This is the third installment of the “Canisius Men’s Basketball Summer Series”, which features a look back at various aspects from the 2012-13 season and eventually a look ahead to the 2013-14 campaign. These features will be posted every Monday throughout the summer until Monday, Aug. 26, the first official day of school for the 2013-14 academic year.
No. 5 – Isaac Sosa’s step-back jumper at Niagara – Feb. 10
With Canisius trailing Niagara by two points at 64-62 with less than 3:00 left in regulation time, guard Isaac Sosa hit a step-back jumper from just inside the 3-point line to knot the game at 64-64. From there, the Griffs would outscore the host Purple Eagles 13-6 over the game’s final 2:43 to secure a 77-70 win, the program’s first road win at Niagara in nine tries, dating back to the 2002-03 season.
No. 4 – Billy Baron’s drive to the hoop at Niagara – Feb. 10
Billy Baron showed why he is one of the MAAC’s best offensive players off the dribble with 2:14 left in the game at Niagara Feb. 10. With the score tied at 64-64 (thanks to Isaac Sosa’s jumper, top-play No. 5) Baron drove through the lane and laid one off the glass while being fouled by Niagara forward Devon White. For White, it was his fourth foul, and it put the Griffs in the double-bonus. It also gave Canisius the lead for good, as Baron’s hard-earned hoop put the Blue and Gold up by a pair. Baron finished that day with a career-high 33 points.
No. 3 – Chris Manhertz’s tip-in against St. Bonaventure – Nov. 17
With Canisius trailing long-time rival St. Bonaventure by one at 67-66, guard Harold Washington knifed through the Bonnies’ defense looking to take the lead, but Washington’s shot rimmed out, and forward Chris Manhertz was there to clean up the miss. Manhertz’s tip-in with 53 seconds left on the clock put Canisius up for good at 68-67. For Manhertz, he ended the game against St. Bonaventure with eight points and two rebounds, but no bucket or board by the hard-working forward that day was more clutch, as the Griffs moved to 2-0 on the season for the first time since 2000-01.
No. 2 – Billy Baron’s deep 3-pointer to tie Youngstown State – March 23
Canisius trailed by 22 points with 18:17 left in regulation time in its second-round CIT game at Youngstown State, but the Blue and Gold battled back and forced overtime before knocking off the host Penguins 84-82 to advance to the CIT quarterfinal round. The shot that forced the extra session was a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key by Billy Baron, who drained one from NBA-range trey to knot the game at 73-73. Canisius would go on to outscore Youngstown State 11-9 in overtime, with Baron accounting for six of the team’s 11 points in the extra session.
No. 1 – Jordan Heath’s put-back dunk at Niagara – Feb. 10
Jordan Heath led the Griffs with 34 dunks in 2012-13, but his biggest dunk of the season was Feb. 10 at Niagara. With Canisius leading by two at 66-64, Jordan’s brother Josiah Heath got his arm in the passing lane and forced a Purple Eagle turnover. Harold Washington picked up the loose ball and raced the length of the floor, but he missed his lay-up attempt. Hustling back to the Griffs’ offensive end of the court, Jordan Heath caught the missed lay-up try by Washington and flushed it home with 52 seconds left to play to put the Griffs up 68-64. Jordan Heath finished the day with eight points and 12 rebounds and the Griffs’ victory improved the team to 16-9 overall and 9-5 in MAAC play at the time.
Honorable Mention List
Jordan Heath and his break-away, tomahawk dunk at Rider Jan. 25… Reggie Groves’ bank-shot 3-pointer from the corner at Temple Dec. 19… Canisius’ switch to a zone defense in the closing seconds against St. Bonaventure, which caught the Bonnies off-guard and forced a missed 3-point chance.
GoGriffs.com will take a deeper look at broken offensive records and various stats and figures from the 2012-13 season.