Canisius lost the rebounding battle to Rutgers on Monday night and fell to the host Scarlet Knights, 66-51, in their NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament first-round game at the RAC in Piscataway, N.J.
Kadeem Jack, last week’s first ever Player of the Week in the American Athletic Conference, was one of two Rutgers players with double-doubles. The 6-foot-9 junior had 13 points and 11 boards while 6-9 senior Wally Judge had 11 points and 12 boards. Overall, Rutgers outrebounded Canisius, 50-37.
Another standout for Rutgers was guard Jerome Seagears with 15 points, nine assists and a pair of steals.
Billy Baron was the only Canisius player in double figures. He had 17 points on 9-of-17 shooting.
Canisius (1-2) hit 20-of-60 shots, including 6 of 20 from three-point range. Rutgers (3-1) was 23-63 and 6 of 26.
Canisius will face Elon of the Southern Conference at 5 p.m. today before Rutgers faces Drexel. Drexel defeated Elon, 71-64, in the first Monday night.
The Griffs led by a narrow margin through much of the first half. They opened with a pair of layups by Chris Perez for a 4-0 lead and led by as many as six, 25-19, after a three-pointer by Perez. Rutgers cut the margin to 28-26 by halftime.
A three-pointer by Baron gave Canisius its last lead, 33-31 at 1:48 of the second half. Judge tied it with a layup off an assist by Seagears and Malick Kone hit a jumper to put the Knights in front to stay. A three-pointer by Jordan Heath brought Canisius within four, 51-47, with 5:39 left but a 12-0 Rutgers run put the game away. Canisius didn’t score again until Jordan Heath made a layup with 1:16 left.
St. Bonaventure (3-0) will face Siena (0-3) in the Franciscan Cup game at the Times Union Arena in Albany.
The Bonnies are coming off their home win over Canisius last Saturday. Siena is playing its first season under coach Jimmy Patsos who came from Loyola (Md.). Patsos starts four freshman including 6-foot-6, 234-pound forward Lavon Long from Baltimore. Rob Poole, a 6-5 swingman leads the Saints in scoring (19.3). Siena has lost to Albany, Vermont and La Salle.
The Bonnies are off to their best start in 13 years, but will be on the road for the first time after wins over South Dakota, Abilene Christian and Canisius. Bonaventure has dominated rivalry with Siena, 28-6. The Saints’ last win was 86-67 in the 1998-99 season. Bona has won the five games since.
In women’s basketball, Niagara (0-2) will play St. Bonaventure (3-1) in the Reilly Center in Olean (7 p.m.). Freshman Gabby Richmond leads the Bonnies in scoring at 18.0. Katie Healy (Lancaster) is averaging 13.8. Meghan McGuinness (16.0) and freshman Victoria Rampado (15.0) are the leading scorers for NU. Bona leads the series between the schools, 34-23, and won last year at Niagara, 51-49.
The Canisius women (2-1) will complete a three-game stretch of road games against Binghamton (0-2) at 7 p.m. in Vestal. The Griffs won at Binghamton, 61-48, last season and have won five of seven all-time in the series. It will be homecoming Canisius’ Jen Morabito and Tiahana Mills. Both played at Binghamton High.