LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – Canisius served notice that it intends to remain among the contenders in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with one of its best defensive efforts of the season by routing second-place Rider, 67-50, on Friday night in Alumni Gymnasium.
Billy Baron and Jordan Heath each scored 17 points to lead the Golden Griffins (13-7, 6-3), who won their third in a row and ended the Broncs’ five-game winning streak by beating Rider (11-10, 6-3) on its home floor for just the second time in 17 tries. It’s Canisius’ first win here since Feb. 11, 2011.
Heath grabbed a career-high 13 boards to finish with his first career double-double.
The Griffs host conference leader and longtime rival Niagara (12-8, 8-1) at 4 p.m. Sunday.
“Our guys played with an understanding of what they needed to do defensively and really controlled the boards with our 42-22 advantage on the glass,” Canisius coach Jim Baron said. “This is a big win for us.”
The Griffs won this one by delivering a beatdown in the second half after taking a 27-24 lead into the intermission. Canisius opened the second half with a 17-4 blitz during the first 5:45 – sparked by a Billy Baron trey. The Griffs shot 16 for 26 from the field during the final 20 minutes, while limiting Rider to 8-of-25 shooting.
The Griffs led by 18 with 8:20 left. It grew to a 19-point bulge on Heath’s trey with 5:51 left.