Manhattan 34 29 — 63
Canisius 31 29 — 60
By Nick Veronica
How it happened: A hard-fought game was decided late by Canisius’ poor shooting. Down 63-60 with 48 seconds left, Manhattan’s Ashton Pankey was assessed a flagrant-1 foul, giving Canisius two free throws. Jeremiah Williams, an 88.9 percent free-throw shooter, missed both, and Canisius proceeded to miss three field goals the rest of the way.
Manhattan came out with a lot of energy and led nearly the entire game. A Zach Lewis free throw with 13:14 left gave Canisius its first lead. The Griffs’ largest lead was only two points at 58-56. Shane Richards led all players with 18 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Jermaine Crumpton had a career-high 16 points for Canisius.
What it means: Canisius goes to 7-6 and 2-2 in the MAAC while Manhattan is now 5-8, 2-2. Manhattan only lost eight games all of last season en route to an NCAA tournament bid.
Turning point: After Canisius battled back to take its first lead of the game, Shane Richards hit back-to-back treys to steal the momentum right back for Manhattan.
Following up: Zach Lewis scored a career-high 31 points on Friday and was 8 for 17 from three-point range. Sunday he started 0-for-5 from deep and hit his first three-pointer with 6:06 left before finishing with 8 points on 2-of-12 shooting.
Buffalo trip: What Canisius and Niagara lose in home-court advantage they gain in being the longest trip for the rest of the teams in the MAAC. Coaches often mention the struggles of the Buffalo trip, when teams come to the MAAC’s western outpost to play Niagara and Canisius on the same weekend. With today’s win, Steve Masiello bucked an unusual trend:
Vegas line: Line was Canisius -4.5 and over/under 124.5. Manhattan covered. Total was 123.
Next: Canisius travels to Marist on Thursday, Jan. 8 for a 7 p.m. game.Follow @NickVeronica