The Canisius College men’s basketball team held visiting Mercyhurst to 15 second half points on three field goals and nine made free-throws en route to a 64-49 exhibition win Wednesday night in the Koessler Athletic Center. With the win, Canisius closed out its exhibition season with a 2-0 record for the second-straight year.
Three Golden Griffins scored in double-figures in the victory, led by freshman guard Zach Lewis, who came off the bench to score a game-high 12 points. Senior Jordan Heath had 10 points and eight rebounds for Canisius, while fellow senior Billy Baron chipped in 10 points as well. Senior Chris Manhertz, junior Josiah Heath and redshirt freshman Phil Valenti all recorded six rebounds in the win for the Blue and Gold, as the Griffs ended the night with a 46-28 advantage on the glass.
“It was a story of two different halves tonight,” Canisius head coach Jim Baron said. “We gave them too many good looks in the first half and to their credit, they made shots. In the second half, we really did a good job at limiting their ability to get off open shots and we held them to 18 percent from the field. There’s some things we need to work out yet. Tomorrow will be a good film session for us to review this one.”
The two teams went into halftime knotted at 34-34 after Canisius shot 48.1 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from 3-point land, while Mercyhurst shot 48.3 percent from the floor and 66.7 percent from long range. In the second half, the Lakers made just three buckets, went 0-for-5 from behind the arc and turned the ball over 13 times, which turned into 11 Canisius points. The Griffs also got to work on the glass in the second stanza, as the Blue and Gold recorded 13 offensive rebounds, turning those boards into 11-second chance points in the game’s final 20 minutes.
Canisius led by seven points at 51-44 before Josiah Heath and Valenti tallied the team’s next five points to give the Griffs a 56-44 lead with 6:19 left to play. The Lakers ended up scoring just five points in the game’s final 7:13, highlighted by a stretch of 6:13 where the visiting team scored just two points.
Mercyhurst guards Jonathan Ouegin and Callon Dailey scored 12 points apiece in the loss for the Lakers, while forward Anthony Lytle was credited with eight rebounds.
The Griffs will officially open the 110th season in school history Monday, Nov. 11, when the team plays host to South Dakota in the Koessler Athletic Center. The game will tipoff at 7 p.m., and can be seen live on the Golden Griffin Broadcast Network through GoGriffs.com. The audio call will be available in Western New York on 1400-AM and through GoGriffs.com.Game Notes: Canisius and Mercyhurst met for the fourth time in program history on Wednesday… The Griffs are 4-0 all-time against the Lakers in men’s basketball… Redshirt sophomore Kevin Bleeker came off the bench to score five points to go with four rebounds in nine minutes of action… Freshman Jeremiah Williams scored four points and dished out two assists in his first game action of the season – he missed the team’s first exhibition game last week with a hamstring injury.