Canisius Griffins vs. Iona Gaels live-blog
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • December 02, 2011 @ 7:15pm
————End of Game, 69-57 Iona————
:47 —The fans are filing out. Jermel Jenkins shoots two from the line—they’re both good, and it’s 69-57. Turnover by Canisius—another miscommunication between the guards.
1:10—MoMo hits two free throws. Hymes slashes to the rim—uses a hesitation move that leaves his defender planted in the ground—and puts in the floater. 67-57 Gaels with 48 ticks left.
1:53 —Hymes takes the ball to the bucket and scores! 65-55 Iona. Machado chooses to loft a three ball—it’s no good, but Hymes misses at the other end from 17. Manhertz fouls Hymes on the sideline, but that’s only the team’s sixth team foul. Another foul on Harold Washington, and now Iona is in the one-and-one.
2:11—I hate to continue bringing up Belardo, but his gift of being able to create his own shot is dearly missed by the Griffs tonight. Many offensive players have deferred to Hymes in the second half, and his often-contested shots have been errant.
3:10 —Washington uncharacteristically misses the second free throw. Iona is content to exhaust the shot clock a bit now—Machado drives into the lane and misses an easy layup. In transition, Hymes bricks another three and Machado scores on a finger roll at the other end. This one looks to be in the books, as there are no signs of life in the Griffin offense.
3:41—MoMo Jones whips his way into the lane and scores the floater. 11 point Iona lead. Washington, who leads the Griffs with 21 tonight, comes up gimpy after MoMo Jones fouls him. Two shots for Harold.
3:52—Still within fighting distance, Canisius needs Alshwan Hymes to find his range quickly—he’s 2 for 11 overall, and 1 for 5 in the second half. Iona’s 2 for 13 from downtown in the second half.
3:52—Jermel Jenkins, who’s seen a ton of playing time over Kyle Smyth in the second half, tips the ball away from Hymes, but it rolls out of bounds. Under four timeout, 61-52 Iona.
4:17—Loose ball on the floor is the Griffs for a split-second—Parrotta claims that the bench called a timeout, but it’s not granted by the officials. Scott Machado dribble-drives into the lane, drawing the foul on Reggie Groves, his third. 18 Canisius turnovers tonight.
4:28 —Deep three from Hymes is no good—Manhertz grabs the offensive board—and then Groves is off on an 18-footer. Manhertz, who’s only attempted two shots from the floor tonight, must be more assertive in going up strong after an o-board.
5:20 —Iona is settling for threes—they’re open, after all—but they’ve been missing. Good offensive rebounding, however, as bailed the Gaels out in the second half. Ridley, who corralled the second offensive board of the trip, is now at the line. He missed them both, however, and Manhertz tears down the board. 61-52 Gaels.
5:51—MoMo Jones fouls Harold Washington hard at the basket after a great outlet pass from Manhertz sprung the Griffs’ guard. Washington will have to earn his two from the line—the first is good, and Washington now has 20 points.
6:15—Reggie Groves leaps into the air in the lane—but the shot clock expires before he can release a shot. Probably not the best possession following a timeout for the Griffs. Playing off the ball, Machado misses an open three from the right corner.
6:35—On the prior possession, Alshwan Hymes misfired on a deep three—fairly early in the shot clock. Tom Parrotta gives Hymes a lot of freedom in shot selection, but it’s often to Canisius’ detriment. Without Gaby Belardo to give the Griffs’ backcourt some balance, it’s live-and-die with Hymes gunning shots.
6:50—Outstanding dish from Jones to Ridley for a weakside layup—MoMo is starting to take over. 61-50, and the Gaels are pulling away. Timeout, Canisius.
7:51—Designed play off the in-bounds frees Iona’s MoMo Jones for a fastbreak layup. Tim Cluess’ team was prepared for that possession—well-executed.
7:58—19 points and seven boards for Harold Washington. That’s a man’s stat-line—let’s remember that he’s a 6’1 point guard thriving in the trees. 15 points for Jenkins off the bench paces Iona.
8:05—Pretty lob from MoMo Jones to Taaj Ridley for two for Iona after Harold Washington soared in the air but failed to connect on the fast break lay-in. Under eight timeout, Iona has tied its largest lead, 57-50.
9:14—Strong defense again by Josiah Heath, tying up the loose ball and earning the ball back. Josiah Heath unexpectedly dumps the ball into the post, and it awkwardly hits Chris Manhertz in the head and bounces out of bounds. A rather ugly miscommunication.
9:45—Reggie Groves nearly turns the ball over again in the backcourt. Washington misses an off-balance jumper—Chris Manhertz rips down the board, but he’s tied up by Taaj Ridley. Possession arrow points to Iona.
10:21—Bleeker’s second is good. Three point Iona lead. Pretty drive and great body control by MoMo Jones as he blasts down the baseline and scores off the window. Harold Washington gets the ball tied up at midcourt, but the possession arrow is in Canisius’ favor.
10:29—Jermel Jenkins rushes down the floor and scores for Iona—it’s 53-49 Gaels. Kevin Bleeker takes the ball strong at Mike Glover, drawing the big man’s first foul. Bleeker, a freshman from the Netherlands, will shoot two from the stripe. Unfavorable bounce on the first.
11:38—MoMo Jones misses an ill-advised jumper from the right corner, and Harold Washington snags the board. A stepback prayer of a three point shot by Groves—with one on the shot clock—hits the front of the rim and bounces in. Drama!
11:54—The Buffalo News’ Amy Moritz just had a small McDonald’s milkshake delivered to her at the media table. Must be nice! Iona has 19 points off turnovers and owns a 21-0 advantage in bench scoring—two big reasons the Gaels have surged ahead.
12:06 —Iona’s Ra’Shad James, in his first action of the game, pulls down an offensive rebound and scores at the hoop, plus the foul! Hymes breaks down his defender after the made free throw—then he dumps off to Manhertz, who gets lost in his feet again and travels. 51-46 Iona at the under 12 timeout.
12:28—Smyth bricks an open three, and Hymes pulls down a powerful board. Harold Washington careens down the court the other way, twisting through traffic and sneaking a shot just over the rim and in. Beautiful play.
13:44—Two free throws from Heath has Canisius within four—46-42, and the play’s gotten a little ragged again. Reggie Groves turned the ball over again—the third this half. Machado’s alley-oop to Glover turns the tide even further in Iona’ s favor, but Manhertz attacks the rim and draws a foul. Although the statsheet won’t show it, Manhertz has been one of the Griffs’ most effective and dynamic players tonight.
15:10 —The 3/4 court press has given the Griffs more trouble in the second half, but this time, Harold Washington’s pass to Manhertz breaks it, and Manhertz dumps to Heath on the left—a shooting foul on Iona will come up shortly after the under 16 timeout. 45-38 Iona—the Gaels’ largest lead.
15:43—Five points and five assists for Machado. The Griffins have done a phenomenal job on limiting Mike Glover, who only has four points tonight and averages 21 on the season. Machado thieves the ball, runs the floor and dumps the ball back to Jermel Jenkins for a wide-open three in transition—it’s good!
15:55—Manhertz with the steal, but Machado picks the pocket right back. The senior point guard hesitates on the dribble and then skies to the rim for two—42-38 Iona, and a fan behind me angrily calls for Reggie Groves to be subbed out.
16:24—Jenkins doesn’t let the gyrating man in the half-yellow, half-navy full body suit fluster him on his next two, however. Jab-step by Reggie Groves results in a travel—that’s his second turnover. He has four assists.
16:24—Harold Washington gets a piece of Jermel Jenkins’ arm as he releases a three—that’s a three shot foul for Jenkins. The first is no good. Game is tied at 38.
16:55—After Randy Dezouvre ties the game with a floater, two fine hustle plays by the Griffs’ D—a blocked lob by Manhertz and a sideline save by Groves—gives the ball back to Canisius. Washington just broke MoMo Jones’ ankles with a crossover in the backcourt—Jones went sprawling to the floor.
18:18—It’s finally sorted out—Alshwan Hymes will inbound from underneath the Iona basket. Harold Washington uses a hesitation move to draw a foul—on the floor. Tough shot in traffic is no good by Groves, but Chris Manhertz dives to the floor to keep the possession alive. The ball gets kicked out to Hymes, who rattles home the three. 38-36 Canisius!
18:24—In terms of scoring, Kyle Smyth and Harold Washington traded three pointers, with Washington’s coming after a questionable no-call on a Chris Manhertz drive. With six ticks left on the shot clock, the junior guard unleashes a 26-footer that tickled the twine.
18:24—More technical difficulties! I need a new wireless card. It’s 36-35 Iona, and Canisius has the ball. There’s a brief delay as the refs check the official game replay—the buzzer at the scorer’s table randomly went off, and I believe the discussion is who should have possession.
Halftime—For the sake of the student body, the Griffs needed to put on a good performance in the home opener. It’s very easy for a sports team to lose the interest of its student fan-base—at smaller, less accomplished programs like Canisius, at least—and it’s great to see that these Griffs are entertaining. So far, so good.
—————Halftime, 33-32 Iona—————-
:03 —Kyle Smyth’s three pointer goes in and out for Iona, and Heath engulfs the rebound. A great half for Canisius, as the Griffs head to the break trailing only 33-32 against a high-powered conference foe.
:25 —Reggie Groves darts into the lane but extends his arm on his defender—that’s an offensive foul. Iona has the final possession.
1:25—Great up and under by Reggie Groves, but he airballs his soft floater. MoMo Jones’ jumper rattles around the rim but falls off. Pumpfake by Hymes initially fools MoMo Jones, who’s forced to grab the strong junior guard. Only five team fouls though, so Canisius won’t shoot for another two fouls. 40 seconds left.
1:55—MoMo’s three is no good, and Hymes swallows up the rebound. Parrotta calls for a 30-second timeout.
3:01 —A dunk by Josiah Heath! That was a generous 2.5 steps to the bucket on that one, but Griff fans will take it! 33-32 Gaels. Machado’s jumper off the dribble is no good from 16, and Heath swallows up the rebound. The 6’9 freshman has given Tom Parrotta’s club an excellent effort in the first half.
3:56—Harold Washington leads all scorers with 10 points. Canisius leads Iona 7-2 in second-chance points, a big reason why the Griffs have been able to stay competitive in this one. Chris Manhertz’ cross-court pass is picked off, and Mike Glover whips a pass up to Ridley for a lay-up. MoMo Jones travels after Washington makes a nifty jumper in the lane.
4:16—Parrotta winces as Bleeker is called for a loose ball foul—dubious, I say. Machado slinks into the lane and kicks the ball out to hot-shooting guard Kyle Smyth, who calmly cans the three. 31-28 Iona at the under four timeout.
4:47—Machado drives hard down the middle of the lane, but his lay-up is no good—Canisius doesn’t concede a second chance again. Nice screen by Josiah Heath creates space for Harold Washington in the lane, and the Griffs’ point guard dumps the ball to the weakside, where Chris Manhertz misses a lay-up but is fouled. First free throw is good, tying the game at 28.
6:31—The high-scoring Iona offense fires back, however, as reserve Sean Armand cans a three from the corner. Slight backcourt pressure by Iona doesn’t trouble Canisius. Alshwan Hymes hits a ridiculous fall-away three with the shot clock expiring! Armand tries to answer immediately with a three—it’s no good, but two Griffs go for the same rebound and neither can corral it. Mike Glover’s called for traveling, however.
7:11—Taaj Ridley drains a jumper for a four point Iona lead. Harold Washington’s three from the left corner is a thing of beauty! 25-24 Iona.
7:46—Technical difficulties—sorry. 23-21 Iona leads. Since the last update, MoMo Jones hit a three, Franklin Milian was called for an offensive foul, Scott Machado clanked a three, Chris Manhertz hustled well to keep an offensive rebound alive and Josiah Heath drilled a free throw line jumper. I keep good notes, haha.
9:46—Travel on Chris Manhertz—he didn’t get his feet under him on a post-move with his back to the basket. Slight problem with the shot clock, it appears, and the game’s delayed briefly. 20-19 Iona.
10:23—Dezouvre can’t connect on a five-footer, and Canisius doesn’t give up another chance. Harold Washington drills a step-back three with the shot-clocking winding down! Jermel Jenkins responds almost immediately with a trey of his own—Iona pushes the ball hard up the floor after a made basket.
11:10 —The play is getting a bit ragged now—MoMo Jones blows an easy lay-in for Iona, but Chris Manhertz is whistled for an offensive foul at the other end—he pushed an Iona player into the Dance Griffs on the baseline. The dance team looks stunned.
11:42—Iona is shooting a sizzling 73% from the floor (8-11), while Canisius isn’t far behind at 58%. Reggie Groves leads all scorers with eight points. Manhertz fails to tie the game with the and-one free throw.
12:17—Gaels’ super-sub Jermel Jenkins twists into the lane and buries a floater. 17-14 Iona. The Griffs slow the ball down on the next possession, setting up their offense—Parrotta is yelling something unintelligible from the sideline. Reggie Groves throws up a bizarre three, but Chris Manhertz is Johnny-on-the-spot, tipping in the put-back and drawing a foul on Randy Dezouvre. Under 12 timeout, 17-16 Iona.
13:05—A closing Reggie Groves flusters Iona guard Kyle Smyth, who throws the ball out of bounds—there was no Gael even close to Smyth’s toss. Fine defensive pressure by the Griffs. Harold Washingotn gets a step past Machado and beats two big men to the glass for a lay-up—real smooth by the embattled transfer.
13:36—Hymes tries a fall-away from 14 feet—that’s an air ball as well. Not the desired start for Hymes, as he’s starting to force shots. Timeout on the floor, it’s 15-12 Iona.
14:21—Scott Machado swishes a three after he’s left unguarded in the deep right corner—good awareness by Kyle Smyth to find him. Groves launches another three at the other end, and that rims out. Mike Glover spins past Heath and puts in a baby hook. The 6’8 center makes it look easy.
15:07—Machado misses a three, and a great box out by Hymes and rebound ensues. Reggie Groves slips into the paint and knocks down a floater. MoMo Jones, attacking the paint again on the dribble-drive, draws a foul on Hymes. Heath returns for Bleeker for Parrotta’s club.
15:40—You can tell that MoMo Jones is a special player—and it’s not just because he has a sweet nickname. He’s electric off the dribble and supremely confident. Iona’s scored eight of its 10 points in the paint, though, and the Griffs simply need to get stronger there.
15:53—MoMo Jones slashes through the middle of the zone and drops in a pretty finger roll in front of Bleeker. Alshwan Hymes hoists a jumper off the dribble, and it’s an air ball. Under 16 timeout, 10-10 tie.
16:48—Reggie Groves is on fire! He sinks another three from the left corner, but Taaj Ridley beats the Griffs down the floor and scores at the rim. Fast tempo to start—it’s 10-8 Canisius. Kevin Bleeker checks in for Heath, who just committed an offensive foul.
18:05 —Kyle Smyth’s three ball rims out, and Reggie Groves grabs the board. Iona’s in man-to-man defense. Good ball movement by Canisius—and an offensive board by Josiah Heath—leads to a Groves’ three pointer. Harold Washington thieves the ball in the backcourt and flies in for a dunk! 7-4 Canisius.
18:38—Reggie Groves’ snap pass into Josiah Heath briefly ties the game, but Machado’s lob to Glover is easily tipped in by the Gaels’ big man. Harold Washington stumbles after a dribble hand-off, and he’s called for traveling.
19:43 —Canisius, in its bright gold uniforms, concedes the game’s first bucket. MoMo Jones clanked a three, but Ridley boxed out Reggie Groves and added the putback. Canisius starts out in a 2-3 zone.
20:00 —Held ball on Iona off the jump—Canisius’ possession to open. Alshwan Hymes pump-fakes a defender off his feet but travels in the process—quick turnover.
20:00—Canisius is a heavy underdog in this one. Iona has already slaughtered the ACC’s Maryland Terrapins this year—the Gaels’ lone blemish is a one-point loss to Purdue in the season-opener. They’ve won four straight.
Pre-game—The elder fan that mumbles the national anthem along with the designated anthem singer is back—and she’s still out of tune.
Pre-game—We’re set for the national anthem! The KAC isn’t packed.
Pre-game—Projected starting lineups are as follows: Chris Manhertz, Josiah Heath, Harold Washington, Reggie Groves and Hymes for Canisius; Taaj Ridley, MoMo Jones, Scott Machado, Kyle Smyth and Mike Glover for Iona.
Pre-game—Iona’s Lamont “MoMo” Jones, a transfer from Arizona who earned immediate eligibility because of a hardship waiver, is known for his 16 point outburst against Duke in the Sweet 16 of last year’s NCAA Tournament. He’s really, really good.
Pre-game—Gaby Belardo, the Griffs’ junior point guard, will miss tonight’s game with a nagging lower back injury. Walking past him on the way into the Koessler Athletic Center, he was talking about redshirting. Let’s hope that’s not the case, but if the injury is going to plague him throughout the season, maybe it’s the best course. It’s particularly frustrating for Belardo, as he’s already sat out a year at Canisius after transferring from South Florida.
Pre-game—Players to Watch:
Canisius: Alshwan Hymes, 6’2 junior guard: the sharpshooter has transformed his body over the off-season—his quickness and endurance have improved markedly as a result. He was a tad plump last year—to be brutally honest—which often led to shooting woes as games progressed and Griffs’ head coach Tom Parrotta limiting his minutes. Not so this year, as Hymes has averaged over 30 minutes per game and knocked down almost three treys per contest.
Iona: Scott Machado, 6’1 senior point guard. Top point guard in the nation? I’m not sure if a MAAC player has ever earned that label, but through five games, Machado’s been the best floor leader in the country. Averaging over 12 assists per contest, Machado—long overshadowed by Iona’s fearsome big man Mike Glover—has the potential to post Stockton-esque numbers this year. Griffin point guard Harold Washington, an excellent player in his own right, will have his hands full this evening.
Pre-game—Still, there’s plenty of promise on this young Griffin team that’s been forced to replace five graduating seniors—Julius Coles, Elton Frazier, Julius Coles, Robert Goldsberry and Tomas Vazquez-Simmons. Since the loss to UB, the Griffins have had 10 days to recover and prepare for tonight, a stiff test against MAAC favorite Iona.
Pre-game—The season-opening four-game road trip wasn’t very kind to the Canisius College men’s basketball team—the team stands at 1-3 overall, with the lone victory over relatively-obscure Longwood. Canisius fell to the University at Buffalo 94-59 and was thoroughly over-matched in the paint.