Griffs match last season’s loss total in blowout

After being embarrassed by Niagara on its home court Thursday, the Canisius basketball team at least did its fans a favor Sunday afternoon by going on the road for its next beat down.

The Rider Broncs dominated Canisius start to finish in Lawrenceville, N.J., pushing their lead to as many as 30 in the second half before downing the Griffs 89-65. The loss dropped Tom Parrotta’s team to 1-9 in MAAC play and 4-15 overall, matching their loss total from all of last season.

Brandon Penn had 25 points and Novar Gadson had 22 as the Broncs knocked down half of their field goals (29 for 58) while holding Canisius to 34.9 percent from the floor and 29.4 percent from behind the arc.

The Griffs were held scoreless for the first five minutes while Rider built a 10-0 lead. A 3-pointer from Gaby Belardo with 7:44 left in the first half brought Canisius back within one possession at 19-16, but the Broncs then ripped off a 15-0 run that the Griffs would never recover from.

Canisius was nearly doubled at halftime, 43-22, and the 21-point deficit matched its largest at the break this season. The Broncs literally were twice as good as Canisius in the first half, making double the amount of field goals (12 to six) and missing only half as many (13 to 26).

A 12-0 run in the second half put Rider up 30 points, 79-49, before it coasted to a 24-point win. Harold Washington hit 9 of 15 shots to finish with 22 points and five assists while Gaby Belardo hit 7 of 15 for 19 points. Alshwan Hymes finished with 10 points but made only two of his 14 3-point attempts.

The Broncs came into the game ahead of Canisius in the MAAC standings but both teams had had their share of struggles this season, losing 14 games apiece. Yet, even on a three-game losing streak, it was Tommy Dempsey’s squad that came out ready to play and improved to 4-5 in the MAAC and 7-14 overall. Tom Parrotta’s Griffs fell 11 games below .500 (4-15) and need to win out to match their conference record from last season (9-9).