Postgame interviews: Canisius 90, Fairfield 78 (Senior Day)

[Live blog + Postgame reactions]

By Nick Veronica

Canisius coach Jim Baron was more emotional than usual in his press conference Saturday as he discussed Senior Day and sending off a son for the second time. He talked about separating duties of dad and coach (“It’s tough love, it’s unconditional trust”) and called himself a “proud father.”

Billy Baron finished his final home game with 22 points and 9 assists in 37 minutes. In the player press conference, Chris Perez thought it was hilarious that Jim got so emotional. Fairfield coach Sydney Johnson talked about the skirmish that changed the course of the game in his press conference.

Canisius coach Jim Baron

Jim Baron: “It’s a very emotional day. … It seems like these two years went really, really quickly.”

Jim Baron on seeing Congressman Brian Higgins at dinner Friday night:

“We saw Senator Higgins last night. One thing that he said, one thing that made me a proud father is he said, ‘Billy, I want to congratulate you. You’ve got tremendous humility.’ I’ve never heard… I mean, what a compliment.”

“To get prominent people like a senator to say that, to me, as a father, that’s one of the greatest compliments in the world. I treasure that. When you hear people say that about your kids is very, very special.”

(I should note that Higgins is technically not a senator but a member of the House of Representatives.)

Canisius players Chris Perez, Jordan Heath and Billy Baron

Fairfield coach Sydney Johnson

Complacent Griffs miss opportunity, but ‘needed to get smacked,’ Washington says

After a five-point, seven-turnover night, Harold Washington said the 21-point loss might be an eye-opener for the Griffs.

After a five-point, seven-turnover night, Harold Washington said the 21-point loss would be a learning lesson for the Griffs.

Thursday night was an opportunity for Canisius. Having already beat MAAC power Fairfield once this season, the Griffs had a chance to go for the series sweep in just the third conference game of the year.

Anybody can get lucky once. The sign of winners in every sport is that they can duplicate their success.

Canisius didn’t come close to winning Thursday night. The 66-45 loss was the first truly disappointing performance of the Jim Baron era.

It took the Griffs more than five minutes to score a point, opening the game on wrong side of an 11-0 run. They played one minute of inspired basketball, cutting the deficit to 11-7 with 14 minutes left in the first half, but that was as close as it got. Fairfield followed with a 9-0 run and led by double-digits the rest of the way.

“We dug ourselves a hole we couldn’t get out of,” Jim Baron said, car keys in hand. “I told our guys we’re going to have to match the intensity and we fell short of that.”

No matter what combination of players Baron used, it was the Griffs, not the Stags, who looked lost in the headlights. They looked miserably out of sync on offense and couldn’t get a shot to fall when they finally got open.

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