The Manhattan Jaspers shot 51.7 percent from the field, knocked down 11 3-point field goals and out rebounded the Canisius Golden Griffins by a 46-32 count en route to an 84-73 win Friday night in front of a sold-out Koessler Athletic Center. The win moves Manhattan to 16-6 overall and 9-4 in MAAC play while the loss ends the Griffs’ four-game winning streak and moves the Blue and Gold to 16-8 overall and 10-3 in conference action.
Manhattan had four players score in double figures, led by senior guard George Beamon. Beamon scored a game-high 27 points after going 9-for-22 from the field, 5-for-9 from 3-point range and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line. He also had four rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Ashton Pankey had 16 points and 11 rebounds while Shane Richards came off the bench and chipped in 14 points on the power of four makes from 3-point land. Senior Michael Alvarado was good for 11 points and five assists for the Jaspers, who had 22 assists on 30 made field goals as a team in the victory.
For Canisius, senior Billy Baron scored a team-high 22 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists. Redshirt sophomore Dominique Raney added 15 points and two assists off the bench and freshman Zach Lewis posted 13 points, four assists and two steals. The loss for the Griffs snapped their eight-game winning streak at home, the longest home winning streak for the program since 1998-99.
“I thought the crowd with the “Gold Rush” was awesome, but we just came out flat and you can’t spot a good team like Manhattan a 10-point lead three minutes into the game,” Canisius head coach Jim Baron said. “They are a veteran team that was picked to win this league for a reason. They have a lot of good players. We didn’t do enough little things tonight. We showed some real grit and got their lead down to two points a couple of times, but they answered right back at us and made shots.”
The Jaspers scored the game’s first six points and led 9-1 just 2:49 into the game after RaShawn Stores hit a trey from the right wing. A jumper by Beamon with 13:18 left before half put Manhattan up 17-3 before the Griffs scored the game’s next five points, capped by a pair of free-throws from Raney, to make it a nine-point game at 17-8 with 11:20 left in the first half. The Jaspers pushed their lead to as many as 16 points midway through the half at 32-16, but Canisius made a run at Manhattan and made it a one-possession game thanks to an 11-0 run, highlighted by three deep 3-pointers from Baron. But that two-point deficit would be as close as the Blue and Gold would get in the first half, and Manhattan used a quick 9-0 run just before the break to stretch its hold to 12 at 45-33.
In the second half, Manhattan led by as many as 15 early on before the Griffs whittled that lead down to seven at 57-50, keyed by four straight points from senior Chris Perez. Out of a Jasper timeout, Manhattan scored the game’s next seven points to take a 64-50 lead with 11:04 left in the ball game. Canisius made one last push at Manhattan with a 12-3 run over the span of 3:30 to make the score 67-62 with 7:21 left. In that run, Lewis hit three 3-point field goals and Raney hit a jumper in the paint, but Manhattan answered the bell again, scoring seven of the game’s next nine points to go up 74-64 with 5:06 left on the game clock.
For the game, Canisius shot 40.6 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from 3-point land and 62.5 percent from the free-throw line, and the Griffs turned 20 Manhattan turnovers into 22 points in the loss. The Jaspers ended the night with 15 offensive rebounds, 36 points-in-the-paint and 15 second-chance points.
Canisius will close out its weekend homestand on Sunday, Feb. 9, when the team hosts Iona on Canisius Hall of Fame Day. Game time is set for 2 p.m., in the Koessler Athletic Center. Iona sits in sole possession of first-place in the MAAC standings after the Gaels came back and defeated Niagara 90-89 Friday night in the Gallagher Center.Game Notes: This was the 83rd all-time meeting between Canisius and Manhattan, with the Jaspers leading the series 50-33… Manhattan has now beaten Canisius 27 times in Buffalo, with 11 of those wins coming in the Koessler Athletic Center… Prior to Friday’s home loss to Manhattan, Canisius’ last loss in the Koessler Athletic Center was to Evansville in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament on March 26, 2013… The sell-out crowd of 2,196 is the fifth sell-out for the program in its last 25 home dates, dating back to the start of last year… Baron’s 20 points gives him double-figures in 65 games in his career… His seven assists gives him five or more assists 12 times this season and 33 times in his career… Raney is averaging 13 points per game in the Griffs’ last three contests… Lewis had three 3-point field goals in the loss for Canisius, the 14th time this year he’s hit multiple 3-pointers in a game.. Senior Jordan Heath had six rebounds in the loss for the Griffs to give him 319 boards for his career… Senior Chris Manhertz wore a protective mask as a precautionary measure after he got hit in the nose in the game’s first half.