Canisius senior Isaac Sosa scored a team-high 22 points and junior guard Billy Baron was credited with his second career double-double after he scored 17 points and dished out 10 assists as the host Golden Griffins defeated Marist 73-64 Saturday night in the Koessler Athletic Center. The win moves Canisius to 10-5 overall and 3-1 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play, while the Red Foxes dropped their fifth straight to fall to 4-11 overall and 1-3 in league play.
Sosa ended the night by going 7-for-15 from the field, 5-for-11 from 3-point land and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line to go with a season-high five rebounds. Baron went 6-for-15 from the field, 3-for-7 from 3-point range and also pulled down four boards in the victory, while junior Jordan Heath chipped in 11 points and a blocked shot. Junior forward Chris Manhertz had nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds for Canisius, giving him 10 or more boards in six games this season and 15 times in his career. The Griffs shot 42.9 percent from the field, 43.5 percent from 3-point range and 78.9 percent from the charity stripe in the win, as the Blue and Gold ended the night with 17 assists on 24 made baskets.
"I was really concerned with this game to be honest because we've played an NBA-like schedule the last month and a half with a game every other night or every couple of days," Canisius head coach Jim Baron said. "It's tough to beat a team twice in the same season, and sometimes guys get some success and they get a bit complacent. We challenged them to come out and play hard for 40 minutes and I thought we rebounded the ball real well. Chris [Manhertz] was a monster on the backboard tonight with 14 rebounds. Billy [Baron] had 10 assists and did a good job finding open guys and Isaac [Sosa] gave us a real lift with those threes. We came out and played aggressively and we came out and played to win the game."
The Griffs never trailed in the ball game, as the team jumped out to an early 6-0 lead 1:37 into the game on back-to-back 3-pointers by Baron. After Marist got on the board to make it 6-2, Sosa hit the first of his five treys from the left corner at the 17:49 mark of the first stanza to make it 9-2 in favor of Canisius. Marist hung around for a better part of the first half and trailed by four at 23-19 after Devin Price made a pair of free-throws with 5:52 left in the half, but Canisius answered with a 9-3 run over the span of 2:05 to push its lead to 32-22 with 3:02 left before halftime. Canisius led by 12 at the half at 36-24 after the team shot 56 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from 3-point land and 80 percent from the foul line in the game's opening 20 minutes.
The Griffs came out of the locker room and quickly pushed their lead to 16 points at 48-32 thanks to three 3-pointers from Sosa in the span of 1:50, with Baron earning an assist on all three of those trifectas. Marist made a charge at the Griffs' lead and a 3-pointer by sophomore Chavaughn Lewis with 4:17 left to play made the score 67-62, but the Blue and Gold held the Red Foxes off thanks to four-straight points from Manhertz, who grabbed an offensive board and slammed one home with 3:55 remaining and then nailed a pair of free-throws with 2:01 left in the contest to put Canisius up 71-63. Canisius sealed the victory by holding Marist to just one field goal in the game's final 4:17.
Lewis scored a game-high 24 points for Marist, which shot 41.1 percent from the field, 26.3 percent from 3-point range and 65 percent from the free-throw line for the game. Marist scored 28 of its 64 points in the paint, but the Griffs ended the night with a 15-5 advantage in second-chance points and the Blue and Gold's bench outscored Marist's reserves by an 8-0 count, highlighted by four points and four rebounds from senior center Freddy Asprilla.
Canisius will get back on the road next weekend for a pair of MAAC games, starting at Siena on Friday, Jan. 11. Game time is set for 7 p.m., and the contest will be televised live on the Time Warner Cable SportsChannel throughout New York State.Game Notes: The win was head coach Jim Baron's 399th career victory... This was the 37th all-time meeting between these two schools, with Canisius holding a 22-15 advantage in the series... The Griffs have now won nine of the last 12 games between these two schools and the Blue and Gold have won five straight home dates over the Red Foxes... Canisius ended the night with 10 3-pointers as a team, the seventh time in the last eight games where the squad was good for 10 or more makes from behind the arc... Canisius' win gives the Griffs a sweep of Marist in the regular-season series, the program's first MAAC sweep since the team beat Manhattan twice during the 2010-11 campaign... Saturday's win officially doubles Canisius' win total from a year ago... Billy Baron's double-double was the second of his career - he also had 16 points and 11 rebounds at Marist Dec. 9... Sosa has five or more makes from 3-point land in three of the team's last four outings... Manhertz averaged 16 rebounds per game in the team's two meetings with Marist this year... Canisius announced that senior Alshwan Hymes has been suspended from the team for violation of team rules.