Getting 29 points from Aziza May, Saint Peter's scored 46 second-half points to defeat the Canisius College women's basketball team 74-65 in the Koessler Athletic Center on Thursday evening. The Golden Griffins drop their fourth straight game to fall to 8-14 overall and 5-6 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Senior Ashley Durham led Canisius with 16 points and four assists. Fellow senior Ashley Wilkes had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench while freshman Tiahana Mills scored a career-high 13 points.
"Outside of a stretch in the first half, we didn't play any defense tonight. I felt that carried over to our offensive execution as well," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "This stretch and this loss tonight are going to test our mettle, but there are a few weeks left in the season to give us an opportunity to turn it around."
Saint Peter's (2-20, 2-9 MAAC) jumped out to an 18-9 lead just under seven minutes to the game before the Griffs scored 13 consecutive points. Canisius used eight points from Wilkes during the run that was capped by a deep 3-pointer from Mills. Canisius held Saint Peter's without a point for more than six minutes and maintained their lead through the rest of the half. Canisius went up by as many as five points after two free throws from junior Jen Morabito, and took a 31-28 lead into the locker room.
The Peacocks scored on their first three possessions of the second half to quickly erase the small deficit, but Canisius held on to the lead and took a 44-42 lead on a jumper from freshman Crystal Porter with just over 14 minutes left. Saint Peter's then scored 11 of the next 13 points, including two 3-pointers from Kristal Edwards as well as a 3-pointer from May, to go up 53-46 with 11:20 left.
Saint Peter's would never relinquish the lead the rest of the game, with Canisius making it a three-point game, trailing 61-58 after a layup from junior Jamie Ruttle with 2:52 left. The Peacocks answered with a jumper from Kaydine Bent and scored five straight points to go up 66-58. Saint Peter's made 11 free throws in the final two minutes to put the game away.
May scored the 29 points on 9-of-17 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds. Bent recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes. Edwards had 18 points and seven steals. Saint Peter's shot 51.9 percent in the second half and scored 23 points off the Griffs' 16 turnovers.
Canisius concludes the weekend in the KAC against Loyola University on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. All fans are encouraged to wear pink as the Golden Griffins participate in the Play 4Kay promotion.
Notes: Saint Peter's defeated Canisius in the KAC for the first time since Dec. 6, 2002, ending a nine-game winning streak for the Griffs over the Peacocks in the KAC... Canisius outscored Saint Peter's 30-22 in the paint, outscoring its opponent in the category for the fourth consecutive game... Durham went 4-for-8 from the free-throw line, ending her streak of 27 consecutive made free throws. The senior had four misses on the season (58-for-62) entering the game... Wilkes had her third double-double of the season.