Immediate reactions: Canisius 92, Siena 88 (3OT)

By Nick Veronica

How it happened: This game was something else. Canisius went to triple overtime for the first time since 2005 and pulled out a hard-fought victory, winning at Siena for just the fourth time since MAAC play began in 1989. Canisius had chances to win at the end of regulation, overtime and the second overtime but couldn’t convert. Billy Baron took the first two attempts and deferred to Chris Perez in double overtime because he was being double teamed.

Canisius took the lead for good late in the third overtime when Baron got a layup and a free throw to go up 89-88 with 45.5 seconds left. Rob Poole, who had a career day, couldn’t get a three-pointer to fall on the ensuing possession.

Baron set a career high with 40 points and added 10 rebounds. Perez scored 25 for the Griffs while Poole finished with 33 for Siena. Canisius improved to 18-9, 12-4 MAAC with four conference games remaining.

What it means: Billy Baron: very good. Chris Manhertz: sorely missed. Chris Perez: underreated threat. Canisius bench: not deep. Griffs: alive in the MAAC.

Big trouble: Chris Manhertz missed his third straight game with a broken nose, and his presence was missed once again. Phil Valenti and Jordan Heath picked up their fourth fouls within seconds of each other and had to sit with more than 13 minutes remaining in regulation. Josiah Heath fouled out in the third overtime, leaving Canisius with its only five available players on the court. Total rebounds were 40-32 Siena, but Canisius had much fewer early on, as low as 20 midway through the first overtime. The season low is 25.

Deep freeze: Canisius struggled from three-point range once again, making only 5 of 25 attempts (.200). The Griffs couldn’t hang with Iona last weekend because they went cold from deep in the second half, couldn’t find the touch Friday at Niagara, and continued the trend today.

Getting to the line: Canisius kept itself in the game by getting to the free-throw line. Canisius hit 33 of 41 attempts, both of which were season highs. Baron made 18 of 19.

Too much to blog: So much more happened in this game that I can’t even get to it all here. Read through my Twitter feed for more.

Next game: Canisius hosts Quinnipiac at 7 p.m. Thursday, opening the final homestand of the season.

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