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.