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Canisius Griffins vs. Detroit Titans - LIVE BLOG

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Final—83-78 Detroit downs Canisius at Dick Vitale Court. A highly entertaining affair, but a few close calls by the officials and a major bout with turnovers was too much for Canisius. Ray McCallum Sr. runs to the press area and grabs the mic—thanking the fans and encouraging them to attend the two conference games next week. McCallum said, however, that he expects Canisius to be an NCAA Tournament team, which is a bit of a silver lining.

:13—McCallum shoots two after he’s fouled out of bounds—right before the in-bound—by Washington. The first is good, and it’s 82-78 Detroit. Second is good, too, and Baron’s three is long. Detroit snares the rebound, and Calliste runs the clock out for Detroit’s seventh home victory—to no defeats.

:21 —Hymes fouls Minnerath immediately—the brief stoppage was to put two more seconds back on the game clock. Minnerath, a senior, shoots two from the stripe—he’s a 71% shooter. He calmly strokes the first to push the lead to three. The second is good, too, and Baron explodes down the floor and is hammered at the rim—he’s slow to get up, and he’s been pounded today on several hard fouls. He’s on his feet, however, and will shoot two with the clock stopped. The first rims out for Billy.

:19—Juwan Howard Jr. will inbound from his own baseline—Baron’s bucket was deemed a two. Good initial defense from the Griffs forced Howard into calling a timeout—Detroit still has one more to use.

:19—McCallum hits only one of two from the line, then Baron sprints down the floor, executes a quick step-through on Calliste and drains a jumper—the officials are checking the replay to determine if the bucket was a two or a three. The ruling on the floor was a long two, and I think that’s correct. As the score stands, it’s 79-77 Detroit with 19.4 seconds left.

:30—Baron drives down the lane and finishes, and he thinks he has a forced turnover off Calliste’s leg. The ref points in the other direction, however, and Baron stomps away angrily, pulling up his shorts in frustration. McCallum is fouled again, and it’s 78-74 with McCallum shooting two.

:36 —Sosa fouls McCallum from behind, and the star junior will head back to the line after making two on his last trip. His first is good, and the Horizon League’s leading scorer now has 18 points on the afternoon.

:44—76-72 Detroit, who also has the ball after the timeout. If the Titans can knock down their free throws, they should be fine, but Sosa is shooting those NBA Jam fireballs right now, so the Titans need to guard him a little smarter.

:51—74-69 Detroit after a late flurry keyed by Anderson’s shot-clock beating trey. Minnerath has had a much stronger second half, too. McCallum is fouled—he rolls in the first free throw to push the margin to six. Manhertz heads to the bench in an offense-defense sub to get Hymes’ three-point shooting on the floor. McCallum sinks the second, too. Sosa drains a three right in Anderson’s face, and Ray McCallum Sr. gets in his face for not contesting the three harder.

2:18—Doug Anderson beats the shot-clock with a three from the left wing—it didn’t look like the ball left his hand in time, but it’s ruled good. Billy Baron is called for a charge, and the wheels are starting to come off for Canisius right now. Manhertz swats Minnerath and grabs the rebound. Washington calls his own number and is rejected by McCallum—Calliste beats the Griffs down the floor and converts the easy lay-in. Sosa rains in a desperation trey from the right wing, and Baron immediately calls a timeout.

3:15—Washington sinks both free throws, but Detroit scores on the run out—an and-one by forward Nick Minnerath, who misses the bonus free throw. 69-63 Detroit. Washington hesitates in the lane, draws a defender then finds Sosa in the opposite corner for a three—it’s good! Three-point game now with 2:30 left.

3:24—67-61 Detroit at the final media timeout. 22 turnovers now for Canisius, but neither team is shooting higher than 38% in the second half—this one has turned into a dogfight. Can the Griffins fight back from questionable officiating to take out Detroit on its home floor where it’s undefeated this year?

3:24—Groves’ long outlet for Jordan Heath is a little too far for the 6’10 forward, and he’s forced to save the ball with a hard bounce under Detroit’s hoop. Josiah Heath snags the loose ball, who finds Washington—Harold’s floater is no good, but he comes down with his own rebound and draws the foul. He’ll shoot one-and-the-bonus after this media timeout.

4:48—Harold Washington loses his balance on a drive diagonally across the lane—he’s called for a travel. Drive and dish by Calliste results in a vicious weak-side dunk by Anderson, and Washington misses a three from the right wing—seeking an immediate response. 67-61 Detroit with under four minutes to go.

5:15—Detroit calls for a timeout, leading 65-61. Billy Baron leaps for a defensive rebound, and he’s pummeled by Minnerath over his back. No foul, and Jim Baron jogs out of the coach’s box red-faced, howling at the official for not making a call. Jordan Heath steps between Baron and the official—it looks like Billy is fine, just bruising his quad. Reggie Groves replaces him in the lineup.

6:18 -- Generous three steps on Calliste’s step-through move, and even though he misses, Anderson is there for a strong put-back. Fine pass from Washington to Manhertz, who again uses his body wisely to establish position in the block and score. McCallum’s three is short, but Minnerath’s hustle preserves possession for Detroit—firing up the boisterous fans behind the Titans’ bench.

7:18—Howard’s second is good too. 63-59 Detroit—Baron barges down the lane, and Jim Baron is irate after the lack of a foul call. He’s lucky that he hasn’t been T’ed up yet. Harold Washington is called for a foul immediately after, however, and McCallum misses the front end of the one-and-one. Alshwan Hymes gets trapped in the corner and shuffles his feet—I’m trying to find a compelling reason why he’s still in the game, and just like that, Isaac Sosa subs him out.

7:50—The senior guard misses his first free throw of the day. He has 14 points, however, good for second on the Titans today. The second line-drive free throw falls, however. Harold Washington loses his dribble briefly, but he stays after the loose ball, wins it back and dashes straight down the lane to draw a foul on Howard. Harold’s first is good, and so is the second. 61-59 Titans now. 3/4 court press from CC, and Juwan Howard Jr. sells Jordan Heath on an up-fake, then jumps into him and shoots when the defender lands. He’ll shoot two, and the first is good.

7:50—Under eight timeout, 60-57 Detroit. Spurred by threes from Minnerath and McCallum—coupled by a few strong drives from Calliste—Detroit has turned the tide of the game. 19 turnovers on the afternoon for Canisius—if the Griffs end up losing, you can point to that statistic right there.

8:18—Baron, Washington, Manhertz, Hordan Heath and Hymes on the floor. Chris Manhertz rips away a loose ball and scores at the basket—great strength. Juwan Howard misses a gimme on the right block, but he grabs his own rebound, and Calliste draws another shooting foul. He’ll head to the line—where he’s made his last four—after the media timeout.

8:42—Minnerath stretches out to the perimeter and sinks a three—Reggie Groves turns the ball over on a drive—and Ray McCallum drains a trey from the right wing. Disappointing that Baron waited to call a timeout until after the second three, and he’s being restrained from going after the official on the far side of the court. 60-55 Detroit, and that’s a 9-0 run for the Titans.

9:34—Calliste drives again into the lane, and he draws a foul on Baron. His first is good—Detroit is chipping away at the Griffin lead by aggressively attacking the bucket, a recipe for success. Calliste cans his fourth of four freebies, and it’s 55-54 Canisius. Momentum has swung in Detroit’s favor on Dick Vitale Court. Moving screen on Chris Manhertz is an offensive foul and yet ANOTHER turnover, and Detroit has the ball with a chance to go in front.

10:34—McCallum picks Reggie Groves’ pocket and then is fouled in frustration by Groves. Head coach McCallum calls for an intentional foul, and he may have had an argument. Alshwan Hymes travels, however, and Calliste and his head coach trade some barbs on the way back down the floor. Offensive foul on Calliste for pushing off on Jordan Heath. Both Baron and McCallum—the coaches—are chirping at the referees now.

10:51—Calliste drives strong to his right, bumping into the left side of Asprilla and drawing a blocking foul. He’ll shoot two from the stripe—the first is good. Jordan Heath takes Asprilla’s place in the lineup. Calliste’s second drops too, and it’s 55-52 Griffins.

11:34—With perhaps Canisius’ weakest lineup on the floor, Doug Anderson careens down the left side of the lane and scores off glass—plus the foul. His free throw is errant, however, and Manhertz grabs the board. Washington misses a deep three from the right corner, and Asprilla can’t chase down the loose ball. Detroit ball. Canisius’ second unit needs to avoid allowing Detroit begin a run now—it’s a dangerous point in the game.

11:47—Manhertz, Asprilla, Washington, Groves and Baron on the floor. Billy sinks both from the line, and then Hymes replaces Baron in the lineup.

11;47—Under 12 timeout, 53-48 Canisius. Billy Baron drove hard to the rack and drew a foul—he fell hard on his knee, but he looks okay. Probably just a scrape. The turnover count is up to 15 now for the Griffins, a rather alarming stat despite the lead.

12:46—Good up-fake by Reggie Groves fools Bruinsma into leaving his feet, and Groves smartly leans into Bruinsma as the Detroit defender comes back to the ground—it’s a shooting foul, and Groves sinks the first. The second hangs on the rim, and Jordan Heath swoops in from underneath for a difficult reverse tip in. Baron falls to the ground, appealing for a charge—he doesn’t get it, but Ugo Njoku can’t finish at the rim.

13:51—Doug Anderson steals Harold Washington’s inbounds pass and starts the fast-break—McCallum pulls up for a three, but it’s off the back rim and Freddy Asprilla shows some surprising dexterity in corralling the hard rebound. Two hand check fouls on Detroit—the most recent on Jason Calliste—has Canisius still in possession of the ball. Detroit still in man-to-man, with McCallum tightly marking Baron.

15:16 —Minnerath steps out to the elbow and cans a jumper over Jordan Heath. Isaac Sosa travels, and he’s subbed out for Reggie Groves. Freddy Asprilla checks in for Manhertz. A dynamite 15-footer from McCallum is really pretty, but Harold Washington swishes a three in the deep left corner after a heady skip pass from Baron. Anderson tries to score high off the window, but it’s too strong and Heath grabs the board.

15:34—Under 16 timeout, Canisius leads 47-44. 12 points, six rebounds and five assists for Billy Baron, who’s absolutely stuffing the stat-sheet so far. Canisius shot 53% in the first half, but the Griffs have found open looks almost at will—it’s just a matter of preventing Detroit from piling up points in a hurry.

16:35 —Billy Baron with a theft at midcourt, and it looks like he’s coasting in for an easy transition lay-up. Doug Anderson comes out of nowhere for a thunderous swat that brings the Detroit crowd to its feet. Sosa answers with a jumper off the dribble—a very tough shot as he was angling away from the hoop. Minnerath finally drains a shot from outside—he’s now 3-8 overall and is picking up steam. Sosa turns the ball over on a bad entry pass toward Manhertz, and there’s a media timeout.

18:22—Strong rebound by Chris Manhertz, who’s been a force on the glass all season. Missed trey by Heath, but Detroit can’t take advantage of the long rebound on the break. Powerful board by Doug Anderson, who leaped over Manhertz to corral McCallum’s missed three from 25-feet. The coach’s son isn’t shy about gunning up shots. Turnover by Baron and a quick lay-up by Calliste brings the score to 45-41 Canisius.

19:55—Detroit in-bounds to begin the half with Canisius showing zone for the first time. Interesting. McCallum tosses up a three from the left wing—it’s no good—but Detroit maintains possession. Canisius back in man-to-man off the in bounds, and Sosa rattles in a three on the fast-break—nice pass by Harold to Sosa unguarded on the left wing.

Halftime—Ray McCallum started hot from the floor, but he mustered only two points in the half’s final 11 minutes. Credit to Harold Washington, who’s been charged with hounding McCallum whenever he’s touched the ball.

Halftime—42-39 Canisius leads. Jordan Heath leads all scorers with 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting, and the Baron-Heath duo kept Canisius fighting despite an early 12-point deficit. Even though they’ve turned the ball over 10 times, the Griffins are winning the rebounding battle 16-to-11, including six offensive boards (three by Jordan Heath).

:38—Canisius leads 42-37, a 23-6 run since just after the under 12 media break. A well-designed play out of the timeout by Detroit, as McCallum slithers into the lane, draws the Canisius help defender and finds Minnerath for a violent dunk. Billy Baron’s halfcourt heave caroms off the backboard and glances off—very close to a buzzer beater.

1:05—Jordan Heath is rewarded for an excellent show on a ball-screen defensively, as Bruinsma clanks a three, and Baron finds Heath at the other end for a jam off a pretty wrap-around bounce pass from under the basket. Blocking foul on Manhertz, as Calliste’s ball fake allowed him to sneak into the lane and beat the Canisius big to the spot. Non-shooting foul, although head coach McCallum thinks otherwise. Canisius pesters the inbounder, and Detroit calls for a timeout.

2:12—37-37 tie in a game that featured a scoring onslaught early and a bout of sloppy play as the half has drawn to a close. The Titans have gone ice-cold from outside, yet McCallum and co. still are launching contested jumpers. McCallum bolts by Baron but blows the lefty layup, and then Baron nails a pull-up three in transition. 40-37 Canisius, and that’s the Griffs’ first lead. Foul on Harold Washington, who chased McCallum around a screen but latched onto Detroit’s star guard in the process.

2:25—Billy Baron and Chris Manhertz re-enter the game for Canisius. A holding foul on Jermaine Lippert of Detroit, who grabbed Manhertz’s shirt as the Griff battled for position in the block. The Griffs struggle to get the ball inbounds on two straight plays, and Washington calls for a timeout with 2:12 remaining.

3:52—Under four timeout, 37-37 tie. Jim Baron turned to his bench surprisingly late today, but Josiah Heath, Asprilla and Groves have all made an impact. Detroit became quickly stagnant on offense after the Titans hit a bunch of their early outside shots, settling for jumpers rather than attacking. Canisius is back in the game. Baseline jumper from Hymes almost falls, but McCallum throws up an early three that’s no good, but Hymes’ pass for Jordan Heath goes off the big man’s fingers and out of bounds.

4:03—Ray McCallum is called for a travel in the lane, and he pleads that he didn’t have possession of the ball—he’s probably correct, but he’s failed out when Isaac Sosa is whistled for a dubious charge call. Jim Baron is in the official’s face during the under four timeout, as the last three calls have been woeful.

4:49—Jordan Heath has turned beast mode on today, as he tears down another board of a missed Calliste 18-footer—he leads Canisius with 13 points, which is tied for the game-high with McCallum. Reggie Groves is called for an offensive foul, kicking his leg out on a three-point try and drawing contact with McCallum—Jim Baron is beside himself with rage.

5:03 —Terrific persistence in the paint by Jordan Heath, who engulfed a loose ball, used a nifty shotfake to force his defender off his feet, and then scored plus the foul! 37-36 Detroit, and we’re at the under eight media break. Canisius has responded to Detroit’s 12-0 run with an 11-2 run of its own, as Jim Baron’s squad has been resilient in clawing back from an early deficit.

6:31—35-30 Detroit, but the composure is suddenly lacking from the Titans, who’ve squandered at least the last two possessions. McCallum re-enters the game, and his presence is pretty necessary. Right on cue, McCallum tosses up an airball. Canisius substitutes for the first time, and Josiah Heath drains a 14-footer. Hymes checks in as well. Billy Baron can’t box out Jason Calliste after a missed Anderson jumper, and the putback is simple. A nice lob entry from Josiah to Jordan Heath, and the older brother dunks viciously.

7:28 —Fortunately for Canisius, Detroit’s Minnerath fires a 17-footer well outside of his comfort zone, and it’s no good, and there’s no Titan underneath to rebound. Nice wrap-around assist from Baron under the basket to Manhertz, who shields a defender with his body and scores off the window. Billy Baron strokes a three in transition after another missed Minnerath jumper, and Ray McCallum Sr. signals for a timeout to stall the Griffs’ 7-0 run.

9:12—Doug Anderson tries a behind-the-back pass on the fast-break, and he hurls it wildly out of bounds. Canisius ball, and the Griffs are fortunate they’re only trailing by 12. Nice steal and assist by Groves, who picked the ball up at midcourt and found Baron on the weak-side. Groves hits Asprilla on the next trip, who isn’t ready for the pass but still manages to corral it after a bobble—then comfortably finishes at the rim. A missed alley-oop pass to Anderson goes awry, but Groves wastes the next trip with a fall-away 16-footer.

10:24—McCallum collects himself after the media timeout and nails the first free throw. Howard, Minnerath and Anderson check back in for Detroit, and McCallum heads to the bench. Reggie Groves, trapped in the left corner, double-dribbles for another Canisius turnover. Howard tries a jumper over Baron, and he comes up short. Washington scores off the window—he’s very quick to the bucket. Minnerath answers with an easy hoop in the lane—too easy.

10:24—Under 12 timeout, Detroit leads 29-19. Detroit’s hot outside shooting—5-for-6 from beyond the arc—has Canisius on its heels, and the Griffs’ five turnovers haven’t helped their cause. McCallum and Calliste have been confident and electric on the perimeter, while Juwan Howard Jr. has displayed a much more refined game than I remember from his days at Western MIchigan two years ago.

11:19—Pretty step-back jumper by Juwan Howard Jr., who must have learned that from his Fab Five father. He created great separation from his defender and wasn’t fazed by the fall-away. Facing pressure at midcourt, Baron turns the ball over, and McCallum coasts in for a fast-break dunk. Jim Baron calls for time as Canisius trails by 10. Two missed shots by the Griffs after the 30-second timeout, and then a pretty backdoor cut by Ray McCallum almost leads to a highlight reel dunk. Freddy Asprilla grabbed McCallum, however, who fell hard on his tailbone. He appears to be fine.

12:54—Billy Baron sees Heath floating out on the perimeter again, and Jordan sinks another three! Nice tie-up by Chris Manhertz, but the possession arrow points to the Titans. Calliste hoists another trey from straight on, and this one is good too! McCallum rains another three after Sosa’s miss, and it’s a long-distance shooting barrage by the Detroit guards that has the Griffs in a six-point hole.

13:27—Billy Baron picks Evan Bruinsma’s pocket and coasts in for a fast break lay-in. Howard uses a ball screen wisely to find a crease into the paint, and he draws a blocking foul on Jordan Heath, Canisius’ first foul of the game. McCallum drops both free throws through. Both teams have played strictly man-to-man defense so far.

14:20—An excellent drive and dish from the lane by Washington frees Sosa in the left corner, and he makes no mistake in sinking the open trifecta. 14-14 tie, and Canisius is on a mini-run until Jason Calliste rains in a three from almost straight on. Washington travels on the right wing, and big man Ugo Njoku checks in for Detroit.

15:15—Nine of Detroit’s 14 points have come in transition so far. Nick Minnerath, Detroit’s 6’9 center, is almost completely covered in tattoos. Anderson is a little too eager to defend Washington’s three-point attempt, and he fouls the shooter. Harold hits the first, second but clangs the third. Isaac Sosa missed his first three-point attempt earlier in that possession, but Washington collected the rebound.

15:15—An alley-oop from halfcourt by McCallum to high-flying Doug Anderson, who’s been a vulture on the weakside of the Canisius D in transition. Anderson, a senior from Kalamazoo, has Elton Frazier-esque hops. Under 16 timeout, 14-9 Detroit after a Billy Baron lay-in down the left wing.

16:32—Juwan Howard Jr. steals a long entry pass into the backcourt by Baron, then drives strong to the tin and finishes just over a Heath block attempt. Chris Manhertz misses a short jumper, but Jordan Heath is there on the weak-side for the tip-in. Another promising McCallum three is halfway down and pops out, but Canisius quickly turns the ball back over.

17:19—Silky smooth reverse lay-in by Harold Washington after Billy Baron pulled down a rebound and pushed the ball quickly up the court. A pretty hesitation move and decisive drive by Washington led to the hoop. McCallum knocks down another deep three, however, and it’s 10-5 Detroit early.

18:55—Jordan Heath leaks out on the perimeter and is found by Billy Baron—Heath strokes an uncontested three, but McCallum answers at the other end with a sweet stroke of his own from beyond the arc. A turnover by Canisius and a fast-break dunk by Juwan Howard Jr. has the Titan bench on its feet, and Chris Manhertz turns the ball over off his leg. Detroit possession.

19:55—Jordan Heath controls the tip for Canisius. No foul on Doug Anderson, who swats Manhertz on his putback attempt. Appeared to be contact. A terrific alley-oop from Juwan Howard Jr. to Anderson, who hung in the air for an eternity before slamming the ball through the basket. 2-0 Titans.

Pre-game—Canisius starts Jordan Heath, Harold Washington, Billy Baron, Chris Manhertz and Isaac Sosa. The Titans trot out Ray McCallum Jr., Nick Minnerath, Doug Anderson, Juwan Howard Jr. and Jason Calliste. Canisius dons its navy blue jerseys with yellow trim, while Detroit sports its home whites with red trim, names and numbers.

Pre-game—Today’s game is a fine test for the Griffs, as Detroit starts three seniors, a junior and a sophomore. Starting lineups will be announced shortly.

Pre-game—Canisius just returned to the floor for the final five minutes of warm-ups. Harold Washington, the Griffs’ senior guard who was questionable today with a heel injury, is participating in the lay-up line and looks likely to start. For a full preview of today’s contest, check out the most recent Tsuj’s Ten.

Pre-game—It’s a dreary day in Detroit, but we’re hanging out on press row 15 minutes before the start of Canisius vs. Detroit. The Griffins enter today with a record of 9-3 overall, while the Titans are only 7-5, despite falling to No. 3 Syracuse by only four points. Detroit junior Ray McCallum, a projected second rounder in the coming NBA Draft, is the coach’s son for the Titans and the team’s unquestioned leader.

TAGGED: big 4 basketball, billy baron, canisius griffins, detroit titans, jim baron, maac, ray mccallum jr., wny hoops

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