There was no miracle comeback this time.
Canisius trailed Saint Peter’s by 15 points with five minutes to play, just like the teams’ previous meeting ten days ago, but there were no heroics to bail out the Griffs Sunday afternoon on their home court.
Harold Washington did finish with 19 points but couldn’t duplicate the one-man comeback he led in Jersey City, N.J., scoring 13 points in 90 seconds to give the Griffs a chance to send the game to overtime at the buzzer.
Instead, Canisius got down and couldn’t recover, falling to the Peacocks 74-60 and dropping to 1-6 in conference play.
“I thought it was a tale of two games over the weekend,” Canisius coach Tom Parrotta said in light of his team’s victory over Marist on Friday. “I thought we took two steps in a positive direction Friday night and we took two back today, unfortunately.
“We were able to get a little bit of a lead, then we came out and they just … started making shots,” Parrotta said. “A lot of it was our defense, or lack thereof.”
The Griffs closed out the first half with a 12-0 run and went into the locker room up 31-25 but weren’t ready for what Saint Peter’s would throw at them in the second half.
A barrage of spot-on 3-pointers from Chris Prescott and Lamin Fulton gave the Peacocks the lead back just three minutes into the second half and were part of a 24-4 run that would put Saint Peter’s ahead comfortably for the rest of the game.
“I think [the game] was won in those first five minutes,” Saint Peter’s coach John Dunne said. “We were feeling really good after that. That’s what Chris Prescott and Lamin Fulton are capable of.”
Canisius started slow but went into halftime shooting 50 percent from the field (10-20) and 3-point range (2-4). The second half was another story: The Griffs made just seven of 30 field goals and finished the afternoon shooting 34 percent, 17 for 50.
Saint Peter’s was the opposite. After hitting just nine of 27 field goals in the first half, the Peacocks came out red hot in the second half, scoring on nine of their first ten possessions – and six of the nine scores were 3-pointers.
Washington had a tough day shooting – an ugly 3 of 18 from the field – but hurt the Peacocks from the free-throw line. Canisius couldn’t get to the line until the final seconds of the game Friday night against Marist but was able to create 31 free throw opportunities Sunday, with Washington hitting 12 of his 16 chances.
His shooting percentage has taken a hit since the New Year and Christmas break, and Washington says he needs more practice to get back on track.
“A lot of it is probably just me needing to get back into the gym,” Washington said. “That’s what it feels like. I’m getting open looks in space but I’m just not dropping them right now.”
Parrotta and the Griffs have four days to regroup before their matchup with rival Niagara Thursday night at the KAC, which is part of a double-header with the women’s teams. Niagara freshman Juan’ya Green, the MAAC’s leading scorer at 19.2 points per game, leads his team into the game on a two-game winning streak – which includes a 85-73 Purple Eagle victory over Saint Peter’s Friday night.