Canisius (20-11) vs. Siena (15-16)
Date: Saturday, March 8, 2014
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: Springfield, Mass. | MassMutual Center
TV/Online: ESPN3 and WatchESPN
Talent: Doug Sherman (p-x-p) and Rob Kennedy (color)
Live Audio: AM-1400 WWWS (Buffalo) & GoGriffs.com
Talent: Jay Moran (p-x-p) and Mike Scott (color)
Live Stats: Available through MAACSports.com
Twitter: @Griffs_MBB | #Griffs; #MAAC14; #MAACHoops
The Canisius men's basketball team opens MAAC Tournament play Saturday at 2:30 p.m., when the fourth-seeded Golden Griffins take on No. 5 seed Siena in Springfield, Mass. Canisius is the MAAC Tournament four seed for the first time since 1999, and this will be the eighth all-time MAAC Tournament contest between Canisius and Siena.
• Canisius starts its march toward a MAAC Championship this afternoon when the No. 4 seed Golden Griffins take on No. 5 Siena in the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.
• The Griffs enter today’s game with a 20-11 overall record. This is the eighth 20-win season in school history and it marks the first time since 1993-94 where the Blue and Gold won 20 games during the regular season.
• Canisius is coming off a 68-63 loss to Manhattan March 2. The Jaspers swept Canisius during the regular season, the first program to sweep the Blue and Gold in league play in the last two years.
• Canisius senior Billy Baron was named to the All-MAAC First Team on Monday, making him just the third player in program history to earn All-MAAC First Team honors multiple times in his career.
FAST BREAK POINTS
• Canisius senior Billy Baron leads Canisius and ranks third in the nation with his 24.4 points per game scoring average. In the team’s last five contests, he’s averaging 26.4 points, 6.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game.
• Baron enters today’s game against Siena averaging 20.0 points, 7.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game in four career meetings with Siena.
• Canisius freshman Zach Lewis was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team on Monday, as voted on by the league’s head coaches. He is the first Canisius freshman since Frank Turner in 2006-07 to earn all-rookie honors in the conference.
ABOUT THE SAINTS
• Siena enters the MAAC Tournament as the No. 5 seed after the Saints closed the regular season with a 15-16 overall record. Siena is currently riding a four-game winning streak, the program’s longest win streak in four years.
• Siena guard Rob Poole leads the Saints with his 14.7 points per game scoring average, which ranks 13th in the MAAC. Poole, who had a career-high 33 points against Canisius Feb. 16, was named All-MAAC Third Team on Monday by the conference’s coaches.
• Siena had two players named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team this season. Freshman Marquis Wright leads the MAAC with his 5.5 assists per game, while fellow rookie Lavon Long averages 9.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
• The Saints come into this game ranked second in the MAAC in field goal percentage defense at 41.9 percent and second in the league in rebounding margin (plus-3.0).
CANISIUS - SIENA SERIES
• This afternoon marks the 92nd all-time meeting between these two schools, with Siena holding a 51-40 lead in the series.
• This game will mark the eighth time Canisius and Siena have met in the MAAC Tournament. The Saints lead that portion of the series 5-2. This will be the first game in the postseason between these two schools since the 2009 tournament, where Siena posted a 77-52 win over Canisius in the quarterfinal round.
• Canisius swept the 2013-14 regular-season series against Siena and the Griffs have won three-straight games over Siena, dating back to last year. The Blue and Gold’s win at Siena Feb. 16 in three overtimes snapped the program’s nine-game road losing streak to Siena, which dated back to the 2005-06 campaign.
MAAC TOURNAMENT TIDBITS
• This marks the 25th year Canisius has competed in the MAAC Tournament where the team boasts a 22-23 record.
• The Griffs earned a first-round bye in the MAAC Tournament this season for the second-straight year and for the third time in the last four conference postseason events. Canisius is just 1-4 in its last five MAAC Tournament games, with the last victory coming in the first round in 2010 when the team beat Marist.
• Canisius earned the No. 4 seed in this year’s tournament after going 14-6 in conference play during the regular season. This marks the first time since 1999 that the Griffs are the No. 4 seed in the MAAC Tournament.
• Canisius is 7-13 all-time in the quarterfinal round of this tournament. This year marks just the third time since 2000 where the Blue and Gold has earned a first-round bye into the quarterfinals.