For the second time in four weeks, Canisius senior Billy Baron has been named the Lute Olson Award National Player of the Week and the MAAC Player of the Week after he averaged 37 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game last week in a pair of road wins at Niagara and Siena. Baron joins with California's Justin Cobbs as the only two players in the country to earn Lute Olson Award National Player of the Week honors twice this season, and this marks the fourth time Baron has been honored as the MAAC Player of the Week during the 2013-14 season. No other player in the MAAC has been the league's Player of the Week more than three times.
Baron totaled 74 points last week in two games, highlighted by his career-high 40-point effort in the Golden Griffins’ 92-88 triple-overtime victory at Siena Feb. 16. In that game, he scored his 40 points after going 10-for-24 from the field and 18-for-19 from the free-throw line. He is just the seventh player in school history to score 40 or more points in a game, and he is the first Griff to register 40 points in a contest since Ron Peaks had 40 against Niagara on Dec. 9, 1978. His 40 points rank as the third most in a game in the history of the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., and his 18 makes from the free-throw line set a new building record. The East Greenwich, R.I., native also had a career-high 10 rebounds in the win over Siena on Sunday to go with five assists as the Griffs snapped their nine-game road losing streak to Saints with the victory.
Baron’s weekend got started on Feb. 14, as he scored a game-high 34 points to go with six rebounds and five assists in the team’s 71-65 victory over long-time rival Niagara. In that game, he went 10-for-16 from the floor, 3-for-8 from 3-point land and 11-for-14 from the charity stripe in 38 minutes. Canisius’ win over Niagara was the Blue and Gold’s third straight in the series, dating back to last year, and the two wins this season marks the first time Canisius has swept the regular-season series from Niagara since 1994-95.Baron currently ranks third in the nation in scoring average at 24.6 points per game. He’s averaging 5.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game for the Griffs, who enter their final weekend home dates with an 18-9 overall record and a 12-4 mark in MAAC play. Canisius, which is tied for second in the MAAC standings with Manhattan and Quinnipiac, will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 20, at home when the team plays host to Quinnipiac. Game time in the Koessler Athletic Center is set for 7 p.m.