Lewis’ ankle has ‘significant sprain,’ no breaks

By Nick Veronica

Canisius freshman guard Zach Lewis didn’t suffer any broken bones when he injured his ankle last Tuesday in the Griffs’ CIT loss to VMI, the athletic department confirmed today.

Zach Lewis ices his ankle on the end of the bench. (Photo by Jourdon LaBarber)

Zach Lewis ices his ankle on the end of the bench. (Photo by Jourdon LaBarber)

The team called the injury a “pretty significant ankle sprain,” which is an injury to a ligament.

Lewis was attacking the basket early in the first half and went down awkwardly. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg when he was helped off the court and was announced out for the game shortly after. Canisius lost, 111-100, ending its season.

Lewis is no longer on crutches or in a walking boot, the team said, and expected he’ll be cleared to resume activity in 7-10 days.

Lewis was an All-MAAC Rookie Team selection this year, averaging 9.5 points per game, and will be next year’s only returning starter.

 

Sights from the NCAA Tournament in Buffalo

By Nick Veronica

The NCAA Tournament came to the First Niagara Center this week. Here’s what I saw.

Ohio State and Dayton tip off in Buffalo

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MORE: See 100+ posts on Storify

 

Postgame interviews: VMI 111, Canisius 100 (CIT)

[Immediate reactions + Zach Lewis injured]

By Nick Veronica

The Griffs looked out of it Tuesday night in a 111-100 home loss to VMI that knocked Canisius out of the CIT and ended its season.

Billy Baron said he’s still trying to digest the loss to Iona in the MAAC semifinals. Jim Baron hardly said anything of relevance, going on about how far the program has come since he took it over. I got an update on Zach Lewis out of him before he left:

Maybe the quote of the day from VMI’s Rodney Glasgow: “Coach told us, ‘Be sharks on blood.’ ”

Canisius players Chris Perez, Chris Manhertz, Billy Baron and Dominique Raney

Canisius coach Jim Baron

VMI coach Duggar Baucom and players Rodney Glasgow and D.J. Covington

Immediate reactions: VMI 111, Canisius 100 (CIT first round)

[Zach Lewis injured + Postgame video]

By Nick Veronica

How it happened: If you sleepwalk through part of a postseason game, odds are that will be the last game you play. Canisius got down 15-0 early Tuesday night and never recovered, getting bounced from the first round of the CIT. VMI, which owns the nation’s top scoring offense, played fast and furious, shooting as often as possible. D.J. Covington scored 37 points, the most of any Canisius opponent this season, and Rodney Glasgow finished with 27, including 5 of 9 from three-point range. Canisius’ defense, while not a strong point of the team at point this season, was especially weak.

The Griffs trailed 59-45 at halftime but showed signs of life with an 8-0 to open the second half. Billy Baron cut the deficit to two points at 76-74 midway through the second half, but that was as close as Canisius would come. The most points an opponent had scored against Canisius this season was Iona’s 101.

The 100 points were a season high for Canisius. Chris Perez had a season-high 30, two off his career high, Billy Baron had 24 and Dominique Raney had 20. The Griffs finish at 21-13 and missed a chanced to match the school record for wins. Baron became just the second player in school history to finish his career with 1,400 points, 350 assists and 300 rebounds.

What it means: This was the final collegiate game for seniors Billy Baron, Chris Manhertz, Chris Perez and Jordan Heath. Perhaps their MAAC Tournament hangover led to their poor start, but VMI was clearly the better team and the Keydets will advance to the second round of the CIT.

Lewis injured: Freshman guard Zach Lewis injured his ankle in the first half and did not return. If his injury is serious, that would be bad news for the Griffs heading into the offseason, as Lewis is the only returning starter.

Records set: VMI’s scoring led to several Koessler Center records.

This part was fun:

What’s next: Watching other teams play in the NCAA Tournament.

Canisius’ Zach Lewis injured vs. VMI

[Reactions: VMI 111, Canisius 100 + Postgame interviews]

By Nick Veronica

Canisius freshman guard Zach Lewis injured his left ankle early in the first half Tuesday against VMI and was announced out for the game shortly after.

Lewis was helped off the court and couldn’t put any weight on his left leg. He spent the rest of the half on end of the bench with ice on his ankle and looked to be in pain.

UPDATE: Here’s what Jim Baron said about Lewis after the game:

Keeping Lewis out of the game may be precautionary, but if the injury is serious, it would be a major setback to the Griffs’ offseason. Lewis, an MAAC Rookie Team selection, is the only starter coming back next season and looks to be the star of a very young team.

Lewis averaged 9.8 points per game this season. VMI leads Canisius 59-45 at halftime.