When Canisius decided to take its show to the West Coast, it had to be expecting a better Christmas greeting than the one San Diego gave the Griffs Saturday night.
San Diego, which was picked as the preseason favorite to win the West Coast Conference, reeled off a 13-4 run in the finals six minutes of the first half and never lost control to dump the Griffs, 95-71, in its first half of a two-game road swing.
"San Diego played great and we stunk," said Canisius coach Marty Marbach.
"We didn't defend, we didn't communicate. We played very poorly in the first half. It was very poor performance by the Griffs tonight."
Just when Canisius appeared to be making it interesting, San Diego had no problem in shutting the door on the Griffs.
San Diego's 95-point output is the most surrendered by Canisius this season. The Griffs gave up 92 points in a nine-point loss to Syracuse.
The Griffs (5-3), who had allowed opponents to shoot just 36 percent from the field coming into the game, sank just 34.6 percent of their shots from the floor and scored just three field goals in the final 9:59 of the half.
Meanwhile, the Toreros (6-4) shot 55 percent from the floor in the opening half. The Griffs' cold spell gave San Diego a 41-24 lead at intermission.
Canisius also suffered when Nixon Dyall fouled out with 11 points and 10:52 left in the game.
Ed Book led the Griffs with 16 points. Dexter Parker and Harry Seymour added 11 points each, while Chuck Giscombe netted 10.
Seymour and Mike O'Sullivan had six rebounds each for the Griffs, who were outrebounded, 39-34.
Pat Holbert led San Diego with 21 points, 13 in the first half.
The Griffs will play Wednesday against Cal State Northridge.