BUFFALO, NY - (Canisius Press Release) Canisius senior center Jordan Heath posted his third career double-double with a career-high 28 points to go with 10 rebounds, and fellow senior Chris Manhertz added 10 points and six rebounds as the host Golden Griffins defeated Saint Peter’s 82-67 Friday night in the Koessler Athletic Center. The win moves Canisius to 4-3 overall and 1-0 in MAAC play, while Saint Peter’s slipped to 2-5 overall and 0-1 in league action.
Heath scored his career-high 28 points after he went 11-for-17 from the field, 4-for-6 from 3-point land and 2-for-6 from the free-throw line while adding 10 boards and two blocked shots to his final stat line. Senior guard Billy Baron chipped in nine points and a season-high seven assists in the win for Canisius, while freshman Zach Lewis was good for nine points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in his first game back from a quad injury. As a team, Canisius shot 48.3 percent from the field and ended the night with a 16-to-6 assists-to-turnover ration.
“I thought we did a great job sharing the basketball and we really did a good job turning them over,” Canisius head coach Jim Baron said. “We made a conscious effort to get the ball inside tonight to take a lot of pressure off our guards and our post players responded.”
Redshirt sophomore Dominique Raney had seven points and four assists in the win for the Griffs, which have now taken three straight from Saint Peter’s. Junior Josiah Heath added seven points in 18 minutes to help the Blue and Gold reach the 80-plus point mark for the 12th time in 41 games under Baron.
In the first half, the Griffs held a 22-21 lead over the Peacocks with 6:45 left before halftime before the Blue and Gold pulled away with a 13-2 run over the span of 2:38, capped by a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Jordan Heath off an assist from Raney. Canisius led by seven at the break at 37-30 and pushed its margin to as many as 13 points at 54-41 with 13:54 left in the game after Lewis hit a long trey from the left wing off an assist by redshirt freshman Phil Valenti. Saint Peter’s was able to trim Canisius’ cushion to nine points at 54-45 with 12:59 left, but that was as close as the Peacocks would get for the rest of the night, as the Griffs secured a win in the MAAC opener for the second-straight season and for the 15th time in 25 tries all-time.
For Saint Peter’s, redshirt junior Marvin Dominique scored a team-high 25 points to go with 10 rebounds while junior Vic Adams added 13 points. Saint Peter’s held a 36-30 advantage on the boards, but the Peacocks turned the ball over 13 times, which Canisius turned into 18 points.
The Griffs will close out their MAAC weekend homestand on Sunday, Dec. 8, when the team plays host to Siena. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m., in the Koessler Athletic Center.
Game Notes: Canisius and Saint Peter’s met for the 70th time, with the Griffs holding a 39-31 lead in the series… The six turnovers for Canisius was a season low… Canisius, which entered the game ranked last in the MAAC in steals, had seven on Friday, the second-highest steal total for the team this season… The 28 points by Jordan Heath are the most for a Canisius front court player since former Griff Greg Logins scored 30 points in a win over Iona Jan. 23, 2011… Heath also had two blocks in Friday’s game, the fifth time this year he’s recorded multiple blocks in a game… Manhertz’s six rebounds moved him into 14th place on the school’s career rebounding chart… Baron’s seven assists gives him five or more helpers in a game 23 times in his career (21st time in a Canisius uniform).