MAAC Tournament: Canisius vs. Iona - LIVE BLOG
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • March 09, 2013 @ 6:00pm
Final—Iona 89, Canisius 85.
:06—Baron drills a three, but Canisius still trails by four points with 6.3 left. Tough result for Canisius, who’s season is a miracle away from ending in the MAAC quarterfinals.
:23 —Jones knocks in the pair, as expected. Billy Baron tries a triple from almost dead-on—his hand is hit just a bit by a defender, and the shot’s off to the right. MoMo Jones will shoot two more to seal the game for Iona, who leads by five with 12 seconds left. Jones drills the first.
:31—Ridley’s first swirls around and goes in. His second swishes through—two big buckets for the big man. Harold Washington flies down the floor and scores over Tavon Sledge, but MoMo Jones is fouled by Harold Washington, his fifth and disqualifying foul. He’s a senior. 85-82 Iona, and one of the MAAC’s best free-throw shooters gets two from the line where he’s been lights-out tonight.
:37—Billy Baron almost forces Jones into a turnover, but the referee awards possession to Iona. Canisius’ press is effective so far as Sosa kicks the ball out of bounds. Still Iona ball up three. Sosa smartly fouls Ridley again, who just split a pair from the stripe. He’s not a great free throw shooter—and his confidence is a little shaken.
:37—Harold Washington flies down the floor, dribbles down the baseline and finds Hymes open in the left corner—his three is good! Timeout, and it’s 83-80 Iona, back to a one-possession game.
:48—29 points on the evening for Jones—he’s clearly the player of the game so far, as he’s carried the Gaels the entire second half. Washington fouls Ridley—that’s four on Harold. Ridley will try two from the line. First is off but the second is good.
:48—Washington squanders a lay-up chance but gets his own board—as his foot is on the baseline. Iona ball leading by five with 48 ticks left. Desperate times for Canisius.
1:49—Jones slips past Hymes and scores off the glass. I have no idea why Hymes has drawn Jones as a defensive assignment, because he’s getting beaten like a drum. Chris Manhertz is errant on a hook, and Laury tears down the rebound. 80-77 Iona, then Jones dishes to Ridley—unexpectedly—for another lay-in. Iona leads by five with less than a minute left.
2:52—After nearly losing the ball in the backcourt, Harold Washington rushes into a loose ball and dishes to Chris Manhertz, who scores a man’s bucket off the window. Jones misses a runner, but there’s a tie-up on the rebound and the arrow favors the Gaels. 78-77 Iona. The Gaels call timeout—Sean Armand has been quieted with only two points in the last 13 and a half minutes.
3:09 —The Fairfield Stag and Petey Griffin of Canisius were getting into it—all over an inflated deer that C-Block appeared to hold hostage. Also, Canisius isn’t even playing Fairfield right now, so this mascot mischief is bizarre. I’m a little confused—this really must be March Madness. As expected, Jones sinks the front end of the one-and-one. Second is money, too.
3:09—Not a smart foul by Harold Washington, as he hand-checks MoMo Jones 30-feet away from the basket. Jim Baron is almost to mid-court in the official’s ear. He’s incensed. Jones will shoot one-and-one for Iona after the media. He has passed Armand to lead the Gaels with 25. Baron leads Canisius with 21. We’re in for a breathtaking conclusion.
3:22 —Canisius is surging now! Trapped under the Griffs’ basket, Tavon Sledge tried to throw the ball back to midcourt, but Hymes read the pass and stepped in for the interception, then guided the fastbreak before dishing a bounce pass to Baron on the weak-side—the finish was no good, but Jordan Heath soared in for the put-back jam. 76-75 Iona.
4:39—Jones swishes the first. Like Armand, he’s automatic from the stripe. Curtis Dennis checks in for Bowman for the Gaels. MoMo’s second is good too. Billy Baron curls around a screen at the top of the key and drills a trey. Three-point game—closest Canisius has come in the second half.
6:18—Tre Bowman is whistled for traveling, then gets an earful from MoMo. Wouldn’t want to be Bowman right now. Strong drive and runner by Alshwan Hymes over Bowman’s tough defense—it’s a four-point game. Disgusting drive from Jones, who slashes between two defenders before switching to his right and earning a friendly roll. Washington gets to his spot on the right block off dribble penetration and gets a shot up on the rim—Manhertz is there for the easy put-back. Seems like each team is scoring on every possession. MoMo Jones is bailed out by the officials, as he slips to the floor even though Baron’s arms were straight up and he was walking away from the play.
6:47—Jones drills the first and the second. 21 points now for the MAAC POY. Eight-point deficit facing CC—Chris Manhertz spins inside again but can’t finish at the rim. Manhertz will shoot two more. First is good this time, and so is the second. Two big shots. 72-66 Iona.
7:49—Manhertz’s first is short. Second drops through, though. 68-64 Gaels. Dubious foul call on Josiah Heath, who looked like he had a clean block on MoMo Jones. Lamont will try two from the line—first is cash. 19 for MoMo after he makes his second free throw. 70-64 with 7:30 left. Isaac Sosa’s turnaround jumper won’t drop, and Jordan Heath can only poke the ball out of play. Lost possession for Canisius.
7:49—Under eight timeout, 68-63 Iona. Manhertz will try to throws after the media.
8:12—Bowman at the line after he’s fouled by Jordan Heath—his fourth foul. That’s crucial and terrible news for the Griffs. Both are good for Bowman, and Iona presses out of the make. After Baron dribbled off his foot, Chris Manhertz was first to the loose ball and drew David Laury’s fourth foul.
9:25—Manhertz redeems himself on the second shot. Tough hoop by Laury—a medium range runner that found its way through the hoop. Down six, Washington snaps a pass to Manhertz posted up in the paint, he spins inside and draws a foul on Armand—his third. Manhertz at the line—the first is good. Isaac Sosa replaces Washington in the lineup. MoMo Jones busts out in transition and is just long on a pull-up three—Bowman dives to save it but slides along the sideline. Baron swoops into the paint and throws a soft lob to Jordan Heath for an alley-oop slam!
10:40—Jones responds with a three from the right corner to stop Canisius’ run. Iona in a zone. Billy Baron pulls up behind the arc and strokes a triple—he has no interest in leaving Massachusetts after just one game. 64-59 Iona. DaShawn Gomez heaves a three with three on the shot-clock, and it’s no good. Ridley fouls Josiah Heath on the defensive glass. Manhertz spins baseline into Ridley, and the Griff is hammered. He’ll shoot two from the stripe to try to make this a one-possession game. The first is no good.
11:08—Laury cans the second. Manhertz is doubled in the paint, and he turns to find Baron wide open on the weak-side. Baron scores and draws the foul on Laury! That’s the Iona big’s third personal, and Baron knocks down the free throw to make it a 61-56 game. Beware of Billy Baron.
11:16—Under 12 timeout, 60-53 Iona. Only 12 points for Baron thus far, but expect him to take the bulk of the shots down the stretch. Jim Baron wants his son to be more aggressive, and there’s little doubt he’ll respond. Will it be enough? Jordan Heath has checked back into the lineup. Laury bricks his first from the stripe, and Manhertz replaces Josiah Heath.
11:20—Alshwan Hymes enters for Canisius—Josiah Heath pummels an Iona big, and now it’s the second media timeout of the second half.
11:45—Ridley misses a jumper and Josiah Heath snags the board. Baron whips a short pass to Washington, who maneuvers through a small crease and lobs a shot off glass before help defense can arrive. Cluess calls a 30-second timeout, and it’s only 60-53 Iona now. Billy Baron is starting to assert himself.
13:17—Harold Washington explodes down the lane and scores on a wild shot—it’s waved off and deemed a charge, and Jim Baron throws himself down angrily into a chair, fed up with what he deems bad officiating. Manhertz dips in for a turnover, and Baron’s throw-ahead to Josiah Heath isn’t converted by the Canisius reserve big. He left the shot short, and it was well-challenged by Armand. Another Iona turnover gives Canisius a chance to cut into the 12-point deficit. Billy Baron calms the storm with a three pulling up. Chants of “Defense” rain down from C-Block.
13:24—60-48 is the Gaels’ largest advantage. Iona’s much-respected backcourt of Jones and Armand has combined for 38 of Iona’s 60 points.
13:47—Pretty drive and dish by Sledge to Ridley for an uncontested weakside lay-up. Manhertz turns in the paint and comes up short, and Armand switches hands in the lane and scores with his left—forcing a Canisius timeout. Josiah Heath slams a seat in frustration, and Harold Washington calms him down.
15:31 —Laury pops in the free throw, and Josiah Heath checks in for his brother. Big minutes upcoming for Josiah. Sosa’s three rims out—a good look, though—and then MoMo rushes down and misses a floater, but Ridley carves out an extra possession. Great hustle by Harold Washington to chase down a loose ball and dump the ball back to Baron, who finishes a deft floater. Chris Manhertz mans-up and takes a charge on Jones, and the momentum is swinging in CC’s favor. 56-48 Iona still, though.
15:31—Under 16 timeout, 55-46 Iona. Laury has a free throw after the first break of the second half. Jim Baron is reaming his players out for defensive discipline and activity on the glass—Iona has been a step quicker than the Griffs to start the second frame. Armand already has 22.
16:42—Ridley explodes down the baseline—Billy Baron is too slow to help—and he scores, before Jordan Heath answers with a 10-footer from the right wing. Sosa misses a trey on CC’s next trip, however, and Iona takes over, up five. Armand navigates horizontally across the lane and sweeps in a runner. He’s fine. Manhertz is bodied by Ridley and he can’t finish at the rim, then Jones whips a bounce pass to Laury in the paint, and he scores plus the foul! Jordan Heath picks up the foul, and that’s his third. Everything is going sour for Canisius.
17:41—Isaac Sosa curls around a screen and strokes a three, but Sean Armand responds with a contested three of his own—he runs backward and trips over the foot of a fan. Armand’s down on the floor briefly—maybe a rolled ankle—but he walks off under his own power and will check back in. Sosa pulls up from mid-range and shows perfect form on a jumper—that’s good too, and he’s finally getting in a rhythm. The Griffs have made a concerted effort to get the senior guard some looks early in the second half.
18:25—Sweet turnaround one-handed shot by Jordan Heath after backing down Ridley, but Ridley responds with a put-back of his own after Sosa didn’t block out. Harold Washington careens down the lane and draws a foul on MoMo—his first. 46-39 Iona.
19:39—Isaac Sosa opens the second half with a bricked three from the left wing. MoMo Jones rises and nails a pull-up jumper over Manhertz—there’s a reason he’s one of the leading scorers in the country and the MAAC’s best player. Unnecessary foul by Laury on Manhertz, wrapping his arm around the Canisius big’s back. It’s not as awkward as it sounds. Foul away from the ball on Manhertz for an illegal screen—that’s his second personal. Each team with a silly foul to open the second half on a post player.
Halftime—In an area where the Griffs should excel—in the post—Iona has actually out-scored Canisius 14-12. Whether it’s Asprilla, Jordan Heath or Josiah Heath, there needs to be a better big-man complement in the paint. Five points, three rebounds and two turnovers in the first half for Jordan Heath.
Halftime—Iona junior Sean Armand has taken a major leap from last season to this year—he’s more aggressive attacking the rim, and he’s being rewarded, especially tonight. Despite hitting only 2-of-7 from the field, he’s 11-12 from the line and leads all scorers with 17. Lamont “MoMo” Jones added 12 in 14 minutes. Harold Washington leads Canisius with 13 points, two threes. Chris Manhertz already has 10 boards, including four offensive.
:20—Iona’s defense sags off the fullcourt press but brings heavy pressure in the backcourt. Washington switches the point of attack to Hymes, who earns a great look at a triple with two on the game-clock. It’s long, however, and that caps off the half.
:28—42-37 Gaels, the No. 4 seed’s biggest advantage. Canisius will settle for the final shot of the half, provided they can break Iona’s pressure.
1:45—37-34 Iona after Manhertz clanks his free throw. Armand is replaced by Bowman. Freddy Asprilla is beaten to a rebound by MoMo Jones, who then dumps the ball to Bowman for a lay-in. Manhertz pounds the ball in frustration, then grabs an offensive rebound at the other end that results in a three from Washington. Nice find by Baron, but then the Gaels’ DaShawn Gomez hammers in a three from the left wing. The buckets are flying in left and right now, as the Gaels are finally heating up.
3:21—Armand gets a favorable roll on his first FT, and he actually misses the second. Game-high 14 for Armand. Baron crosses over to his left and ducks his shoulder under Laury, who’s forced to foul. Baron twisted a little awkwardly but appears to be fine. Only first foul on Laury. Baron sinks the first from the line and the second. 34-34. Iona has only turned the ball over twice so far. That’s disgustingly efficient—Armand strokes a triple from the right wing, and he has left the Griff challenging perimeter defenders shaking their heads. Chris Manhertz corrals an offensive rebound of a Washington miss, and he draws Armand’s second personal. Could that be a turning point?
3:21—Under four timeout, 33-32 Iona. A Canisius fan named “Joey” just beat the Iona student in a free-throw shooting contest, and since that strategy worked for Niagara in the first game, we’ll see if it gives the Griffs a rather random edge in this one.
4:07—Billy Baron is forced into a desperation, off-balance heave as the shot clock expires. It’s an airball, and the ball is awarded to Iona. Gomez in running the point now, as Sledge hasn’t checked back in since earning his second foul. Laury backs down Asprilla and is hammered by the senior transfer from Kansas State, and there’s no call. Washington slips down the lane at the other end and is sent sprawling—no call, perhaps a make-up for the miss at the other end. Iona pushes the ball hard again, and Armand crosses over from right to left and draws a foul on Manhertz—only his first.
5:05 —Shot-fake and pull-up from Baron is buttery, as the ball swishes gracefully through the hoop. Great arc and form on his jumper. Canisius commits the sin of fouling a three-point shooter again, as Washington collides with Armand as he releases a three. The junior guard for the Gaels effortlessly hits all three. 33-32 Gaels.
6:12—Washington misses both free throws, and Armand’s three is long—the rebound caroms off Bowman and out of bounds to Canisius. Press break has not been kind to the Griffs, but Groves does it nicely here—he then swings the ball to the right wing to an un-guarded Washington, who strokes a three. Guess he just needed a few steps back. Miscommunication by Armand, and that’s an Iona turnover. DaShawn Gomez enters for Jones. 30-30 tie.
6:34—Both are money, and Armand now has nine points, Full-court press continues, and this time it forces CC into a turnover, and MoMo knocks in a floater. Five-second call on Reggie Groves, and it’s Iona ball. Baron plays solid defense on Jones, who appeals for a foul to the official but doesn’t get it. Manhertz rips free the rebound and starts the fast-break to Washington, who coasts to the bucket and draws a foul. He’ll shoot two. 30-27 Iona.
7:24—Freddy Asprilla checks in for the first time. Jones drills his first free throw and the second—he’s the first player to double-figures in this one. Full-court press from Iona continues, but Canisius breaks it. Reggie Groves in too. Floater by Harold Washington is silky smooth, and Canisius is back up by one. Sean Armand attacks the rim, and Asprilla comes over the top to violently hack Armand, an automatic foul shooter.
7:39—Under eight timeout, 25-24 Canisius. If you were expecting a barn-burner between Canisius and Iona, you were spot on. The Gaels are ice-cold from the floor early, but they’re making a living at the line. You can’t fault them for a lack of aggression, and those shots will begin to fall. Canisius hasn’t had the easiest time protecting the ball, especially since the second media, and Isaac Sosa hasn’t been able to find space to release any threes. MoMo Jones paces all scorers with eight.
8:37—Armand sinks both from the line. Canisius barely gets the ball over halfcourt in time, and Jordan Heath loses the grip on a post pass from Washington. Tre Bowman explodes down to the other end and scores on a strong drive to his right. 25-24 CC. Jordan Heath is long on a three from straight-on, but Chris Manhertz taps the ball back out to Alshwan Hymes, who launches a very ugly airball. That’s troubling. Iona ball after this media break.
8:52—Hymes busts out in transition and drains a three! C-Block is chanting “Alshwan,” but Josiah Heath is charged with his second personal for a blocking foul against a driving Armand. Jim Baron yells, “Take the charge! Just fall!” and he glares at Heath and shakes his hands in anger at the sophomore—Baron is absolutely reaming out Heath on the bench.
9:54—Alshwan Hymes dribbles into the thick of Iona’s post defense, and Jordan Heath finishes the putback slam. MoMo responds with a floater after the ball is rushed to the other end of the floor almost immediately after Heath’s dunk. Baron turns the corner on Jones, and there’s no help defense down low for Iona—easy hoop.
11:08—Laury hits the first from the line on this trip—offensive foul on Jordan Heath for a charge, well-taken by Curtis Dennis. Dennis misses a three at the other end, however, and there’s more yelling from the Canisius bench at Josiah Heath’s rebounding position. 18-15 CC, Iona ball. Canisius in straight man to man, just like Iona. Alshwan Hymes commits the cardinal sin of fouling a jump shooter, and Sean Armand will shoot three—apparently his feet were behind the line. First is good, so is the second and so is the third. Tied at 18 now.
11:08—Under 12 timeout, 18-13 Canisius. While Billy Baron has looked tight and a little sluggish, Harold Washington and Jordan Heath have been active and effective. As the Griffs walked to the bench, Josiah Heath got an earful from Jim Baron over his defensive stance—the sophomore failed to bend his knees and be prepared for an Iona shooter.
11:26—Washington’s three is an airball, but Armand can’t hit his seven-footer. Baron squanders another good look the basket—the rim has been unkind to the Canisius junior guard.
12:34—Josiah Heath, after a double-team forced Hymes into passing, rattled in a 10-footer from the left side. MoMo Jones missed a floater, but David Laury III tore down the offensive board and was fouled. Laury misses both free throws, however, and Billy Baron beats the press by himself before missing a lay-in with his right over Laury. Armand drills a three from the right wing, and it’s 18-13 CC now. Iona can fill it up in a hurry.
13:46—Quick drive baseline by Washington and a switch to a wide-open Alshwan Hymes, who swishes a three from the left corner. Well orchestrated by Washington. Turnover by Armand at the opposite end, and CC can add to its lead. Manhertz tries a 14-footer—it rims out—and Iona rushes the ball down. Ridley fails to convert a pull-up, and Hymes hustles after the rebound and is rewarded as the referee points in the Griffs’ direction. 16-10 CC.
14:20—Armand’s tough shooting start must be hard for Cluess to swallow. It’s no surprise that the pace of this game has been frenetic—there may be a record number of shots hoisted in this MAAC Quarterfinal. Baron clanks the first free throw—he doesn’t look as energetic as usual today. Second swishes, however. 13-10 CC. Armand can’t connect on a runner, and Manhertz grabs the board with two hands.
14:20—Billy Baron drives into sledge and keeps control of his body—foul on Sledge, and that’s the point guard’s second personal already. Under 16 timeout, 12-10 Canisius.
15:56—Tre Bowman enters for Jones. Missed three from Armand—he’s been errant on his first two from deep—and Sosa hauls in this rebound as well. Sosa’s fade-away is no good, but Manhertz’s hustle is rewarded for an offensive rebound, and Jordan Heath sinks a three on the extra possession. Ridley scores right in Heath’s face at the other end, however, as Iona rushed the ball down the floor. Washington loses Bowman on the dribble, but his pull-up is long. Laury dishes back to Ridley, who’s jumper is off the front rim and off the backboard. 12-10 CC.
16:51—Tavon Sledge dribbles hard with his right down the lane—he’s fouled by Sosa. Canisius’ strong student section is irate after an out-of-bounds call—and Ridley misses a jumper, but Manhertz can only tip the rebound to Jones, who scores a soft put back. He’s a smooth finisher. Jordan Heath’s three is off the back rim, and Ridley grabs the board. Jones’ floater is off the rim too, and Washington busts down on the one-man fastbreak and draws a foul on Sledge. Washington has been aggressive in attacking the bucket early, and he’s now 3-for-3 from the line.
17:37—Terrific outlet by Laury 3/4 length of the floor to Jones, who glides past Sosa for a hoop. Armand’s three is long after another Manhertz bucket, and Washington penetrates down the right side of the lane and draws a foul on Armand. As expected, the pace is fast and furious, and this game is already much cleaner than the Niagara vs. Siena game we just witnessed. Washington swishes the first from the stripe. Second falls too.
19:45—Iona controls the tip. Laury switches to Jones, who tosses up an airball. Manhertz eventually grabs the board and flings to Washington, who tears down the floor and finishes a reverse lay-in. MoMo Jones rebounds his own miss and sinks the floater—poor effort on the glass by CC in the early going. Flop by Ridley, and Manhertz spins and scores softly off the backboard. 4-4 tie.
Canisius starters: Chris Manhertz, Jordan Heath, Isaac Sosa, Billy Baron and Harold Washington.
Iona starters: MoMo Jones, David Laury, Taaj Ridley, Tavon Sledge and Sean Armand.
Pre-game—The No. 5 seed Canisius Griffins are set to square off against Tim Cluess’ Iona Gaels and MAAC Player of the Year Lamont “MoMo” Jones. Tip-off is in just a few minutes, as starting lineups are about to be announced.