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Freshman Isaiah Reese
Courtesy: Timothy Sofranko Photography

Team Effort Leads Menís Basketball to Road Win

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 12/07/2016
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Game Recap
BOSTON – Five Canisius players scored in double-figures, led by junior Kassius Robertson and his game-high 19 points, as the Golden Griffins went on the road and defeated Boston University 87-77 Wednesday night in Case Gym. The win moved Canisius to 4-5 on the year, while the Terriers slipped to 4-5 with their fourth-straight loss.

All four of Canisius’ wins this season have come on the road. The win on Wednesday night ties the Griffs’ for the nation’s lead in “true” road victories this season, joining with Tennessee State, Texas Southern and UNC Ashville. Canisius, which has now equaled its road win total from a season ago, also snapped a six-game road losing streak to Boston University, dating back to 1986.

Robertson’s 19 points came after he went 7-for-13 from the field and 5-for-8 from 3-point land. He also added seven rebounds, two assists and a steal in 35 minutes of action. Junior Jermaine Crumpton was good for 16 points, seven boards and three assists and freshman Isaiah Reese added a career-high 16 points to go with four rebounds, three assists and two steals off the bench. Senior Phil Valenti and Kiefer Douse added 12 points apiece in the win for the Blue and Gold, which shot 50.8 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point land and 87.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Canisius used a 19-4 run in the final 4:20 of the first half to take a 48-35 lead into the locker room at halftime. Out of the intermission, the host Terriers battled back, outscoring Canisius 19-8 over the span of 7:06 to cut the Griffs’ lead to just two at 65-63 with 7:58 remaining. The game remained tight for the next few minutes until Canisius used a 5-0 run in the span of 38 seconds to push its cushion back to eight at 76-68 with 3:50 left on the clock. Canisius sealed the game by going 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the games closing 2:04, with freshman Malik Johnson drilling three of those charity tosses late in the contest.

Boston University’s Cedric Hankerson led the Terriers with 18 points, while Nick Havener and Justin Alston added 12 apiece in the losing cause. Boston University shot 45.9 percent from the field, including a 56 percent clip in the second half, while shooting 45.5 percent from 3-point land. Canisius out rebounded Boston University 35-33, and the Griffs turned 15 BU turnovers into 24 points.

Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Postgame Comments
“I liked our resolve tonight. We practice late-game situations all the time, but until you’re in a real game against another team, you don’t get to experience it live. To their credit, [Boston University] fought back, but we did a good job handling the basketball, running offense and then making free-throws down the stretch.”

“We had a couple of guys give us some really good minutes off the bench tonight. To be able to have young guys come in and execute and contribute like that is a really good sign. This was a really good team effort tonight.”

“We were able to get out to the lead in the first half because we increased our pressure and it forced them into some quick shots and some turnovers. It seemed like they were not super aggressive like they were when they played UConn and NC State, and we were able to take advantage of that at both ends of the floor.”

Inside the Box Score
• The Griffs hit 11 3-pointers in the victory, the 45th time since 2012-13 where the team has hit 10-or more treys in a game.
• Canisius made 31 field goals in the win, the second-straight game where the team had 30-or more field goals in a game.
• Both teams scored 30 points in the paint for the contest.
• The Griffs led the game for 27:20.

Game Notes
• This was the 25th all-time meeting between these two schools, with Boston leading the series 14-11.

• The win for Canisius was just the program’s third all-time road win over Boston University. Prior to Wednesday’s win, the Griffs’ last victory at Boston University came Feb. 2, 1985.
• This marked the first time five Canisius players scored in double-figures since Jan. 2, 2016 when Canisius defeated Marist on the road.
• Johnson led all Canisius players with six assists, which is a new career high for the freshman guard.
• Robertson has hit 17 3-pointers in the team’s last three games. He started the night ranked 15th nationally in 3-point makes per contest with 3.5 per outing.
• Robertson’s five triples on Wednesday gives him 148, which ranks him seventh in school history.
• Crumpton has not missed a 3-point field goal attempt in the team’s last three outings. He leads the MAAC in 3-point shooting percentage at 64.0 for the season.

Up Next
Canisius will open a brief two-game homestand Saturday, Dec. 10 when the Griffs play host to St. Francis Brooklyn in the Koessler Athletic Center. Game time is set for 2 p.m., and the contest will be broadcast live on ESPN3, with the radio call available on Timeless WECK 1230-AM/102.9-FM and GoGriffs.com.
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