The Canisius College women’s basketball team used 26-6 run in the first half, combined with 11 3-pointers, to defeat the University of Detroit 77-67 in the Koessler Athletic Center on Friday night. The Golden Griffins open the season with a win for the second consecutive year.
Five Canisius players scored nine or more points in the game, led by a game-high 19 points from senior Jamie Ruttle. Senior Jen Morabito had 13 points, shooting 4-for-6 from behind the arc, while freshman Lauren D’Hont had 12 points in 25 minutes off the bench. Sophomore Tiahana Mills filled out the stat sheet with nine points, eight rebounds and six assists.
“I felt we might be able to get into a battle of shooting 3-pointers with Detroit, and I liked our chances in that matchup. We used a good shooting stretch in the first half to break the game open,” Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. “Then I thought we were able to utilize the diversity in our personnel to match up with the different looks Detroit gave us.”
Detroit pushed the tempo early in the game, forcing four Canisius turnovers in the opening four minutes and jumping out to a 10-6 lead. Canisius then scored eight straight points, which kickstarted the 26-6 run that allowed the Griffs to take control of the game.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from sophomore Emily Weber and D’Hont, followed by a layup from the freshman, comprised the eight-point run that took just over a minute. The Titans knotted the score at 14-14 before the Griffs scored 18 of the next 20 points. Morabito drained 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to force a Detroit timeout. The senior had another 3-poitner late in the run, which was capped by a jumper from junior Kayla Hoohuli to put Canisius up 32-16.
The Griffs led by nine points at the half and scored five points – a 3-pointer from Ruttle and putback layup from Mills – in the first 60 seconds of the second half to take a 14-point lead and force another Detroit timeout. Canisius would answer each Detroit run in the second half as the Titans cut the lead to seven with 16:18 left but Canisius extended the lead to 12 on a 3-pointer from Hoohuli and pull-up jumper from Ruttle.
Detroit would get as close as six points at 59-53 with 8:21 left, but a 3-pointer from D’Hont, followed by a jumper from Mills, gave Canisius another double-digit lead. The Titans cut it to 72-65 with 1:28 left, but Canisius put the game away with a three-point play from Ruttle with 49 seconds left.
Four Detroit players reached double figures, led by a double-double from Elisha Crosby who had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Canisius held Detroit to 31.4 percent from the floor, including 6-for-31 on 3-pointers.
Canisius heads to Michigan for two games next week, starting with Thursday’s contest at No. 20/18 Michigan State. Game time in East Lansing is set for 7 p.m.Notes: Canisius controlled the glass, grabbing 40 defensive rebounds and posting a 74.1 defensive rebounding percentage… Canisius had 21 assists on 27 made baskets… Canisius made 11 3-pointers in two games last season… Griffs defeated the Titans for the third time in the last four meetings… The 12 points from D’Hont gives Canisius a freshman in double figures in the season opener for the second consecutive season and are the most by a freshman in her debut since Micayla Drysdale had 13 points at West Virginia on Nov. 9, 2007… Canisius had eight blocks on the day… The game featured 81 possessions, more than any Canisius game from last season.