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Big 4 Basketball: Griffs vs Bulls - LIVE BLOG

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

——————-Final, 71-64 Canisius—————-

:08—Sosa swishes them both. Oldham clangs his three off the back rim, and time expires. Another big win for the Griffs, who improve to 3-0 on the season.

:12—69-64 Canisius, and the Bulls have a rather improbable chance at a comeback. Isaac Sosa is trapped in the corner, but he’s fouled by Auraum Nuiriankh, which is his fifth and disqualifying foul. Sosa will shoot two from the stripe.

:12—McCrea muscles into the paint—into Hymes, oddly, since all the other bigs have fouled out or are injured—and he scores easily for his 21st and 22nd points.

:24 —Canisius is in the double-bonus. McCrea will guard the inbounder, Harold Washington. McCrea starts yelling and saying “booo” to Washington, who gets the ball in just in time to Heath, who flipped the ball to Sosa for the game-clinching lay-in. 69-62 Canisius with 21 seconds left, and Jordan Heath is being tended to after taking a hard fall to the court. He’s back up on his feet, walking to the bench gingerly.

:55—McCrea with the steal from Hymes! McCrea takes the feed into the post by Oldham and goes up strong into Hymes, who commits a foul. Two more for McCrea, who has 19 on the evening to lead all scorers. The first is good, and there’s a lane violation on Auraum Nuiriankh. 67-62 Griffs. Good trap by McCrea and Nuiriankh on Sosa, and Baron signals for a timeout. The shot clock is off, however, and UB needs to foul. 24 ticks left, and it’s 67-62 Canisius.

1:23—McCrea establishes position inside and draws the fifth and disqualifying foul on Manhertz. Cheers from the Griffin fans for Manhertz’s effort tonight—he was solid. Sosa checks in—another ball-handler and good free throw shooter. McCrea’s at the line for a pair. First swishes through. So much more arc on his shot this year. Second doesn’t drop, however. Six-point game.

2:23—Terrific hustle from Manhertz again, as Hymes missed a runner that was deflected by a UB big, but Manhertz followed the ball in the air and scored a “look what I found” hoop. Downing barrels down the baseline for two—his first good play of the night, it seems. Billy Baron loses his dribble and Oldham wraps him up—the officials award Baron a timeout while another referee pointed to the sky for a tie-up. It’s a timeout, and the ball is given to UB, not Canisius.

3:30—Jarod Oldham splits the top of the Canisius 2-3 zone out of the timeout and connects with Regan for an easy lay-up. Manhertz scores off the window—another clutch basket after he closed the win over St. Bonaventure strongly. Will Regan misses a three, but CRR chases it down and McCrea knocks in a six-foot floater. Timeout UB again, trailing by seven.

4:43—Raphell Thomas-Edwards, trying desperately to get the ball into Javon McCrea in the paint, shuffles his feet in the process—a costly travel. Canisius uses some shot clock on the next possession, wiling away the moments while protecting the lead. Hymes misses a three, and UB prepares for its halfcourt set. Timeout for the Bulls just shy of the under four media timeout. 63-54 Griffins still, and this has been an extended scoring drought.

5:39—Great charge taken by Josiah Heath on Javon McCrea, who lowered his shoulder directly into the Canisius sophomore’s chest. Well done defensively, and that’s five offensive fouls on the Bulls. Yuck. Good tip attempt by Hymes on a missed trey by Washington, but Josiah Heath picks up an over-aggressive over-the-back foul and is disqualified with his fifth personal. 63-54 Griffins as play is stopped after the disqualification.

6:26—Eighth personal foul on UB, and Canisius’ Jordan Heath shoots one-and-one at the other end. 63-54 Canisius, that’s their largest lead. Front end is no good, however. Oldham’s pass baseline slips through McCrea’s fingers, and Billy Baron dives on the floor for the tie-up. Possession arrow favors Canisius. Foul on Auraum Nuiriankh, who reached over Josiah Heath’s back and was whistled for his fourth personal. Raphell Thomas-Edwards checks back in.

7:20—Harold Washington has again been the primary ball-handler in the second half, much like he was against St. Bonaventure last Saturday. It’s tough for opponents to game-plan to stop both Baron and Washington, so it’s been Baron that’s usually been assigned the other team’s top defender. Corey Raley-Ross misses a three, and Jordan Heath elevates for the rebound. Baron handles at the point now—refuting any point I just tried to make—but Harold Washington with a nifty short dish to Hymes for a close bucket. McCrea misses a 15-footer and Nuiriankh is called for a loose-ball foul underneath.

8:41 —Washington penetrates the middle of the lane and hovers in mid-air before finishing over McCrea off the glass. Regan steps out and bricks a three, then Jordan Heath misses one of his own. UB ball. Good look at a three by Oldham hits the front rim and off, then Jordan Heath scores in the lane. Billy Baron dives on the floor when Nuiriankh just reaches down for it, and there’s a tie-up. We’re at a media timeout—under 8 timeout, 61-54 Canisius.

9:35—Pull-up three by Baron is no good, and Corey Raley-Ross grabs a strong board after Jordan Heath squandered his putback chance. A charge on Cameron Downing has Witherspoon beside himself, and that’s Downing’s fourth foul. McCrea sprints to the scorer’s table to replace Downing. 57-54 Griffins.

10:43—Friendly chat between Hymes and Oldham while Regan sinks both free throws. UB still in a match-up zone. High ball screen from Heath—good interior defense by Regan and McCrea to deny Heath at the rim. Fourth foul on Manhertz, who was battling at the free-throw line trying to muscle McCrea out of the paint. Josiah Heath, who also has four fouls, replaces Manhertz. Downing enters for McCrea.

11:25—Under 12 timeout, 55-52 Canisius. Entry pass from Jordan Heath to Hymes results in a made seven-footer. Strong take to the rim by Regan is rewarded with a foul on Manhertz, his third foul. Regan will shoot two with the Bulls down five.

11:36 —Billy Baron’s runner in the lane just drops off the rim, and Jarod Oldham bursts the other way and tries to find McCrea, but he turns it over with his pass that’s too low. Witherspoon is really frustrated, hopping up and down with exasperation. A teachable moment for the coach and his junior point guard, I suppose.

12:52—More internet problems are cramping this live-blog. A nice reverse lay-in by McCrea, then a near “Oh sh*t” alley-oop from Washington to Heath almost converted—Heath had to reach back mid-flight for the slam—it rattled in and out. Alshwan Hymes just bricked a three, but Jordan Heath grabbed the offensive board and kept possession. Foul on Skeete. Raley-Ross swats Washington’s floater attempt, and then Hymes travels when moving his pivot foot in the block. He’s been a disaster tonight. Three-ball is good from the left wing by Corey Raley-Ross! 55-52 Canisius.

14:32 —Dubious and-one for Billy Baron, who picked Downing’s pocket on the perimeter and coasted in for two—then was tripped at the last minute by Oldham. Great long outlet over the top by Harold Washington after another Downing turnover—finds Heath, who lays in with his right off glass. Timeout, UB, and Canisius has opened up an eight point lead, 55-47. What a pass by Washington—on the money from 3/4 court.

15:31—Corey Raley-Ross loses his dribble to Washington, but Sosa misses a fall-away three at the other end. Good entry from Nuiriankh to Downing, who draws Josiah Heath’s fourth personal foul. Downing misses the first badly, and Oldham and McCrea return to the lineup for UB after an early breather. Jim Baron gives Josiah Heath an earful after he committed his fourth and returned to the bench. 50-47 Canisius now.

15:58—Pretty floater in the lane by Skeete after he blew by Washington then cut inside of him. Jordan Heath stepped out to the right elbow and nailed a jumper over a hesitant Cam Downing and Skeete drew another foul on Harold Washington—you can tell the Griffin senior guard is surprised by the UB freshman’s quickness. Under 16 timeout, 49-46 Canisius.

17:32 —Give and go in the post with McCrea to a cutting Oldham, and the 6’3 point guard finishes acrobatically at the rim. A missed runner by Billy Baron and one on the previous possession by Sosa has the Griffs struggling a bit, then Regan rises to deflect an alley-oop from Baron to Heath. Skeete and Downing check in for the Bulls.

19:19—Baskets are dropping in a flurry right now, as Billy Baron knifed through the UB zone for a deuce, Javon McCrea beat Manhertz down the floor for a dunk, and Jordan Heath established great post position for another slam. Will Regan just scored a weakside lay-up and Isaac Sosa canned a trey. 47-42 Griffs, and now we’re catching out breath a bit after a charge by Oldham into Jordan Heath.

Halftime—Internet is a little slower now, so the updates may be a tad sporadic. Best first half chant was a timid one by the Canisius students, who yelled “Safety School” repeatedly. But it petered out quickly.

Halftime—McCrea leads the Bulls with 12 points, while Billy Baron leads all scorers with 13 on 4-7 shooting. UB easily won the rebounding battle 24-9, but Canisius demolished the visitors in points off turnovers 15-2. A whopping 11 turnovers for the Bulls and only three for Canisius.

—————-Halftime, 40-38 Canisius—————

:30—McCrea swishes the second and Isaac Sosa misses an off-balance jumper before the halfcourt buzzer. An excellent finish to the first half for the Bulls, who managed to hang in the game and chip away at the Griffin lead despite a slow start.

1:00—And-one for McCrea after great hustle by Raphell Thomas-Edwards, who snatched an offensive board and flipped a pass to McCrea close to the basket. Javon sank his free throw too. McCrea, after a good entry pass from Oldham, draws Josiah Heath’s third foul. McCrea back to the line for two—no good on the first.

1:21—Billy Baron draws a foul on Corey Raley-Ross, much to the chagrin of Reggie Witherspoon and his assistant Jim Kwitchoff. Reggie is still wearing his coat, however, suggesting that he hasn’t reached the boiling point yet. 40-34 after Billy’s two free throws. Foul on Harold Washington, who was hand-checking Oldham down the floor.

1:53—Will Regan steps out and surprises Josiah Heath by hoisting a three, and it’s good! The Nichols School grad isn’t bashful from downtown, and he certainly has the marksmanship to hit a few. Harold Washington was tripped up on a drive down the left side and knocked down two free throws. Moving screen on Will Regan, another turnover.

3:24—Good up-fake in the post by Regan draws the second foul on Jordan Heath, who’s subbed out of the game for his brother, Josiah. Regan sinks both free throws. Terrific drive and dish from Baron to Manhertz, who scores again off the window from the right block. Jarod Oldham rattles home a three-ball in response, however, and suddenly it’s only a two point advantage for Canisius. Isaac Sosa sends that lead back to five by stroking a trifecta over the outstretched arms of McCrea.

3:27—Under four timeout, 31-26 Canisius. We’re bemoaning the interior play of the Bulls tonight, McCrea aside. Cameron Downing, Regan and Raphell Thomas-Edwards look atrocious. Regan probably the most effective of the trio.

4:20—Baron hits both from the line without a problem. Sosa replaces Baron in the lineup. Good motion offense from UB, and Oldham swings a pass across his body to McCrea on the right block—Javon puts the ball on the floor and scores at the opposite side of the rim. Sosa misses a three and UB comes away with it. Jordan Heath rejects a weak take by Regan after Thomas-Edwards misses a fade-away five-footer. I have no idea why RTE receives any offensive touches.

4:55—The officials are reviewing the tape to determine the severity of the foul. Flagrant foul called on Cam Downing, not Manhertz. Manhertz will shoot two from the line. Oldham was hit in the eye on the previous play, which resulted in Downing’s retaliation against Manhertz. Reggie Groves misses a three-point attempt, but then Nuiriankh turns the ball over and fouls Baron on the fast break. 29-24 Canisius.

5:15—Near steal by Chris Manhertz, who almost thieved McCrea off the dribble. UB’s having a difficult time inbounding the ball from the baseline. McCrea bricks a five-footer, and Baron races off in the other direction, one on five. He misses the layup, then Cam Downing fouls Chris Manhertz. There’s a scrum after that foul, as diminutive Harold Washington stands between the trees of Manhertz and Downing, trying to break up the tussle. No technical fouls are given, but there appears to be an intentional foul on Downing.

6:13—Javon McCrea takes charge, rejecting Jordan Heath and then scoring at the other end. Josiah Heath takes a charge on Auraum Nuirankh, who definitely hit Heath dead-center. Alshwan Hymes is subbed out and shakes his head in frustration. He hasn’t been effective thus far. 28-24 Canisius.

6:57—The long arms of Jordan Heath reject McCrea, who beat him initially with a deceptive crossover. Canisius Sports Information Director Matt Reitnour just said it’s the first time since 2002-03 that the Griffins have sold out two straight home games.

7:38—Good press and steal by Baron leads to a fast-break layup, then he snags a rebound and sinks a three. It’s the Billy Baron show everyone! He pumps his fist as he runs down the court and Witherspoon calls a timeout. 28-22 Canisius after a 6-0 Baron run.

9:18—Fast-break layup by Billy Baron after Thomas-Edwards badly missed a trey. Not the shot the Bulls were looking for. Regan travels, and there’s a mass substitution for UB. Richie Sebuharara, Andre McPhail and Auraum Nuiriankh check in. McCrea swats Jordan Heath powerfully, and UB takes over. Jarryn Skeete checks in for Oldham after the starting point guard missed a three. Skeete immediately makes an impact with a short in-bounds to Nuiriankh, who scores turning around. Billy Baron drills a three over Sebuharara—24-22 Canisius.

10:51—Javon McCrea punctuates his re-entrance into the game with a pretty drop-step and reverse layup. Chris Manhertz misses a gimme in the paint—too much finesse there—and UB runs the floor. McCrea in the left block—he’s been aggressive since his return—draws the second foul on Josiah Heath. Off the in-bounds, McCrea hits a seven-footer. Good entry from Hymes to Manhertz on the bounce pass, and Canisius’ junior forward scores off the window.

11:28—Washington leads all scorers with five points entering the second media timeout. Regan calmly sinks the first free throw. Second is good too. Harold Washington penalizes Raphell Thomas-Edwards for helping inside out of the zone defense, as the senior guard strokes a three pointer from the left corner. The officials are checking the clock for the appropriate time.

11:28—Oldham demands a ball screen from Regan at the top of the key, which effectively picks Harold Washington and gives Oldham a lane to the bucket. Both Heath brothers come over to help, and there’s a shooting foul on Josiah after Oldham dished to Regan. Under 12 timeout, 14-14 tie.

12:05 —Soft turnaround hook shot from Regan from five feet ties the game. Nice touch from the local!

13:15—Offensive foul on Jarod Oldham, as Josiah Heath gives him a mocking smile after the call. Terrific dish after contact by Harold Washington to Josiah Heath, who easily finishes a layup in the right block. Downing misses a gimme, and UB’s zone loses Alshwan Hymes in the right corner—too bad the Canisius senior tossed up an air-ball that missed the rim by a good two feet.

14:50—UB stays in a zone, a look they’ve shown exclusively so far. Washington shoots a three over Oldham—it’s no good, but Canisius corrals the rebound and Jordan Heath sinks a three. He’s got some range. Oldham picks up a loose ball and finds Auraum Nuiriankh on the right wing, and he cans another trey. Looks like Nuiriankh has regained some confidence after a strong summer and miserable start to the year. 12-12. Spinning lay-up by Harold is no good, and UB gives Canisius no second chances.

15:21—Good take to the rim by Corey Raley-Ross with the left hand gives UB a temporary lead, but Jordan Heath hits a 17-foot jumper awkwardly out of rhythm. Offensive foul on Cam Downing off a screen turns the ball over for UB, and we’ve reached the under 16 timeout. 9-9 is the score.

16:22—Javon McCrea fouls Harold Washington on a three-point attempt, sending the Griffin senior to the line to shoot three. The first two fall softly through the net. Cameron Downing checks into the lineup for McCrea, who sits next to Reggie Witherspoon and has a very measured chat. Canisius presses out of the made free-throw, but UB breaks it until Jordan Heath emphatically swats Downing. Auraum Nuiriankh drills an open three from the corner, pretty good for a 15% shooter coming into the game.

17:15 —Chris Manhertz puts back the miss of a Sosa runner—great position by the big on the opposite block. Jarod Oldham squirms into the lane before throwing up a wild floater that somehow drops. Sosa tries to respond with a three, but it’s off the back rim. Turnover by Javon McCrea, however, and he’s had a miserable first three and a half minutes. 4-4 tie.

18:27—Jarod Oldham picks the pocket of Harold Washington and sprints the length of the floor for a finger-roll. Will Regan ties up Jordan Heath at the other end, and the arrow points in favor of UB. Wild shot by McCrea though isn’t close to the rim, then Jordan Heath can’t handle Baron’s no-look pass on the fast break. A little helter-skelter, but that’s the tempo that Jim Baron prefers.

19:45—Harold Washington gives Canisius the game’s first bucket immediately off the tip, and then Will Regan promptly turns the ball over on a pass to the wing. Miscommunication. Raley-Ross steps into a passing lane for UB and forces another turnover. McCrea misses his first shot—an awkward left-handed flip to the rim—and the ball goes out to CC. 2-0 Griffs.

20:00—Almost a packed house here at the Koessler Athletic Center—still space in the Canisius student section though. Looks like Jim Baron hasn’t won everyone over yet.

Pre-game—UB Bulls starting lineup is as follows: Jarod Oldham, Corey Raley-Ross, Auraum Nuiriankh, Javon McCrea and Will Regan. For Canisius, it’s Billy Baron, Chris Manhertz, Harold Washington, Jordan Heath and Isaac Sosa.

Pre-game—For an in-depth preview of the game, head here.

Pre-game—No Tony Watson II or Xavier Ford tonight for the University at Buffalo, as both are nursing short-term injuries. Freddy Asprilla will serve the third and final game of his suspension that stemmed from his year of ineligibility last season.

Pre-game —The Griffs are on the floor for warmups while Reggie Witherspoon is preparing his Bulls for tonight’s Big 4 contest. Tip-off is in 10 minutes!

TAGGED: billy baron, canisius griffins, jim baron, reggie witherspoon, ub bulls

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