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Canisius Griffins vs. Siena Saints - LIVE BLOG

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Final—76-44 Canisius wins going away. If you were curious, Tyrel Edwards did complete a successful dunk on a putback in the final minutes. The 44 points allowed by Canisius ties the fewest points the Griffs have given up in the history of the Koessler Athletic Center.

3:05—Under four timeout, 70-40 Canisius. An easy win for the Griffins, and the reserves will finish out the game’s final three minutes—a good opportunity to give over-worked Billy Baron, Isaac Sosa, Harold Washington and Chris Manhertz a needed respite. Thanks for tuning in for the live-blog, and I’ll post the final score when the game reaches its conclusion.

4:03—Bisping dribbles around an Anosike screen at the top of the key and rains in a three. Siena is at the 40 point plateau. Horribly missed dunk by Tyrel Edwards, who was stuffed by the side of the rim—Reggie Groves picks a Siena player’s pocket and coasts down for a lay-up. It’s show-boat time now—truly garbage time. Getting outrageously ugly. Tyrel Edwards throws the ball wildly out of bounds as Josiah Heath wasn’t looking in the freshman’s direction.

5:17—Alshwan Hymes is too strong for Silas, and he scores at the rim again. Nice dish from Evan Hymes to Silas for the slam, and then Silas rejects Josiah Heath at the other end. Wild behind the back turnover from Evan Hymes, but then Alshwan gives the ball right back by whipping a pass over Tyrel Edwards’ head. We haven’t seen much of Billy Baron and Isaac Sosa in the second half.

7:40—Buonaguro complains about a traveling call on Silas, who changed his pivot foot in the left block. It’s more frustration than anything else for the Siena gaffer. Errant alley-oop from Groves to Jordan Heath is ugly. Groves steals the ball from Hymes and coasts down the floor for a transition bucket. Evan Hymes tries to respond with a three, but it’s no good, and Alshwan Hymes scurries down the floor and lays in with his right hand to the left of the bucket—smooth from the senior. Audu knocks down another trifecta with a hand in his face—he leads Siena with 11 points. 66-35 now.

7:54—Under eight timeout, 62-32 Griffs. Wasn’t sure if Siena would get to 40 points, but it looks probable now. A few notes: Siena is without regular rotation players Trenity Burdine, Rob Poole and freshman Ryan Oliver—they’re definitely shorthanded, but I’m not sure if those players were available that this game would be any different. The word on Asprilla’s ankle is that he will not return, but the injury does not appear to be severe.

9:07—Rich Audu strokes a three from the left wing to bring Siena to within…30. Tyrel Edwards and Josiah Heath set to check-in, but not until after Manhertz elevates and tips in a Washington miss. Bisping cleans up a miss by Anosike. Alshwan Hymes is short on a wide-open three, and Anosike jams his finger and shakes his head as he walks to the bench.

11:27 —Chris Manhertz works really hard but he misses two lay-ins. Canisius gets the ball right back, but Heath misses a three but Manhertz tracks it down following an acrobatic spin and save by Washington. Groves misses a deep three. Bisping misses a straight-on triple to the left, and Canisius takes over—Groves dishes to Washington for another trey. Groves is blocked in the lane by Silas, but Manhertz crashes the offensive glass again for the bucket. He’s got a double double now.

11:30—Bisping bricks a jumper, and the ball bounces out of bounds off Siena. Rough day for Mitch Buonaguro’s squad. Under 12 timeout, 58-27 Canisius.

12:35—Nice bounce pass through traffic from Evan Hymes to Imoh Silas for an easy lay-in. Reggie Groves airballs a three, and it’s caught by Anosike. Blocking foul on Harold Washington, who feverishly tried to move his feet to stay in front of the shifty Siena point guard. Audu hits the back rim on a three and Groves extends his arm for the rebound, races down the floor and dumps a short pass off to an unguarded Jordan Heath for a lay-up. Too easy—58-27.

14:00—Chris Leppanen drives down the left side of the line—a little out of control—and he crashes into Josiah Heath, who draws a charge! He’s been an offensive-foul-drawing machine the last two games. Alshwan Hymes sticks a three from the right wing! 56-23 Canisius. Heath tries to draw another charge, but he’s called for the block after Anosike spun from the right block to the middle of the paint. O.D. nails the first. 5’6 junior point guard Steven Cruz enters for Evan Hymes, who now has the blood cleaned from his shirt.

14:15—Freddy Asprilla just turned an ankle moving down the lane in transition—he’s sitting down and grimacing, clutching his left ankle. He’s helped off the court by a teammate and a manager. Alshwan Hymes turned the ball over again for Canisius on the previous trip down the floor. It’s Alshwan’s first game of action since he was suspended four games ago—he dressed for Thursday’s game against Manhattan but never saw the floor.

15:27—Evan Hymes sinks both free throws. Good entry pass from Alshwan Hymes to Asprilla, but Freddy misses a bunny underneath. Evan Hymes tries a floater—no good—but Washington is long on a three, and the loose ball rebound gives the ball back to CC. Reggie Groves enters the game for the first time for Canisius. He’s nothing but smiles.

15:59—51-21 Canisius—the Griffs’ biggest lead—at the under 16 timeout. Anosike goes one on one with Asprilla in the right block—he misses a right-handed hook shot, but the 5’5 Hymes rises to draw a foul on Josiah Heath. Great athleticism from the little fellow!

15:59—Perfectly orchestrated fast break by Canisius draws rousing cheers for Griff fans—O.D. Anosike missed a seven-footer, and a quick one-two-three passing with good spacing from Sosa to Washington to Jordan Heath led to an easy jam.

17:14—Steal in the frontcourt and a quick outlet gave Baron a three-on-one with Jordan Heath and Washington—Heath is fouled by Anosike and can’t convert the bucket. He misses both his FTs. Anosike has three fouls now. Another turnover and fast-break for Canisius—Jordan Heath throws ahead to Washington, who is a little too flashy on his lay-up—no good, but Canisius keeps the ball and Sosa drains a three. Welp, that’s 18 for Ike.

18:38—Freshman Chris Leppanen has replaced Rakeem Brookins in the starting lineup for Siena. Brookins isn’t on the bench, either, and rumors of back problems have surfaced. Sosa’s three is short and Hymes shuffles to Audu—who misses the layup—but Anosike is there for the easy tap-in. 46-21 Griffins. Siena still in zone defense, and Sosa clanks a three from 22 feet. Blocking foul on Manhertz—Hymes is too shifty to be called for a charge in that situation. Three fouls on Manhertz.

19:48—Siena’s Imoh Silas is whistled for an over the back foul trying to deny the paint—after the inbounds, Manhertz overwhelms the undersized Audu on the glass and scores. Manhertz tears the ball away from Evan Hymes and starts the fast-break to Sosa—who’s fouled by Audu from behind. Looked like it might have been clean, but Sosa will shoot two FTs. Sosa sinks the first.

Halftime—Siena’s brutal dearth of big men forces Anosike to log heavy minutes—via Twitter, I’ve discussed Anosike’s pro potential with Albany Times-Union beat reporter Mark Singelais. Maybe, O.D. will turn into a Reggie Evans-esque rebounding specialist at the next level if he improves his shooting a little and continues to get stronger. 

Halftime—The halftime stats certainly point to a blowout, as the Saints shot 28% from the floor (7-25) and turned the ball over nine times. On the other hand, Jim Baron’s Griffs only turned the ball over once in the game’s first 20 minutes but doled out 12 assists. Six Griffs own at least two rebounds, and Manhertz and Jordan Heath each have five. Anosike only has four boards and two points in a rather ineffective 20 minutes.

Halftime—The Griffins simply ran Siena out of the gym in the first half, sinking threes, getting out quickly in transition and rebounding with tenacity at both ends of the floor. The dirty work by Manhertz and the Heath brothers paved the way for a big half for the Canisius guards, and Sosa’s 13 leads all scorers at the intermission.

Halftime—42-19 Canisius.

1:28—Driving among the trees, Brookins sees his shot swatted high into the air by Manhertz, an emphatic block that draws noise from a fairly substantial Canisius student section. Rich Audu silences the crowd with a bucket and a foul—he nails the free throw, too. 39-19 Canisius, though. Two offensive rebounds—one by Jordan Heath and the other by Manhertz—create open three-point looks from Baron and Sosa, but neither fall. Sosa uses Josiah Heath’s ball screen beautifully on a give-and-go, and Sosa sinks another triple. He’s an unparalleled shooter.

2:21—Baron nips in the passing lane and deflects the ball back to midcourt. Evan Hymes runs it down and beats Baron back down the floor, but the help defender forces Hymes into a travel. Manhertz scores with his left deep in the block. Baron called for a feeble bump on the perimeter then, angrily, he steals the ensuing inbounds pass and coasts down the floor for a layup over Brookins.

3:46—Baron steals the inbound and streaks down the floor—his wild lay-up doesn’t drop, but he put the ball up on the rim for Jordan Heath to slam in with authority. Great contest underneath by Josiah Heath and Jordan Heath, and Anosike can’t get a good look at the hoop—he settles for a line-drive leaner that caroms off the side of the rim. Washington’s three is no good from the left wing, but Sosa tracks down the loose ball. Nifty drop-step baseline by Manhertz gives him freedom, and the big man scores on the reverse.

3:49—Under four timeout, 31-16 Canisius. The terrific triumvirate of Baron, Sosa and Washington has combined for 22 of Canisius’ 31 points, and the trio is firing on all cylinders, sharing the basketball and creating good looks for each other. Siena’s struggling to keep up.

4:07—Josiah Heath takes a shot out of his range—a 14-footer—and it’s not close. Holding foul on Freddy Asprilla for grabbing Anosike in the block—we’re already at another media timeout.

5:14—Alshwan Hymes pulls up at the other end and receives a friendly “shooter’s roll” on his jumper. 31-16 Canisius, and an offensive foul on Silas—his second—gives the ball back to CC again. Sosa’s three is a little long, and Hymes grabs the rebound amid shouts of “daddy daycare”—Siena’s Hymes could pass for 15-years-old.

7:00—After the break, Martens regroups with a jumper from 10 feet, but Harold Washington responds with a pull-up three from the left wing. 27-14 now. Evan Hymes is hacked in the lane by Asprilla—no call—then Canisius rushes the ball down the floor and, despite a Asprilla miss, Josiah Heath is there on the weak-side for the uncontested put-back. Siena’s Rich Audu tries a jumper—it’s no good, but Asprilla picks up a personal fighting for the rebound. Audu loses Alshwan Hymes and calmly cans a 15-footer.

7:46—Under eight timeout, 24-12 Canisius. Unless Evan Hymes or Brookins get hot from the outside, Siena has major problems scoring. O.D. Anosike isn’t a post-up offensive player by any means, and he’s more active setting ball screens on the perimeter and crashing the glass after Hymes or Brookins miss a wild runner. No one said the Saints played pretty basketball!

8:15—Davis Martens cuts into the lane on the dribble-drive and is too strong off the glass—Siena maintains possession though as Anosike battled for the loose ball. Jordan Heath has an absurdly easy block of Davis Martens, who barely left his feet on a baseline jumper. Martens looks a little overwhelmed in his first stretch of playing time.

8:56—Acrobatic jump stop in the lane by Rakeem Brookins, who has a lot of NYC flair to his game. Interestingly, though, Brookins is from Philly. He couldn’t finish, but he was fouled by Jordan Heath, and he nailed both free throws. Brookins was a Griffs-killer in the first meeting along with Hymes. Tyrel Edwards’ three rims out for Canisius, and no extra possessions on that series.

10:28 —Freshman Brett Bisping checks in for Siena and promptly takes five steps trying to traverse the lane. Alshwan Hymes travels on the baseline. Harold Washington with a strong rebound after two Brookins misses, and the Griffin senior tries a floater on the break and it rims out. Siena rebounds, but an offensive foul on Silas gives the ball back to CC. Good ball movement from Alshwan Hymes to Jordan Heath in the left corner, and Heath isn’t bashful about draining the corner trey. 24-10 CC.

10:47—Under 12 timeout, 21-10 Griffs. Isaac Sosa is shooting NBA Jam-style fire balls out of his hands the last two games, as his season-high 25 led Canisius over Manhattan, and he has 10 in the first nine minutes of today’s game.

11:02—Asprilla backs into Anosike in the block, but he can’t get past the Siena senior’s long arms to score off the backboard. Alshwan Hymes, who entered the game a few minutes ago for CC (no relation to the diminutive Evan Hymes), picks up a reach-in foul on help defense, bringing us to the under 12 timeout.

12:33 —Brookins has his pocket picked by Baron, who starts the break again—he tries a bounce pass to Sosa which is picked off by Hymes, but Sosa hustles after Hymes, steals the ball back and scores off the window plus the foul on Hymes, his second. The free throw is surprisingly no good, and at the other end, Silas scores from five feet. Sosa responds with a twine-snapping three from the right wing, and he’s on fire. 10 points already for Isaac, and then Evan Hymes rushes a deep three and misses.

13:16—Evan Hymes knifes through a double team and scores on a floater, but then Hymes gets overzealous on the next trip and runs smack into Asprilla—fast-break, Canisius, and Baron dishes a bounce pass to his left to Washington for a smooth reverse lay-up. After a Siena miss, Sosa sticks a three from the deep left corner, and Buonaguro is forced to burn another timeout! 16-8 Griffins.

14:36—Freddy Asprilla in too, and he pulls down a rebound of a Siena miss. Billy Baron sinks a runner after easily scooting into the lane, then Sosa connects on a three from the right wing—quick timeout by Mitch Buonaguro to calm down his Saints and prevent Canisius from extending its 5-0 run. 12-6 Griffs. To say Mitch is red in the face would be putting it mildly.

15:12—Under 16 timeout, 7-6 Canisius. Canisius’ frontcourt—dissed by Manhattan coach Steve Masiello on Thursday—has answered the bell today, winning countless extra possessions and battling ferociously on the glass. Manhertz and Jordan Heath have been superb—now Josiah Heath checks in during the media break.

16:21—Jordan Heath with a vicious swat on Audu, then he tries a three at the other end—no good, but Manhertz is there again for the board. Billy Baron drains a three from 24-feet, and the Griffs are up three. Baron is not shy in hoisting deep shots. Fine no-look pass from Anosike to Silas on the opposite block, and he skies for a pretty weak throw-down. An under-appreciated skill from a star known for his rebounding prowess.

17:07 —Harold Washington rattles in a long two off the dribble—a very tough shot that rattled home. Siena’s Imoh Silas is whistled for the rare three-seconds call in the paint, and the game is stopped again because the shot clock operator never reset. Canisius ball, tied 4-4.

17:46—Brookins slashes into the lane and draws contact from Manhertz, the help defender. It will be key to keep the Canisius junior out of foul trouble. Brookins sinks both from the stripe. Siena shows a 2-3 zone, and Manhertz badly misses a 12-footer from the free throw line extended. Jordan Heath has terrific position underneath the rim, however, and he’s shoved by a Saint vying for position. First on Anosike.

18:50—Brookins solves Washington on a ball-fake and sneaks into the lane—he misses his runner but O.D. Anosike is there to clean up the mess. 2-0 Siena, as Anosike is a terror on the offensive glass. A missed three by Baron, and offensive board by Manhertz, a missed layup by Baron, another rebound by Manhertz, and the big No. 13 finishes himself with a baby hook from a few feet away for Canisius’ first hoop.

19:55—Anosike easily wins the tip, and Canisius opens up in man-to-man defense. The game clock has already malfunctioned, and Hymes and Baron share a joke on the sideline. We’re back. Audu barely grazes the front rim on a three from straight on—nice step through at the other end by Washington, but he misses the runner off glass. Jordan Heath snags the offensive board, though—brute strength from the gangly forward. Sosa misses from the left wing, and Siena takes over.

20:00 —Siena trots out guards Evan Hymes, Rich Audu and Rakeem Brookins, as well as a pair of 6’8 big men in the nation’s co-leading rebounder O.D. Anosike and bruiser Imoh Silas. Canisius starts the usual five: Chris Manhertz, Jordan Heath, Harold Washington, Isaac Sosa and Billy Baron. Barring injury, I don’t see this lineup changing the entire year.

Pre-game —Siena’s deep NCAA Tournament runs seem to be in the distant past, as the 4-14 Saints are a shell of the program they were when Edwin Ubiles and Ronald Moore ran the show.

Pre-game—At halftime of today’s game, Canisius will induct former Griffin men’s basketball player Darren Fenn into the program’s Hall of Fame. Five other former Canisius athletes will be honored as well.

Pre-game —Jim Baron secured his 400th victory as a Division I head coach in the Griffs’ win Thursday, ranking second in Canisius history in overall wins (obviously not just with the program) behind the venerable John Beilein.

Pre-game— Coming off a narrow 64-60 win over Manhattan on Thursday, Jim Baron’s Canisius Griffins stay at home to battle Siena in the rematch of a shocking 57-54 loss to the Saints eight days ago in Loudonville near Albany. Check out the latest Tsuj’s Ten for a more in-depth review of Canisius’ recent highlights.

TAGGED: canisius griffins, evan hymes, harold washington, jim baron, jordan heath, maac, o.d. anosike, siena saints

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