In conjunction with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) schedule announcement, the Canisius men’s basketball team unveiled its 2014-15 schedule Wednesday morning that features 29 games, highlighted by 14 home dates in the Koessler Athletic Center and a meeting with cross-town rival Buffalo in First Niagara Center as part of the Big 4 Basketball Classic.
The 111th season of Golden Griffin basketball will officially tipoff Saturday, Nov. 15, when Canisius plays host to Vermont inside the Koessler Athletic Center. The game against the Catamounts will mark Vermont’s first trip to the Koessler Athletic Center since Jan. 28, 1991. Season tickets for the combined men’s and women’s home slate can be purchased or renewed by calling the Canisius Ticket Office at (716) 888-2885 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
After opening at home for the third-straight season, the Blue and Gold will head out on the road for three consecutive road games, starting at Lehigh Nov. 18. The Griffs will travel to Olean, N.Y., to play at St. Bonaventure Nov. 22 and then the team will head east on the New York State Thruway for a Thanksgiving Eve contest at Cornell Nov. 26. The game against St. Bonaventure will be the 163rd all-time meeting between the two Western New York rivals.
Canisius and cross-town rival Buffalo will play in First Niagara Center in the second game of the Big 4 Basketball Classic on Saturday, Nov. 29. That game will tipoff at 4:15 p.m. This will be the second-straight year where the two schools have played in the downtown area, with the Griffs posting a 69-55 win over the Bulls last season in a “road” game. Niagara will host St. Bonaventure in the first game of the Big 4 Basketball Classic that day, marking the first time all four Western New York schools have played a true doubleheader downtown since Dec. 12, 1998.
The Griffs will open MAAC play on Wednesday, Dec. 3, when the team travels to Jersey City, N.J., to take on Saint Peter’s. Canisius will return to Western New York and travel to long-time rival Niagara on Saturday, Dec. 6, for the 175th game between the Griffs and the Purple Eagles. The Dec. 6 date is the earliest the two rival schools have met in men’s hoops since 2004. After a week off for Final Exams, Canisius will travel to play at UMass on Dec. 13. The game against the Minutemen will be the program’s first since Jan. 26, 1963. Canisius will close out the 2014 calendar year with three-straight at home, starting Dec. 18, when Stony Brook travels to Buffalo. The Griffs will host Holy Cross Dec. 21 and then return from the Christmas break Dec. 30 when UMKC comes to town in Canisius’ final non-league game of the season.
The Stony Brook game will open a five-game homestand for the Griffs, as the Blue and Gold is scheduled to start 2015 with a pair of home dates with Monmouth (Jan. 2) and defending MAAC champion Manhattan (Jan. 4) coming to town. Canisius returns to the road Jan. 8 at Marist before traveling to Iona Jan. 10. After hosting Siena (Jan. 16) and Iona (Jan. 18), Canisius travels to Fairfield (Jan. 22) and Rider (Jan. 24) before closing out the month of January at home against Quinnipiac (Jan. 30).
The Griffs will start February at home, as the team is scheduled to take on Marist on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1). After a road trip to Manhattan (Feb. 6) and Monmouth (Feb. 8), the Blue and Gold will host two of the league’s three New Jersey-based schools with Rider (Feb. 13) and Saint Peter’s (Feb. 15) coming to the Koessler Athletic Center. The Griffs final two road games of the regular season are set for Feb. 19 at Siena and Feb. 21 at Quinnipiac. Canisius closes out the schedule at home, as the team hosts Niagara in the Koessler Athletic Center on Tuesday, Feb. 24, before battling Fairfield Friday, Feb. 27 on Senior Night.
The 2015 MAAC Men’s Basketball Championship will be played in the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., March 5-9. The league’s championship game is set for Monday, March 11. The winner of that game will earn the conference’s automatic berth into the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. The MAAC will officially announce its complete television schedule, with networks and tip times, at a later date.
The Griffs return five letterwinners from last year’s team that went 21-13 overall and earned a second-straight berth in the CollegeInsiders.com Postseason Tournament. The school’s 41 total wins under third-year head coach Jim Baron rank as the second-most of any school in the MAAC.Schedule Notes: The season opening game against Vermont is the return game from the Griffs’ trip to Burlington, Vt., for the 2013 ESPN BracketBuster series… The Griffs’ Saturday home date with Vermont to start the year will be the team’s only Saturday home contest in the Koessler Athletic Center… The Blue and Gold will play eight Saturday games throughout the schedule, including five-straight Saturdays from Nov. 15 through Dec. 13 to start the year… Canisius has played more games against St. Bonaventure (162 previous meetings) than any other non-conference opponent… Since the series started Dec. 4, 1904, Canisius and Niagara have played in the month of December a total of 11 previous times, with five of those contests being road dates for the Blue and Gold… Stony Brook and UMKC will be the 58th and 59th Division I men’s basketball programs to play Canisius in the Koessler Athletic Center… Canisius will host Fairfield on Senior Day for the second-straight season.