Canisius hangs on for another road win
Victory at Saint Peter’s keeps Griffs in second
Canisius’ ability to win on the road has thrust coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Golden Griffins smack in the middle of the race for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season men’s basketball championship.
The Griffs used a 13-0 run in the second half to gain a 10-point lead, then hung on for a tight 64-60 victory over Saint Peter’s on Sunday afternoon before 595 at the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City, N.J.
Canisius is 6-1 in conference road games and its 8-4 record ties Siena for second place, a half-game behind first-place Monmouth (9-4). The Griffs own victories over both Siena (road) and Monmouth (home) so far.
All six of the Canisius’ conference road wins have been by five points or less. The Griffs (11-13) have eight victories away from the Koessler Athletic Center. The lone conference loss on the road was at Niagara.
“We forced them to turn it over 16 times,” Witherspoon said of Sunday’s performance. “We were able to capitalize on their turnovers with 21 points. That was really important today, because it’s hard to win when you get out-rounded by 12 for the game.
“We also did a good job sharing the ball with 14 assists and just nine turnovers.”
Canisius turned a 52-49 deficit into a 62-52 lead with 4:39 left in the game. The 13-point run included four 3-point baskets — one by Jordan Henderson, two by Takal Molson and one by Scott Hitchon — and a free throw by Molson.
The Peacocks ran off seven in a row to make it 64-60 with Devauhnte Turner on the line for two free throws 6 seconds to play. Turner made the first, but missed the second and Canisius rebounded.
Malik Johnson of the Griffs then made a pair of free throws with 2 seconds left to wrap it up.
Molson led Canisius with 21 points while Johnson and Hitchon had 11 each.
Molson’s total was his sixth 20-plus