Manhertz will have procedure for nose, hopes to play vs. Niagara

[Immediate reactions + Postgame interviews]

By Nick Veronica

Manhertz returned to Friday's game wearing a face mask. Photo by @kfpxp.

Manhertz returned to Friday’s game wearing a face mask. Photo by @kfpxp.

Chris Manhertz wore a sweater instead of a jersey Sunday and could only watch as Canisius lost to Iona, 101-91.

Manhertz suffered a broken nose in Friday’s game against Manhattan and will need a procedure this week to properly reset the bones.

Manhertz returned to Friday’s game wearing a face mask but Canisius coach Jim Baron said there was no chance of him playing Sunday.

“He wasn’t playing at all. He was out,” Baron said when asked how close Manhertz was to playing. “That never even entered into anybody’s mind. He’s got a broken nose.”

Baron said early in his press conference that Manhertz “[broke] two bones in his face,” but a Canisius spokesman later clarified that to mean the nose was broken in two places.

Manhertz will also get a mold of his face taken this week for a custom-fitted face mask, which should provide more visibility. He hopes to play in the final Niagara game of his career on Friday night (9 p.m., ESPNU).

“We’ll see,” Baron said of Manhertz’s status for Friday. “We’ll evaluate it this week.”

Phil Valenti got his first career start in place of Manhertz and performed admirably, making 7 of 13 shots for 15 points, pulling in nine rebounds and adding four assists in 36 minutes as the Griffs rolled seven players.

Valenti said he learned he would be starting Saturday night.

Without Manhertz, final rebounds Sunday were only 39-38 in favor of Iona, but his defensive presence may have been missed most of all. Iona was credited with only 34 points in the paint but the Gaels offense was never really contained. Iona scored 101 points, two shy of the all-time record for an opponent at the Koessler Athletic Center (103 by Saint Peters, Feb. 19, 2004).

Manhertz had played 103 consecutive games for the Griffs. He leads the team in rebounding with 6.4 per game and scores 8.1 points per game.


Immediate reactions: Iona 101, Canisius 91

[Manhertz update + Postgame interviews]

By Nick Veronica

How it happened: A back-and-forth game was settled by Iona’s offense late in the contest. The Gaels never stopped scoring and took the lead for good with a 10-2 run that gave them a 10-point lead at 87-77 with three minutes to go. The run was capped when A.J. English missed a three-pointer badly but Sean Armand got the rebound for an easy bucket, and DaShawn Gomez followed it up with a three. Canisius played well without Chris Manhertz, who missed the game with a broken nose, but could never really contain Iona’s offense.

Chris Perez led Canisius with 25 points and Billy Baron had 24 while Jordan Heath and Phil Valenti just missed double-doubles. Armand, Iona’s leading scorer, was kept quiet most of the game and finished with 10 points but English and David Laury stepped up in his place, finishing with 32 and 23 points, respectively. Canisius rolled seven players in the absence of Chris Manhertz.

What it means: Iona gained two games of separation atop the MAAC, improving to 12-2. Canisius lost back-to-back games for the second time this season and both losses this weekend came against fellow conference title contenders. The Griffs fall to 10-4 in the conference with six games to go. Improving on defense will continue to be a point of emphasis.

Manhertz out, Valenti plays well: Canisius’ leading rebounder Chris Manhertz missed the game with a broken nose he suffered Friday against Manhattan. Phil Valenti got his first career start in Manhertz’s place and finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and no turnovers in 34 minutes (his career high is 16 pts). While he was effective, Valenti didn’t provide Manhertz’s strength on defense. Total rebounds in the game were 39-38 Iona.

Lewis takes a tumble: Zach Lewis was bumped on a fast break midway through the second half and went down hard, holding his left shoulder. A flagrant foul was assessed Isaiah Williams. Lewis checked back in shortly after.

MAAC standings: Manhattan edged Niagara today, 78-77, for Niagara’s second consecutive one-point loss. With six games to play, here is how the top of the conference shapes up:

Iona 12-2
Canisius 10-4
Manhattan 10-4
Quinnipiac 9-4
Rider 8-6

Attendance: This game was officially listed as a sellout with 2,196 people in attendance, which is why you don’t trust announced attendances. It was a good Sunday crowd, but there were empty seats.

Hall of Fame Day: Former Canisius basketball player Brian Dux was inducted into the school Hall of Fame today. If you don’t know his story, I suggest spending a few minutes Googling his name. Other members inducted Sunday were Derrick Bishop (hockey), Mark Miyashita (men’s lacrosse), Jill Wright (synchronized swimming) and the 1994 softball team. Dr. Keith Stube (team physician) was awarded the first Rev. Paul J. Dugan, S.J. Award, which recognizes individuals for significant contributions to Canisius athletics.

Next game: Canisius heads up to Niagara on Friday for a 9 p.m. Valentine’s Day game that will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Canisius’ Manhertz out vs. Iona with broken nose

By Nick Veronica

Canisius will be without leading rebounder Chris Manhertz for today’s game against Iona.

Manhertz broke his nose during Friday’s game against Manhattan. He finished the game with a protective mask but couldn’t go for today’s 2 p.m. contest.

Canisius will have eight players available for the game unless a redshirt candidate makes his first appearance of the year.

Manhertz, a 6-foot-6 senior, leads the Griffs with 6.4 rebounds per game and adds 8.1 points per game. This absence breaks his streak of 103 consecutive games played.

UPDATE: Canisius is getting Manhertz fitted for a custom face mask (as opposed to the stock mask he wore Friday) and he hopes to play against Niagara this coming Friday (and hopes to get more visibility out of the new mask). His face looks fairly swollen today and he has a nice shiner, about what you’d expect for someone with a broken nose.

Watch Chris Manhertz level Fairfield’s K.J. Rose with huge screen

By Nick Veronica

Chris Manhertz set a screen for Dominique Raney late in the first half of Saturday’s Canisius-Fairfield game, and poor K.J. Rose never saw it coming.

I don’t know if my favorite part is the “oohhhhh” from the fans or the reaction on the Fairfield bench, where one coach is like ‘come on, that did not just happen,’ and the other one wants his guys to keep playing defense.

Rose, a freshman, is listed at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds. Manhertz is 6-6, 235. No wonder Canisius color man Dave Schofield likened it to running into a brick wall.

Thanks to reader Eric Tesauro for sending me the video. He has highlights from the game on YouTube (this play starts at 3:25).



Immediate reactions: Canisius 84, Fairfield 58

By Nick Veronica

What it means: Both of Canisius’ opponents on this road trip were able to limit Billy Baron’s effectiveness — and both lost by double digits. Baron had his second down game in a row Saturday at Fairifeld but Canisius showed it can win without him pouring in points. Zach Lewis was effective at times and Canisius’ inside game flexed its muscles while the outside shooting went cold (29.4 percent), with Chris Manhertz and Jordan Heath combining for 23 points. Baron still came back to lead the team with 17 points while every Griff scored at least two points in an easy win.

Solid homecoming for Lewis: Canisius freshman Zach Lewis, a native of Windsor, Conn., had two productive games in a row near his hometown, scoring 17 points Thursday at Quinnipiac in Hamden, Conn. and 11 Saturday in Bridgeport, Conn. He could’ve scored even more in this game if he didn’t pick up his third foul with 6:41 left in the first half. Canisius is now 7-1 since Lewis joined the starting lineup.

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 2.34.12 PM

He’s not wrong.

What happened to Fairfield? The Stags have been one of the top teams in the conference over the last few years, before slipping to 9-9 last season. But this year the Stags are sweeping out the cellar with a 1-10 record (although the win was against Manhattan). Coach Sydney Johnson attributed it a little to “The Derek Needham Effect,” the slump after graduating one of the best players in school history (and noted Canisius killer), but Fairfield is also a very young team with just one senior and two juniors. As they say, it’s all cyclic in college sports.

Manhertz heating up: When I joined the Canisius radio halftime show a few weeks back, we talked about team rebounding being an area of concern for the team. I said Chris Manhertz usually gets hot later in the season and I expected his stats to crank up over the next few weeks. He had his 12th career double-double Saturday with 14 points and 10 rebounds and only picked up two fouls. Over the last four games, Manhertz is averaging 12 points and 9.25 rebounds, and he has been to the free-throw line 25 times, the most in a four-game stretch in his career (and he’s made 23 of them).

Scoring list: Baron’s 17 points bring his average down to 23.7 points per game, which will keep him in fourth place nationally, just ahead of Texas Southern’s Aaric Murray (23.6). Baron had been third nationally but was jumped by BYU’s Tyler Haws, who scored 38 points on Thursday.

Stock up: Dominique Raney. Raney’s play had dropped since coming out of the starting lineup about four weeks ago, but the sophomore scored 9 and 15 points in two games this weekend, making 9 of 14 shots (.643). Canisius coach Jim Baron has mentioned Raney’s improved play recently and it seems to finally be showing on the scoresheet.

Stock down: Chris Perez. The senior was ice cold Saturday, taking a season-high 16 shots but making only two. Passing seemed like it would’ve been a better option in this game, but he finished with only two assists. (Speaking of cold, the Canisius radio broadcast noted several times that it was exceptionally cold at the Webster Bank Arena, with players sometimes blowing on their hands before free throws and people in the stands keeping hats and jackets on. The arena does double as a hockey rink.)

Upcoming: Canisius has a huge homestand next weekend, hosting Manhattan on Friday (ESPNU) and Iona Sunday. The radio broadcast said there were only 30 reserve tickets remaining for Sunday’s game.

Noteworthy: Canisius is now on a four-game winning streak, its longest of the season, and has a half-game lead in the MAAC.