Canisius (16-9) at Loyola-Maryland (17-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 14, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reitz Arena (3,000) -- Baltimore, Maryland. Television: None. Home Record: Canisius 10-2, Loyola 9-3. Away Record: Canisius 6-7, Loyola 5-6. Neutral Record: Canisius 0-0, Loyola 3-0. Conference Record: Canisius 9-5, Loyola 9-5. Series Record: Canisius leads, 35-22.
GAMES NOTES: Coming off a big win over conference-leading Niagara, the Canisius Golden Griffins set their sights on the Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference bout at Reitz Arena on Thursday night.
Not only did Canisius knock off the top team in the MAAC last time out, the Golden Griffins did it on the road. The 77-70 win over Niagara has the Golden Griffins (9-5 MAAC) in a three-way tie with Loyola-Maryland and Iona for second in the standings and just a game back of the Purple Eagles. This contest is the third of a five-game road trip for Canisius which continues against Saint Peter's on Saturday.
Loyola could have benefited even more from Canisius' win if the Greyhounds had managed to get by Marist on Sunday. Unfortunately the Greyhounds were subdued in a 69-64 loss. Even with the setback the Greyhounds are 17-9 overall and also nipping at the heels of the Purple Eagles. Loyola has posted a 9-3 record at Reitz Arena but a three-game road trip awaits beginning against Siena.
When these teams met earlier this season Canisius earned a 91-79 victory at Koessler Athletic Center. It ended a short two-game winning streak in the series for Loyola. The Golden Griffins own the all-time series lead, 35-22.
It was Billy Baron who carried Canisius to its impressive win over Niagara. Baron knocked in 11-of-22 shots from the field, and 4-of-8 from 3-point range en route to a 33-point explosion. Harold Washington also had a strong game, netting 18 points and Jordan Heath brought in a game-high 12 rebounds.
Baron's showing against Niagara was a career-high for him as a Golden Eagle after he transferred from Rhode Island this past off-season. Baron (16.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.3 apg) followed his father and former Rams head coach Bill Baron to Canisius and has reaped the benefits as he leads the conference in assists while falling in as the fourth best scorer and one of its better rebounding guards. Washington (12.9 ppg), Isaac Sosa (12.4 ppg) and Heath (10.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg) are all scoring in bunches for the MAAC's third best offense (73.2 ppg), while Manhertz (7.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg) is second in the league in rebounds.
Free-throw shooting was crucial in Loyola' loss to Marist. The Red Foxes ended with twice as many points from the charity stripe (25-12), as the Greyhounds hit just 46.2 percent of its attempts from the foul line. Erik Etherly had a game-high 22 points in the five-point loss but left points at the line as he made good on just 4-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Dylon Cormier (16.7 ppg) and Etherly (15.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) form one of the MAAC's better scoring duos for Loyola. Cormier was held out of double figures for just the second time this season against Marist (eight points). Etherly meanwhile, has been in double figures in four straight games including a pair of 20-point efforts, while ranking second on the team in rebounds. Robert Olson (12.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is shooting just 38.2 percent from the field primarily due to a regression in his production from beyond the arc. The 6- foot-4 guard has shot at a 30.4 percent clip from 3-point range this season after topping 40 percent in the previous two.
Slowing down the Golden Griffins will be the key for Loyola if it hopes to claim an important conference victory. The Greyhounds have proven to be solid enough on defense this season and Cormier and Etherly provide enough scoring punch to expect a bit of revenge for the Greyhounds.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola-Maryland 72, Canisius 69
02/14 10:31:08 ET