After losing a close game to Fairfield last Friday at the Koessler Athletic Center and falling to 2-6 in league play, the eldest members of the men’s basketball team knew they had to step up.
The Griffs’ five seniors met with head coach Tom Parrotta in his office for two hours on Saturday, where they vowed to take it upon themselves to get the team where it needs to be.
“We really had some soul-searching that we took care of,” Parrotta said. “We talked as a group with the seniors… about stepping up and doing anything we could do to push this team through.”
Greg Logins took that message to heart.
The senior forward went 6 of 7 from 3-point range on Sunday and finished with a career-high 30 points as Canisius knocked off league-leader Iona, 75-73. Logins was the first Griff to score 30 points at the KAC in almost exactly five years.
After a back-and-forth battle all afternoon, the Gaels’ Jermel Jenkins hit a 3-pointer to tie the score with 10 seconds remaining in the game. Canisius senior Julius Coles got the inbounds pass and threw it the length of the floor to a streaking Gaby Belardo, who scored the game-winning basket with less than four seconds on the clock.
“I thought they were going to foul,” Coles said. “Gaby took off and I just looked up the court and saw him.”
“Nobody was guarding me,” Belardo said. “I just kind of sprinted to the hoop.”
After being torched for 39 points in their first meeting this season, Canisius held the MAAC’s leading scorer Mike Glover to 11 points on the afternoon, and allowed him just one point in the first half. Glover managed to round out the double-double with 10 rebounds but had his worst shooting game of the season.
After trailing 4-0 early on, the Blue and Gold ripped off an 11-0 run, highlighted by a huge alley-oop from Belardo to Frazier. Frazier himself accounted for nine of the 11 points over the stretch.
Canisius was down by four at halftime, 38-34, before Logins took over. He scored seven points in the first three minutes of the second half, and finished with 22 in the period. The win marked just the ninth time out of 80 games that coach Parrotta’s teams have won after trailing at the break.
Scott Machado led Iona with 17 points, while Coles added 12 for Canisius. Eight players scored double digits in the game.
The Griffs shot 53.8 percent from the floor and had a season-high 21 assists as Frazier, Coles and Rob Goldsberry each had five apiece.
The win was the first Sunday victory for the Griffs since 2006, breaking a 24-game losing streak.
Canisius (9-10, 3-6 MAAC) looks to take this momentum into Friday night’s contest with long-time rival Niagara. The Purple Eagles sit dead last in the division at 1-8 and are 4-17 on the season. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the KAC and the game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.