Share this article

print logo

St. Joe's finishes strong at Canisius Senior Moser helps lead crucial 10-0 run to start final quarter

Steve Moser sure loves the fourth quarter when St. Joe's plays at Canisius.

Last year his dramatics came at the end of the quarter, but this year he made a huge difference at the start.

The senior guard had eight of his 12 points during a crucial 10-0 run to start the period as a deep Marauders team ran away from Canisius, 67-57, before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,100 at the Bernard J. Kennedy Field House.

"It feels incredible," said the 5-foot-10 Moser. "To be a senior and come here and take it in their gym means a lot. I was just taking the opportunities when they were there."

Last Feb. 14, Moser hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of regulation in a game won by Canisius in overtime, 69-67.

Saturday, his performance -- which also included eight rebounds -- was one of four double-figure efforts as St. Joe's won on its rival's home floor for the first time since 2006.

St. Joe's (14-4), which entered the week ranked fifth among large schools while Canisius was fourth, has won eight straight and is 7-0 in the Monsignor Martin Association. St. Joe's was led by 6-3 senior Connor Rehbaum (14 points, nine rebounds) while 6-7 junior Reggie Agbeko and 6-3 junior Chad Kelly (nine rebounds) each had 11.

A. Keith Louie, a 5-11 senior guard, had nine points off the bench and joined Moser in making several key plays in the fourth. Another key contributor for St. Joe's was 6-4 senior reserve Thomas Escott, who had five points in his first game of the season after being out injured.

The season's first meeting between the rivals drew long lines to enter during the JV game. After the doors were shut for the main event, about a hundred watched from outside, huddled against the floor-to-ceiling windows.

As St. Joe's and Canisius headed into the fourth, the Crusaders had dug out of a 27-20 halftime hole. The Crusaders had tied the game late in a third quarter which ended with the Marauders up, 41-39.

Moser converted a nice pass from Louie to start things off, then Moser had two straight coast-to-coast drives to give St. Joe's a 47-39 lead and prompt a timeout from Canisius. Following a Louie putback off a Moser miss, Moser was fouled after taking a nice backdoor pass from Escott and he made both free throws for a 51-39 St. Joe's lead 1:53 into the fourth.

"I'm happy for him this seems to be his house," St. Joe's coach Mark Simon said. "Last year he hit that three, and [Saturday] he just came out and made some plays."

St. Joe's momentum kept building after a Canisius basket as Kelly hit a three-pointer and Escott scored on a smooth move inside for a 15-point lead (56-41).

Later, Moser followed a Canisius miss by coolly running a fast break and pushing a bounce pass ahead to 6-5 senior Jake Spitler (five points) for a spinning layup, a 60-46 lead with about three minutes to go and a huge roar from the St. Joe's fans. The closest Canisius would get would be eight.

Gordon Lyons, a 6-5 senior, had 17 points while 5-10 senior Aaron Nevins had 16 for Canisius (11-6, 5-1).

To watch video highlights and interviews, as well as review a running account of the game, go to the Prep Talk blog at buffalonews.com.

e-mail: kmcshea@buffnews.com