Limited to a season-low 11 points in his last game, Billy Baron came back with a season-high 31 points Monday night for Canisius in an 83-73 triumph over Holy Cross in the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass.
Baron exceeded his total in the loss at St. Francis last Saturday before halftime Monday. He had 17 points at the intermission. The senior guard made 7 of 15 field goal attempts, 4 of 8 from three-point range, and all 13 of his free throws. He also had nine rebounds, five assists and a steal.
Jordan Heath and Chris Perez were also major contributors. Heath had 15 points including 5 of 6 free throws in the last minutes and a half when the Crusaders kept fouling him. Heath also had three blocked shots. Perez had 14 points for Canisius. The Griffs led, 42-39, at the half and never trailed after the intermission. Dave Dudzinski led Holy Cross with 15 points and 11 boards.
“This was a very good win for us against a Holy Cross team, I think, that has a chance to win the Patriot League,” said Canisius coach Jim Baron. “We outrebounded them, 38-31, and we did a good job of sharing the basketball and really playing solid.”
It was the first game between the Jesuit colleges since 1990.
The Canisius women’s team also played on the road in New England but didn’t produce the same result. Vermont handed the Griffs a 74-51 setback in Burlington, Vt. The host Catamounts built a 46-22 halftime lead and coasted home.
Jamie Ruttle led Canisius with 14 points. The Griffins made only 3 of 15 three-point shots while UVM hit 11 of 23.
The only time St. Bonaventure has faced Wake Forest in men’s basketball was more than a half-century ago, but diehard Bona followers still talk about it how Wake coach Bones McKinney made the inbounds pass to start his team’s fast break after an out-of-bounds call in his team’s 78-73 victory in a 1961 second round NCAA tournament game in Charlotte, N.C. Wake Forest, with future broadcaster Billy Packer in the lineup, ended Bona’s 24-4 season.
The teams will meet again tonight (7 p.m., Radio 1450 AM) in Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C. Bona comes in at 7-3. The Demon Deacons are 8-2 with losses to Kansas and Tennessee. They are led by sophomore guard Codi Miller-McIntyre, who is averaging 17.9 points per game.
The Bona women’s team (6-4) will be in action in the Reilly Center (7 p.m., Radio 1270) against the University at Buffalo (5-3). UB has won its last three while the Bonnies are coming off a last-second loss to Toledo, 64-62.