The Canisius College women's basketball team used a 20-1 second-half run, holding the University at Buffalo without a field goal for more than six and a half minutes, and opened the season with a 73-57 win in the Koessler Athletic Center on Friday night.
Four Golden Griffins scored in double figures as Canisius used 42 bench points to overcome foul trouble in the win. Senior Ashley Wilkes had 12 points and 13 rebounds in 23 minutes while junior Jen Morabito scored 11 points. Freshman Crystal Porter recorded 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and junior Jen Lennox had 10 points, six rebounds and four blocks in 26 minutes.
"I do think we have a team with multiple scoring options, and tonight we had to show that, especially in the post," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "We see that depth in practice every day, but to see it when the lights are on and the uniforms are shiny is really encouraging.
"I would like us to get more points in the paint and don't want to get too comfortable shooting 3-pointers, but we have been working on not turning the ball over and playing hard. I think we did those two things tonight."
Buffalo scored the first five points of the game, but Canisius came right back with 11 straight, including two 3-pointers from Morabito. The Griffs held Buffalo to one field goal for more than six minutes as Canisius built a 15-7 lead after a jumper from Porter. Buffalo tied the score at 17-17, but Canisius never gave up the lead as Wilkes scored five straight points to put the Griffs up 22-17. Canisius overcame junior Jamie Ruttle and senior Allison Braun playing six minutes combined in the first half to take a 31-24 lead into the half on a fast-break layup from Lennox.
Buffalo trimmed the Canisius lead to two points on two separate occasions, making it 44-42 after a 3-pointer from Valerie Majewski with 10:22 remaining. The Griffs then used the 20-1 run to take control and break the game open. That run started as Braun got an offensive rebound on a missed free throw and drained a baseline jumper to put Canisius up 47-42. The stretch included 3-pointers from Wilkes and senior Ashley Durham and two layups from Porter as Canisius went up 64-43 with 4:43 left.
Kristen Sharkey led all players with 14 points and posted a double-double with 10 rebounds. Rachel Gregory had 11 points as Canisius held Buffalo to 28.1 percent from the field.
Canisius plays its first road game of the season on Tuesday, when the Golden Griffins face the University of Detroit. Game time in Calihan Hall is set for 7 p.m.
Notes: Canisius opened the season with a win for the first time since the 2008-09 season... Canisius snapped a two-game losing streak to Buffalo and now has won eight of the last 10 over the Bulls... Wilkes had the first double-double of her Canisius career... Tiahana Mills was the first Canisius freshman to start at point guard in the season opener since Jennifer McHugh on Nov. 26, 1988... Morabito now has 14 career games with three or more 3-pointers... Lennox matched her career high with four blocks, which came against Niagara on Feb. 12, 2011... The 42 bench points are the most by the Griffs since they scored 42 against Rider on Jan. 14, 2007... Porter's 10 points are the most by a Golden Griffin freshman in a season opener since Micayla Drysdale had 13 points against West Virginia on Nov. 9, 2007... Canisius ahd 21 assists on 25 made baskets.