Boston U 24 44 – 68
Canisius 43 41 – 84
By Nick Veronica
What it means: Exam week must’ve been rough at Boston University. The Terriers were flatter than week-old pop in the first half – committing 16 turnovers – and woke up only briefly after halftime before losing by 16.
Canisius snapped its three-game losing streak, which was only one off Jim Baron’s longest such streak at Canisius, and looked to get its defense back in order with two nonconference games remaining. Canisius improved to 4-6 while BU fell to 5-6.
How it happened: Canisius made BU pay for its miserable first half. Phil Valenti pushed the Griffs’ lead to double-digits midway through the first half with eight points in a span on 1 minute and 14 seconds while the Terriers averaged a turnover per minute for much of the opening 20 minutes. Canisius led by 19 at the break, which was its largest halftime lead in the last two seasons.
BU cut Canisius’ lead to eight points a few times in the final 10 minutes but never looked truly dangerous. BU finished with 24 turnovers.
Valenti led all players with 21 points while Malcolm McMillan had 20 and Kassius Robertson had 13. BU was led by Eric Fanning’s 18 points andJohn Papale’s 16. Canisius never trailed.
Glass men: Canisius’ offensive rebounding was on display Saturday as the Griffs finished with 21 offensive boards – one more rebounds than they corralled on the defensive end. Jamal Reynolds led the way with four offensive boards (and 12 total) while McMillan and Kevin Bleeker had three each.
Play of the day: Jermaine Crumpton fooled a defender with a slick fake pass and then calmly hit a wide-open three-pointer with 13 minutes left in the game. It was a nifty move from the big man, who has scored double-digit points in six of his seven games since returning from suspension.
Honorable mention: Kevin Bleeker swatted Kyle Foreman’s shot into the third row with 9 minutes to play.
T’d up, ejected: Crumpton and BU’s Nick Havener were given matching technical fouls with 6:24 to play. BU converted both free throws while McMillan hit 1 of 2 for Canisius. The replays didn’t show any egregious physical contact.
BU coach Joe Jones was ejected with 1:55 to play.
Valenti down, but OK: Valenti was down in pain after drawing a charge late in the first half. He appeared to be holding his chest or rib area. He was able to walk off the court. … He sat the last 1:46 of the first half but started the second half.
First time’s the charm: Jim Baron’s first game with Canisius was a home game against Boston University. The Griffs won, 83-75, behind 22 points from Harold Washington and 21 from Billy Baron.
Pedal to the floor?: Jones, the BU coach, was excited to be in Western New York, near his alma mater of SUNY Oswego. Jones, however, may have a significant case of lead foot. Cruise control is your friend, Joe.
Starters: Canisius – McMillan, Robertson, Reynolds, Valenti, Bleeker. BU – Papale, Mosley, Dieudonne, Foreman, Haines.
Refs: Brandon Cruz, Justin Simon, John Floyd.
Next: Tuesday vs. Louisiana-Monroe in Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, 5:30 p.m. ET. The Griffs have yet to win a game this year outside of the Koessler Athletic Center.Follow @NickVeronica