HAMDEN, CONN – Quinnipiac jumped out to a 15-point halftime lead and the host Bobcats made eight free-throws in the final 1:42 to earn a 95-90 win over Canisius Friday night in the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. The win moves Quinnipiac to 8-11 overall and 5-4 in the MAAC, while the Golden Griffins fell to 12-8 overall and 5-4 in MAAC play after their second-straight loss.
Quinnipiac freshman Mikey Dixon scored a game-high 29 points after he went 7-for-9 from the field, 3-for-5 from 3-point land and 12-for-15 from the free-throw line. Junior Chaise Daniels had 16 points and three assists in the win for Quinnipiac, while Peter Kiss and Reggie Oliver added 14 points, each. For the game, Quinnipiac shot 58.8 percent from the field, including a 68.2 percent clip in the game’s opening half, while also shooting 61.5 percent from 3-point land and 75 percent from the charity stripe.
Canisius junior Kassius Robertson scored a team-high 24 points in the loss for the Griffs, while fellow junior Jermaine Crumpton added 23 points and three rebounds. Senior Kiefer Douse chipped in 10 points for the Blue and Gold, who scored 58 points in the game’s second half, after posting just 32 points on the scoreboard in the game’s opening stanza.
The Bobcats led 19-12 midway through the first half, and stretched their lead to as many as 17 points before halftime thanks to a 16-6 run over the span of 5:35. That run was capped by a lay-up by Kiss, which put Quinnipiac up 35-18 with 7:04 left before the break. Quinnipiac was up 42-23 with 2:30 left in the first half, but Canisius was able to get within a dozen after freshman Spencer Foley hit a pair a 3-pointers late in the frame. But Quinnipiac took a 47-32 advantage into the locker room at halftime thanks to a traditional three-point play by Alain Chigha with 27 seconds left before intermission.
In the second half, Quinnipiac led by double-digits until there was 7:48 left on the clock. The Griffs were down 15 at 71-56, but an 8-0 run by Canisius, with Crumpton accounting for five of those points, got Canisius within seven at 71-64 with 7:48 left to play. Quinnipiac pushed its lead to 10 moments later, but the Griffs ripped off seven-straight points, capped by a traditional three-point play by Robertson with 5:50, put the Griffs down three at 74-71. Canisius would trim the Quinnipiac cushion to 75-73 with 5:21 left after freshman Dantai St. Louis made a free-throw, but that would be as close as the Griffs would get in the game, as Bobcats answered with back-to-back baskets, highlighted by a dunk by senior Donovan Smith with 4:30 left on the clock that gave the Bobcats a 79-70 lead.
Foley and freshman Isaiah Reese had nine points apiece off the bench for the Griffs, who ended the night shooting 50 percent from the field. Reese added a team-high six boards to the losing cause. Fellow freshman Malik Johnson had six points and dished out a game-high five assists for the Blue and Gold.
Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Postgame Comments
“I am not happy with the effort we got tonight. Give Quinnipiac credit, they played well and made shots, and they hit threes when they had to. But honestly, I’m not sure why it took us so long to get going tonight.”
“We cannot allow teams to shoot almost 70 percent in a half if we think we’re going to be competitive in this league. We were taught a lesson tonight. We’ll see if it ends up being a lesson learned.”Inside the Box Score
• Quinnipiac out rebounded Canisius by a 33-28 clip.
• The Bobcats were able to turn 11 Canisius turnovers into 17 points, while Canisius manufactured 14 points off 19 Quinnipiac turnovers.
• The game featured two lead changes and three ties.
• In the last two games, Canisius has led for a total of 33 seconds (out of a possible 80 minutes).
• This was the eighth all-time meeting between these two schools, with Canisius leading the series 5-3.
• The loss on Friday was Canisius’ first in Quinnipiac’s TD Bank Sports Center. The Griffs were 3-0 all-time before Friday’s game.
• Canisius is now 9-2 this season when scoring 80-or more points in a game. Both of those losses have come in MAAC play.
• The 58 points scored in the game’s second half by Canisius are the most points in a 20-minute stretch for the program since Canisius scored 63 points in a half against Maine Jan. 10, 1979.
• The 24-point effort for Robertson is his seventh game of 20-or more points scored this year.
• Robertson’s two makes from 3-point land on Friday extends his streak of multiple 3-point makes in a game to 15.
• Crumpton has posted 20-or more points in seven games this season.
Canisius will renew its annual rivalry with Niagara on Monday, Jan. 23, with tipoff in the Gallagher Center in Lewiston, New York set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable Sports Network, and the audio call will be on Timeless WECK 1230-AM and 102.9-FM in Buffalo and the Golden Griffin Broadcast Network.