BUFFALO, N.Y. – release ) St. Francis (NY) sophomore Akeem Johnson came off the bench to score a career-high 21 points and senior guard Ricky Cadell added 20 points after hitting five 3-point field goals as the visiting Terriers defeated Canisius College 76-58 Friday night in the Koessler Athletic Center. The win was the fourth straight for St. Francis (NY) and improved the team to 5-3 on the year, while the Golden Griffins slipped to 4-5 with the loss.
Johnson went 8-for-11 from the floor and 5-for-8 from the free-throw line to go with eight rebounds in 33 minutes of action in the win for St. Francis (NY). Cadell hit on 6-of-12 chances from the field and went 5-for-11 from 3-point range, while Stefan Perunicic and Akeem Bennett added 12 and 10 points, respectively for the Terriers, which ended the night shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from long range after connecting of 11-of-29 chances from behind the 3-point arc.
For Canisius, sophomore guard Gaby Belardo scored a team-high 12 points off the bench and senior forward Elton Frazier posted his fifth career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Robert Goldsberry was good for 11 points in the loss, while fellow senior Julius Coles chipped in 10 points for the Blue and Gold.
“Obviously, we need to figure out what we are going to hang our hats on,” Canisius head coach Tom Parrotta said. “Right now we’re struggling on defense and we’re struggling on offense as well. We need to take this time off to find an identity and bring this team together. We are not where we should be as a collective group.”
Canisius came out strong, taking an early 20-9 lead 8:12 into the game on a dunk by Frazier. After a St. Francis (NY) basket, Goldsberry sunk two free throws with 11:02 left before the break to give Canisius an 11-point cushion at 22-11, but the Terriers responded by outscoring the Blue and Gold 12-0 over the next 4:19 to take a 23-22 lead with 5:57 left before the half, capped by a deep 3-pointer by reserve guard Adam Chmielewski. Goldsberry put the Griffs back in the driver’s seat at 25-23 moments later with a traditional three-point play, and Canisius led by as many as six at 35-29 with 1:59 left before the intermission, but St. Francis (NY) outscored the Griffs 8-0 in the final 1:40 of the opening half to take a 37-35 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, St. Francis (NY) picked up where right where it left off, and the Terriers took a 14-point lead at 50-36 with a 13-1 run over the first 4:25 of the second half. The Terriers’ lead hovered around 13 for the better part of the next six minutes before Dre Calloway drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to put St. Francis (NY) up 62-46 with 8:33 left to play.
Canisius freshman Chris Manhertz came off the bench to pull down seven rebounds in 13 minutes of action, while senior Tomas Vazquez-Simmons was credited with nine boards. For the game, the Griffs out rebounded St. Francis (NY) 40-31, but the Terriers were able to convert 19 Griff turnovers in 27 points, while holding a 13-5 advantage on fast-break points.
Canisius will be off eight days for final exams before returning to action Dec. 19, at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La. Tipoff between the Griffs and Demons is set for 5 p.m.
Game Notes: This was the 10th all-time meeting between the two schools, with Canisius now holding a 6-4 advantage in the series… This game marked the first time St. Francis (NY) played Canisius in Buffalo since Dec. 17, 1983, and it also marked the first time the Terriers played in the Koessler Athletic Center… This is the first time this year Canisius has had four player in double figures in the scoring column and lost the game… Frazier has two of his five career double-double this season and it is just his second career double-double at home… Belardo led the team with four assists, the fifth time this year he’s been the team’s leader in that category.