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Here's a final score for veteran Canisius fans to savor:

Canisius 82, St. Bonaventure 53.

As any Golden Griffin alumnus worth his class ring knows, St. Bona has dominated the series between the Little Three basketball rivals. The count stands at 83-50.

Saturday night's yawner in Memorial Auditorium made up for at least a couple of those Bona victories.

The final margin was the second-largest ever for Canisius over Bona, next to a 30-point drubbing in the 1955-56 campaign.

A crowd of 2,784 saw the Griffs improve to 5-2 for the first time in nine seasons.

The Bonnies (2-6) were missing their best player, guard Michael Burnett, who was out with a sprained knee. But one player was not going to make a difference this night, unless perhaps he was 6-foot-11 with size 22 sneakers and the initials B.L.

It took Canisius only 13 minutes to put the issue to rest. The Griffs forged a 30-11 lead at that point, held a 41-24 edge at the half and the spread never was under 24 the last 13 minutes of the game.

"It was a combination of us continuing to play solid basketball -- we're riding a wave right now -- and they're struggling," said Griff coach Marty Marbach.

On offense, Canisius ran its plays with patience and precision and got good shots at will. On defense, the Griffs held their opposition to under 40 percent shooting from the field for the sixth time in seven games. Bona made only 34.6 percent of its shots.

And only one Canisius starter, point guard Rod Brown, played more than 21 minutes.

Canisius, in fact, needed only four points from center Ed Book, who played 20 minutes.

"They really packed it in on Ed Book, yet we moved it around enough to get scoring opportunities for everybody else," Marbach said.

Sophomore widebody Dexter Parker led the Griffs with 14 points. Forward Nixon Dyall had 12, guard Brendan McCaffrey 11 and guard Chuck Giscombe 10.

The play of the 6-7, 268-pound Parker was encouraging. If he can give the Griffs five to 10 minutes in key games, the Griffs will have a big bruiser foes have trouble matching.

Bona, meanwhile, has giant problems shooting and rebounding. The Bonnies simply are too young and weak on the front line. The Griffs held a 43-31 edge on the glass.

With Burnett out of the game, Bona had only two real scoring threats -- forward Kenrick Hamilton and swingman Jason Brower.

In addition, Bona is a team without an identity. Its players are struggling to discover their roles and responsibilities on the court.

A ragged effort was the result.

Bona made 15 turnovers in the first half alone and 27 for the game.

Brower led Bona with 16 points, but was able to get only one shot in the first half. Hamilton was held to six points. Freshman forward Tobias Hauff had 12.

"The two areas that have hurt have been shooting and rebounding," said Bona coach Tom Chapman. "It's heartrending for our young guys, but it's something we have to go through. . . . We can't dwell on all this."

Both teams are off for two weeks. It will be a pleasant layoff for the Griffs.

"We're getting better as the season goes on," the Griffs' Rod Brown said. "Tonight was a big game, not only because it was a Little Three rivalry but we also wanted to go off on a good note on Christmas break."

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