowski hit a three. A transition basket by Kelly followed and Joe's had a 26-19 lead. A three-pointer by Canisius' Dingane Doucet in the final seconds made it a four-point game at the half.
4:57 p.m. St. Joe's calls a quick timeout as coach Mark Simon says, "What are we doing?" Canisius made it 28-26 on a Jimmy Gaines inside basket. There is 6:45 left in the third.
5:08 p.m. No timeouts in this quarter (I like timeouts so I can type here) -- Aaron Nevins goes to the line after his three-pointer and then steal in the backcourt. He adds one free throw. With 1:09 left in the third, St. Joe's is up, 41-40.
5:11 p.m. Here we go. After the third quarter, St. Joe's leads at Canisius, 41-40. Helton picked up his third foul in the third and sat for a couple of minutes. Helton has two points.
5:26 p.m. St. Joe's takes a timeout with 1:50 left. Canisius has taken a 56-51 lead on a three-pointer by Helton and a Lyons layup off a great post-up move and pass by Gaines.
5:31 p.m. What a finish. St. Joe's calls a timeout trailing, 58-55, with 27 seconds left. After St. Joe's cut the lead to one on a Rehbaum basket inside, Lyons just put Canisius up three with a baseline jumper.
5:34 p.m. Steven Moser is going to the line for St. Joe's on a one-and-one with 16.4 seconds left. Canisius leads, 58-55.
5:36 p.m. Canisius takes a timeout after having trouble with the inbound after Moser hit both free throws. Canisius leads, 58-57, still with 16.4 seconds left.
5:37 p.m. St. Joe's forces a turnover on a tough pass under the basket and the Marauders have the ball under the Canisius hoop with 15.4 seconds left, trailing by one (58-57).
5:40 p.m. With 10.3 seconds left, Canisius has the ball -- Joe's missed a shot and a scramble was a tieup to Canisius.
5:34 p.m. We are going to OVERTIME. We are tied at 60-60 after Moser hits a three-pointer from the top of the key in the final seconds. WOW.
Nevins had hit two free throws to make it a 60-57 lead with nine seconds left before Moser brought the ball upcourt and nailed the three.
5:50 p.m. We are tied at 67-67 and St. Joe's has the ball after a clunky play on which Canisius fans wanted a double-dribble. There are 34.7 seconds left in the first overtime.
5:53 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Canisius 69, St. Joe's 67 in overtime.
James Gaines scored all alone on a putback with three seconds left for the game-winner after Nevins missed a drive and some players collided and fell in the lane. St. Joe's had a chance to win it but turned the ball over on the previous possession. Canisius inbounded the ball from the sideline in its backcourt.
Whew. What a game.
Interviews for me right now -- I'll be back with videos of the big shots as soon as I can.
6:46 p.m. Videos of the two big plays are up -- Moser's game-tying shot and Gaines' game-winner. I'm headed to the office to write up my story for Monday's paper. Check back for video interviews.
8:30 p.m. Nichols with an impressive performance at the Primetime Shootout in Trenton, N.J., losing, 60-58, to Oak Ridge Military Academy of North Carolina. Ron Canestro played a full game and had 11 points while Will Regan had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Stan Wier had 15 points.
10:15 p.m. Some additional thoughts ...
A really big win for Canisius, namely in that Helton had two points through the first three quarters -- his three-pointer late in the fourth and two baskets in overtime were definitely clutch, but the input from Lyons, Gaines, Nevins and others helped the Crusaders pass a super-tough test.
Lyons has been a standout double-double guy all season, and he was a very effective option on offense today. Gaines is one of the best athletes in Western New York and that makes him a force by itself, but every once in a while he pulls off a very slick play that shows some basketball IQ.
As their recent results have shown, St. Joe's is a different, more confident team. Chad Kelly provides some serious energy and athleticism. Moser was tough at the point and obviously in the clutch. Rehbaum showed some great moves to the basket, which really make him a well-rounded scorer with his range from outside.
The Manhattan Cup playoffs should be fantastic. There should be some must-see action in Sunday's quarterfinals followed by some major showdowns in the semifinals on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
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Some quotes ...
Canisius coach Kyle Husband:
"All four of those guys scoring double figures -- who do you go after? They went after Blair early; he had two points going into the fourth. Jimmy's been awesome. Gordon has been strong all year and Aaron had another big game. Now we can have four guys who we can rely on to score, and that makes us a lot more difficult to guard."
On the Manhattan Cup playoffs and Wednesday's matchup at Nichols:
"It's going to be fun. Those semis on that Tuesday is going to be awesome. The quarters are going to be awesome. It's going to be one game after another. There are 5,6 teams that can ultimately make a run at it. We're really looking forward to Wednesday and we're really looking forward to the playoffs."
Canisius senior Gordon Lyons on the team's balance:
"Blair, he can go off some nights, but even if he doesn't, we still have Jimmy, Aaron and myself -- our bench is so deep, we don't have to rely on him anymore."
St. Joe's coach Mark Simon:
"This was one for the ages. ... We were embarrassed a couple of weeks ago and that set the tone for us going forward. We've had three good games. We're excited and we're getting ready to play next Sunday.
"It hurts, but I told [his players] we had three great games. We'll go to the Kenmore Tournament [the Dick Harvey Tournament is Tuesday and Thursday] and get ready to play next Sunday. These [games with Canisius] are great games."
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Some video reactions:
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