BUFFALO, N.Y. – (Canisius) The Canisius College Golden Griffins held visiting Saint Peter’s to just 22.4 percent from the field, and senior Elton Frazier scored a game-high 14 points, as the Griffs defeated the Peacocks 59-45 Sunday afternoon in MAAC basketball action in the Koessler Athletic Center. The win, which is Canisius’ fourth in its last five games, improved the team to 12-11 overall and 6-7 in conference play, while Saint Peter’s saw its five-game winning streak come to an end with the loss as the team slipped to 14-10 overall and 9-4 in the MAAC.
Saint Peter’s ended the game shooting 22.4 percent (13-for-58) from the floor, which bested Canisius’ previous field goal percentage defense record, which was held by St. Bonaventure, which shot 22.8 percent (13-for-57) against the Blue and Gold on Jan. 16, 1996. In the first half, the Peacocks made only 12.5 percent (4-for-32) of their shots from the field, which sets a new Canisius opponent-low for shooting percentage in a half. The previous mark was held by Niagara, which shot 18.4 percent (7-for-38) against Canisius on Nov. 30, 2002.
“I thought our defense today was fantastic,” Canisius head coach Tom Parrotta said. “I have to give a ton of credit for this win to my coaching staff, because they worked so hard to put this game plan in place, and our guys went out and executed it. We worked to play inside-out, we guarded, we got rebounds and we didn’t turn it over. This is a really good win for us and I’m very proud of the effort today.”
Frazier went 5-for-10 from the field and 4-for-6 from the free throw line to earn his 14 points, while also recording seven rebounds, four blocks and a steal. Sophomore Gaby Belardo was good for 11 points, a career-high seven rebounds and four assists, while senior forward Greg Logins chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds. Canisius shot 36.8 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 78.6 percent from the free-throw line in the win, while holding a 43-42 advantage on the glass.
“Saint Peter’s is a really good, really physical team,” Parrotta said. “Our guys felt like they squandered a good chance for a win at their place last month because they didn’t play our kind of basketball. We did that today, now we need to change gears and take this type of effort on the road.”
Saint Peter’s had two players score in double figures, led by Wesley Jenkins and Jeron Belin, who scored 11 points apiece in the loss. Belin added nine rebounds to the Peacocks’ effort, as did senior forward Ryan Bacon, who chipped in four points, four blocks and three steals to his final stat line. Saint Peter’s turned the ball over 12 times and ended the contest shooting 26.7 percent from 3-point land and 68.2 percent from the charity stripe.
For the second-straight game, Canisius wasted little time in taking control of the game, posting an 11-0 lead 3:45 into the contest. The Griffs led by as many as 13 in the first stanza at 19-6 with 8:04 left before the break after redshirt freshman Reggie Groves made two free-throws. From there, Saint Peter’s worked the score to 23-18 with 54 seconds left on the power of a 12-4 run, but a jumper by Frazier from the paint with 26 seconds left before intermission sent the Griffs into the locker room leading 25-18.
In the second half, Saint Peter’s used another scoring run to get within two points at 29-27, capped by a 3-pointer from senior guard Nick Leon with 15:36 left in the game. Canisius would pull away, outscoring the Peacocks by an 8-0 count over the next 2:19, with a pair of treys by Tomas Vazquez-Simmons and Hymes, and a turnaround jump shot by Frazier. Saint Peter’s hung around and trimmed the Griffs’ cushion to three points at 39-36 with 9:34 left on the clock, but back-to-back buckets by Logins and a 3-pointer from Hymes pushed the Canisius lead to 46-36 with 6:37 left to play. Down the stretch, Saint Peter’s got within six at 46-40, but Logins hit a jumper from the top of the key as the shot clock expired to help seal the win for the Blue and Gold as the Griffs outscored Saint Peter’s 11-5 through the final 5:09 of the contest.
Canisius will return to action next Friday, Feb. 11, when the team plays at Rider. Tipoff in Lawrenceville, N.J., is set for 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series with Saint Peter’s that dated back to March 2, 2007 in the first round of the MAAC Tournament… Canisius now leads the all-time series over Saint Peter’s by a 36-29 count… With Friday’s win over Marist and Sunday’s win over Saint Peter’s, Canisius swept a home MAAC weekend for the first time since Jan. 18 and 20, 2007, when the team beat Marist and Iona… The Griffs are 9-0 this season when holding their opponents under 40 percent from the field and 9-1 when out rebounding their opponent… Dating back to last season, Canisius is now 15-7 in their last 22 home games in the Koessler Athletic Center… Logins’ seven rebounds gives him 709 for his career, which ranks seventh in school history… Hymes scored all nine of his points on three made 3-pointers… Freshman Chris Manhertz was credited with a career-high four blocks to go with three defensive rebounds in 10 minutes of action… Frazier’s four blocks matches his career-high… He became the eighth player to start 100 career games as a Griff on Sunday… Groves matched a career-high with his four rebounds and five blocks.