Canisius senior guard Billy Baron matched a career-high with 38 points, and three other Golden Griffins scored in double-figures, as the Blue and Gold defeated Marist 78-65 Sunday afternoon in the Koessler Athletic Center. The win moves Canisius to 14-7 overall and 8-2 in MAAC play, while Marist drops to 6-14 overall and 3-7 in conference action.
On the day where he was honored pregame for reaching 1,000-career points, Baron poured in 38 after he went 12-for-23 from the field, 5-for-11 from 3-point range and 9-for-10 from the free-throw line while adding four rebounds, four steals and two assists in 39 minutes. Baron’s 38-point effort on Sunday matches his career-high, previously set Jan. 10, when Canisius defeated Rider at home in double-overtime. He is the first Canisius player in school history to score 35-plus points in two home games in Koessler Athletic Center in the same season.
Senior Chris Perez scored 14 points in the win, with all 14 coming in the game’s final 20 minutes, while fellow senior Chris Manhertz added 13 points and nine rebounds, with seven of those coming in the second half. Freshman Zach Lewis scored 10 points and added three assists and two steals to the Griffs’ effort, as Canisius ended the day shooting 47.1 percent from the field, 30 percent from 3-point land and 85.7 percent from the charity stripe.
“Obviously, Billy [Baron] had a great day, but this was a team-win all the way around,” Canisius head coach Jim Baron said. “The guys off the bench today were huge for us. Guys like Dominique Raney, Phil Valenti and Josiah Heath played big minutes for us. They do little things that don’t always show up in a box score. I also give a lot of credit to Chris Perez and Chris Manhertz. They stepped up there in the second half. We need to take this thing one game at a time here, but I’m excited for our guys. Marist is an athletic, talented team and they already beat us once at their place.”
Marist jumped out to an early 11-2 lead 5:01 into the game, forcing Canisius to take a 30-second timeout. Canisius was able to hang around and cut the Red Foxes’ lead to 16-14 with 8:18 left before halftime on a 3-pointer by Lewis. The Griffs eventually took their first lead of the day with 5:32 left before the intermission when Baron made 1-of-2 free-throws. That made free-throw by Baron kicked-started the Canisius offense, as the Blue and Gold went on to out score Marist 17-4 in the final five minutes of the first half, with Baron accounting for 13 of the team’s 17 points in the run.
In the second half, Canisius picked up right where it left off, racing out to a 19-point cushion with 17:34 left to play after Baron nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make the score 45-26. The Red Foxes were able to cut that hold to 13 at 49-36 with 15:16 left in regulation time, but a driving lay-up by Perez with 14:35 left on the clock made it a 15-point affair at 51-36. The Red Foxes battled back and got within 10 points at 57-47 with 9:41 left in the game, but Manhertz and Perez scored the next seven points for Canisius in a 7-2 run that made the score 64-49 with 8:27 left in regulation time.
Marist junior guard Chavaughn Lewis scored a team-high 18 points for the Red Foxes, who have now dropped two straight and five of their last six since defeating Canisius in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. back on Jan. 6. Redshirt freshman Khallid Hart had 17 points and four steals in the loss for Marist, while senior forward Jay Bowie was good for a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The Red Foxes out rebounded Canisius 33-32 for the game and the team shot 44.8 percent from the floor, 15.4 percent from long-range and 68.8 percent from the free-throw line for the contest.
Canisius will head back on the road next weekend, starting at Quinnipiac Jan. 30. That contest will mark the first time Canisius and Quinnipiac have met on the hardwood, and game time is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on SNY.Game Notes: This was the 39th all-time meeting between these two schools, with Canisius holding a 23-16 lead in the series… Canisius is 13-4 all-time against Marist at home… Canisius moved to 8-2 in league play, the program’s best 10-game MAAC start since the 1996-97 team went 9-1 through the first 10 conference games of the season… This season marks the first time Canisius has posted 14 wins by Jan. 26 since the 1956-57 season, when the Griffs earned win No. 14 of that year on Jan. 26 by defeating Wayne State… The Griffs saw their streak of reaching 80-plus points come to an end at five straight… Baron scored 25 of his 38 points in the game’s first 20 minutes… Baron also matched a career-high with five makes from 3-point land, the sixth time this season he’s hit five shots from behind the 3-point line in a game… Manhertz’s nine boards gives him 707 career rebounds, making him ninth player in school history to pull down 700-plus career boards… Manhertz now ranks eighth in school history in career boards as he passed former Griff Darnell Wilson on Sunday… Perez is now averaging 14.8 points per game in the team’s last five contests, and he is shooting 53.3 percent from the field in those five games.