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Canisius played its best game of the season and buried Brown, 65-47, to win the Pepsi Marist Classic Saturday night.

Junior center Ed Book scored 13 points and was named most valuable player as the Griffs improved to 4-1. Last season, it took Canisius 16 games to get its fourth win.

The triumph gave Canisius its first in-season tournament title since 1972 and its first ever outside of Buffalo.

Defense again was the key to Canisius' victory. The Griffs held Brown to 29 percent shooting from the field and have held all five of their foes to under 40 percent shooting.

Senior guard Chuck Giscombe starred defensively, holding Brown's leading scorer, Rick Lloyd, to five points.

Giscombe also scored 15 points and made the all-tournament team.

Brown, picked to finish in the middle of the Ivy League this season, dropped to 3-3.

"It means a lot for our kids," said Canisius coach Marty Marbach. "They worked really hard on the defensive end.

"Tonight was the first night we put it together offensively and defensively. It was the best first half of basketball we've played in an awful long time."

The Griffs were superb in the first half, taking a 38-19 lead into intermission.

Canisius shot 59 percent from the field in the first half and held Brown to just 21 percent. For the game, Canisius shot 51 percent.

A three-point shot by Rod Brown gave the Griffs a 12-4 lead six minutes into the game and sent Canisius on a 23-8 run. A dunk and a free throw by Book pushed the Griff lead to 32-12 with 3:15 left in the half.

The Griffs' biggest lead was 62-31, with eight minutes left.

Book and Harry Seymour each had seven rebounds to help the Griffs hold a 39-26 edge on the boards.

The Griffs now have surpassed their November-December victory total of the past three years combined. Canisius won only three games before New Year's the past three years.

Canisius advanced to the final with a 78-71 win over Lehigh Friday. The Bruins advanced by defeating host Marist, 82-79, behind 25 points by Lloyd.

Lehigh took third place in the tournament, defeating Marist by 76-73 in the consolation game.

The Griffs' next game is against Syracuse Wednesday at the Carrier Dome.

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