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Men's Basketball Hosts VMI in CIT First Round

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 03/17/2014
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2014 CIT First Round Game
Canisius (21-12) vs. VMI (19-12)

Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2014
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Buffalo, N.Y. | Koessler Athletic Center
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The Canisius men's basketball team opens play in the 2014 Tournament (CIT) tonight when the team plays host to VMI out of the Big South Conference. This marks the 11th national postseason appearance for the Golden Griffins, and it also marks the program's second-straight trip to the CIT.

• Canisius opens postseason play tonight when the Golden Griffins take on VMI in the first round of the Postseason Tournament.
The Griffs are 21-12 overall this season. Canisius saw its run toward a MAAC Championship end March 9 with a 75-72 loss to Iona in the MAAC Tournament semifinal round.
Canisius is making its second-straight appearance in the CIT. Last year, the Griffs went 2-1 and advanced to the CIT quarterfinals before losing at home to Evansville by the score of 84-83.
This marks Canisius’ 11 appearance in the national postseason in the school’s 110-year history. The Griffs have played in four NCAA Tournaments, five NIT events and now two CIT tournaments.
Only four players in this year’s Canisius roster (seniors Billy Baron, Jordan Heath and Chris Manhertz and junior Josiah Heath) have played in a national postseason game.

• Canisius senior Billy Baron leads Canisius and ranks third in the nation with his 24.2 points per game scoring average.
• Baron, the 2014 Pepsi MAAC Player of the Year, starts this game tonight averaging 19.3 points per game in 28 career contests in the Koessler Athletic Center.
• Canisius senior Chris Manhertz comes into tonight’s game having recorded a double-double in the team’s last two games. Since returning from a broken nose Feb. 20, the Bronx, N.Y., native is averaging 9.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game for the Griffs.

• VMI enters the 2014 CIT with an overall record of 19-12. The Keydets advanced to the semifinals of the Big South Conference Tournament last weekend, the team’s sixth semifinal appearance in the last eight years.
• VMI leads the nation in scoring average at 87.7 points per game. The team has three players averaging better than 18 points per game, led by freshman guard QJ Peterson.
• The Keydets have scored 70 or more points 26 times in 31 games this season, and the team has been good for 100-plus points eight times.
• Senior forward D.J. Covington is good for 18.7 points and a team-high 9.4 rebounds per game this season. The 2014 Big South Defensive Player of the Year, he averaged 6.7 defensive rebounds per game and he ranks 10th nationally with 3.1 blocked shots per contest.
• Senior guard Rodney Glasgow averages 18.4 points and 5.6 assists per game for VMI, which shoots 44 percent from the field as a team. Glasgow leads VMI in minutes played per game with 36.8 per outing.
• Despite ranking No. 1 nationally in scoring average, VMI ranks 342nd (out of 345 teams) in points per game allowed as the Keydets give up an average of 81.6 points per game.

• Tonight’s game between Canisius and VMI will mark the first meeting in program history.
• Dating back to 2005-06, Canisius is 12-8 in its last 20 games when meeting an opponent for the in school history.
• VMI is the 57th Division I men’s basketball program to play a game against Canisius in the Koessler Athletic Center since the building opened in 1968.

• This marks the second-straight year Canisius has played in the Postseason Tournament. The Griffs went 2-1 last year, seeing their run end March 26, 2013 with a home loss to Evansville.
• This will be Canisius’ 11th postseason appearance all-time in program history. The Griffs are 11-13 all-time in the postseason after going 2-1 in the CIT last March.
• The CIT appearance last season ended Canisius’ 17-year drought without a postseason berth. Prior to earning a spot in the 2013 CIT, the Griffs last postseason appearance came in the 1996 NCAA Tournament.
• Canisius defeated Elon in the 2013 CIT first round and then advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 32-team event with an 84-82 win in overtime at Youngstown State. That win in overtime was the program’s first overtime victory in a postseason game since March 12, 1956 when the Blue and Gold beat No. 2 North Carolina State 79-78 in four overtimes.
• Last season, Canisius averaged 78.7 points per game in three CIT contests, highlighted by an 84-point effort in the overtime win at Youngstown State.
• Canisius senior guard Billy Baron averaged 20.3 points, 5.0 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game last season for the Blue and Gold in the team's three CIT games a season ago.

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