Canisius senior guard Isaac Sosa scored a season-high 24 points after making a career-high eight 3-point field goals and fellow senior Alshwan Hymes came off the bench to add 18 points to help lead the Golden Griffins to an 82-54 win over Longwood Monday night in the Koessler Athletic Center. Canisius improved to 7-2 on the year with the victory, while the Lancers slipped to 3-8 with the loss.
Junior forward Chris Manhertz added 13 points and nine rebounds to the winning effort for the Blue and Gold, which shot 50 percent from the field and 46.4 percent from 3-point land in the victory. Sosa finished the night by going 8-for-12 from long range to go with two rebounds, a career-high two blocked shots and a steal, while Hymes went 4-for-10 from behind the arc with three rebounds, an assist and a steal. Senior Freddy Asprilla came off the bench and chipped in nine points and five rebounds in 21 minutes, as the Griffs' bench ended up out scoring Longwood's reserves by a 35-4 count.
"This was a good team win for us tonight," Canisius head coach Jim Baron said. "We had 17 assists on 30 made baskets, which shows we really shared the ball. We ended up with 35 points off the bench, which is a great sign that guys were ready to go when they got in the game. We didn't rebound tonight like we did at Syracuse or at Marist and that's something we need to be more consistent with. But overall, I'm pretty happy with this effort. We set the tone early when Isaac made some shots and we did a good job finding the open shooters."
Sosa got the night started with three 3-pointers in the game's first 2:08 to give the Griffs a 9-4 lead and Canisius never looked back. Sosa's fourth triple of the night at the 15:54 mark of the first half pushed Canisius' cushion to 10 at 16-6, but the Lancers answered with 10-2 run to make the score 18-16 in favor of the Griffs with 10:57 left before the intermission. Canisius led by two at 20-18 before using a 10-0 run over the game's next 2:28, with Asprilla scoring four points and Hymes adding six points, to give Canisius a 30-18 lead with 6:34 left before the half. The Griffs took a 39-28 lead into the locker room at the half after the team shot 47.1 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from 3-point range in the game's opening 20 minutes, while holding Longwood to 30.6 percent from the field and 25 percent from long range.
In the opening moments of the second half, Longwood trimmed Canisius' lead to five points at 39-34, but a pair of 3-pointers by Sosa and a lay-up by junior Billy Baron helped give Canisius a 47-36 lead with 16:20 left to play. In the game's final 13 minutes, Canisius never led by fewer than 13 points and saw its lead balloon to as many as 30 when Sosa knocked down his eighth and final trey of the night from the right wing. Canisius shot 53.8 percent from the field in the game's second stanza and 46.7 percent from 3-point land, and the Griffs ended the night by turning 15 Longwood turnovers into 16 points while out scoring the Lancers 12-6 in fast-break points.
Longwood forward Jeylani Dublin posted a double-double with his 12 points and game-high 10 rebounds. Freshman Nik Brown chipped in 11 points and four assists in the loss for the Lancers, who shot 34.9 percent from the field, 18.8 percent from 3-point land and 58.3 percent from the charity stripe.
Canisius junior Reggie Groves came off the bench and posted seven points, five assists and a steal for the Blue and Gold, while senior Harold Washington added a season-high seven assists. Sophomore Josiah Heath was good for seven rebounds in his first start of the season.
Canisius will get back on the road Wednesday, Dec. 19, when the Griffs play at Temple in Philadelphia. That game is part of the Chevrolet Gotham Classic and tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Game Notes: This was the second meeting between Canisius and Longwood in men's basketball, and the Griffs now lead the all-time series 2-0... The 28-point win was the Griffs' largest margin of victory since the team beat Northwestern State by 33 points on Dec. 29, 2010... The team's 7-2 record marks the program's best nine-game start to a season since 1966-67, when the Griffs opened the year with an 8-1 mark through nine contests... The Griffs have knocked down 51 3-pointers in the team's last four games... The team was charged with just eight turnovers in the win, the fourth time this year the team has had 10 or fewer miscues in a game... Before tonight, Sosa had made a career-high six 3-pointers in four different career games, most recently at Stetston Nov. 23, 2010 when he was a member of Central Florida's program... Hymes' four 3-point makes gives him 190 in his career... The start of Josiah Heath was the 20th of his career... Josiah Heath has seven or more rebounds in 12 career games... Manhertz's nine boards gives him seven or more rebounds in four games this season and 19 times in his career... Groves' five assists were a season-high.