Canisius finally had a successful road trip to New Rochelle on Friday night. No one can say the Golden Griffins did it the easy way.
Billy Baron hit two free throws with 14 seconds left to lift Canisius to an 85-83 basketball win at Iona in the Hynes Athletic Center. The Gaels had won the last six times that the Golden Griffins came there as the visitor.
Canisius had a 50-39 lead at halftime, and expanded that margin to 61-41 on a Jordan Heath lay-up with 16:39 to play. But Iona fought back, turning a 71-59 deficit into a 74-71 lead. Still, Canisius pulled out the victory.
Baron had another big night for the Golden Griffins. He scored 29 points with eight assists. Chris Perez had 17 points, while Zach Lewis contributed 14.
The win moved Canisius into a tie for first in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with Manhattan at 6-1 (12-6 overall). Iona fell to 5-2 (8-8 overall). The Golden Griffins continue their road trip at Monmouth on Sunday.
Canisius guard Jeremiah Williams has been ruled academically ineligible for the rest of the current season. He will be allowed to practice with the team. Williams had played in all 17 games before Friday’s contest, averaging 2.1 points per game.
Meanwhile, it’s a typically busy Saturday in local basketball today. That’s particularly true at the University at Buffalo’s Alumni Arena, which will host a split doubleheader.
The UB men’s team will host Kent State tonight (6 p.m., Radio 1270 AM). That will be preceded by the women’s team matching up against Eastern Michigan (2:30 p.m., Radio 1270 AM).
The men’s game marks the opening of the MAC East portion of UB’s schedule. The Bulls recently saw a four-game win streak end with a loss to Toledo, but they are still 8-5 overall and 2-1 in the MAC. UB is an impressive 7-0 in Alumni Arena this season.
In the opener, the UB women will be coming off a hard-fought win over Toledo in a game that ended a three-game losing streak. The Bulls moved back above .500 at 8-7 with the win but are 1-3 in MAC play.
Elsewhere, St. Bonaventure is home as well with a meeting with George Washington (7 p.m., Radio 1450 AM). The Bonnies (11-6, 1-2 Atlantic 10) are coming off close losses to Massachusetts and Saint Louis on the road.
Hitting the century mark won’t be easy this time. The Colonials take a 14-3 record into the game, and have received votes in national polls to be ranked in the Top 25.
A game between the St. Bonaventure women (13-6, 2-2 Atlantic 10) and Saint Louis (5-11, 0-3) will precede the men’s contest at the RC at 4:30 p.m. Bona is coming off a 58-35 home victory over La Salle.
Niagara is the lone Big 4 team playing today on the road. The Purple Eagles play their second straight game in the state of Connecticut, this time against Quinnipiac (4 p.m., Radio 550 AM).
Niagara is coming off a good win over Fairfield on Thursday. Antoine Mason, the nation’s top scorer, had 15 points.