Looking to build on its first 20-win season in a dozen years, the Canisius College men’s basketball team will host Evansville tonight at 7 at the Koessler Center (1400 AM) in a quarterfinal round game in the CIT.
The Griffs are 20-13 overall, coming off an 84-82 overtime win at Youngstown State on Saturday. The Griffs trailed by as many as 22 points before mounting their comeback. Canisius junior Billy Baron scored a game-high 30 points, 26 in the second half and overtime. Senior Alshwan Hymes added a season-high 19 points off the bench.
The win gives Canisius two postseason wins in the same year since 1995 and its seventh 20-win season in history. “No one thought we could win 20 games, but our guys believed we could, and we have reached that mark,” said coach Jim Baron.
Evansville defeated Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, 86-72, for the right to play the Griffs. The Purple Aces are 20-14 and finished their conference schedule with a 10-8 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference. Senior Colt Ryan leads Evansville with 19.8 points per game and helped lead the team to its first 20-win season since 1998-99.
Meanwhile, Niagara sophomore Juan’ya Green was named to the 2013 Lou Henson Mid-Major All-America Team. Green helped the Purple Eagles win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title and earn the program’s 14th NIT bid.
The All-MAAC first teamer averaged 16.5 points, 4.9 assists, 1.9 steals and shots 80.7 percent from the free-throw line. He surpassed 1,000 career points, just the second sophomore to do that for Niagara, and now has 1,131.
Niagara hockey ranked No. 14
The Niagara hockey team heads into this week’s NCAA Tournament holding the No. 14 ranking in both the U.S. College Hockey Online and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
The Purple Eagles, the Atlantic Hockey Association regular-season champion who earned an at-large bid to the Big Dance after falling in the AHA tourney semifinals to eventual champ Canisius, have been ranked a program-best 18 straight weeks in the USCHO poll.
Niagara, which received the No. 3 seed in the West Region, faces second-seeded North Dakota at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Grand Rapids, Mich. North Dakota is ranked seventh in both polls.
For tickets to the regional, call 286-TIXX.