[Immediate reactions + Postgame interviews]
By Nick Veronica
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.Follow @nickveronica
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