Senior Billy Baron had 21 points and 13 rebounds while underclassmen Dominique Raney and Zach Lewis each had career days as Canisius got up by 28 points and cruised to a 93-78 win over Siena in men’s basketball before 1,555 at the Koessler Center on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Griffs improved to 2-0 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play and completed a weekend sweep of Saint Peter’s and the Saints.
Baron hit big threes and proved to be a handful driving to the basket and finding open players (eight assists in the opening 20 minutes). Raney, a sophomore, poured in 19 points, while Lewis – a freshman – came off the bench to add 18 as Canisius (5-3) won for the fourth time in five games.
The Griffs face the University at Buffalo in a non-conference game at First Niagara Center at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
“They’re a good team. They beat Bonaventure. They’re coming off a good win at Niagara but I thought our kids really came out fired up. We stepped up,” said Griffs coach Jim Baron, who coached his 800th career game. “We really did a great job of sharing the basketball. Chris Perez had four assists. Billy what he did with 13 assists. I thought Chris Perez did a great job on the kid Poole. We really thought he was the difference maker of that basketball team and I thought Chris did a great job on him defensively.”
Raney’s three-pointer just 2:25 into the game gave Canisius the lead for good, 9-7, and sparked a 9-0 run. When Lewis entered the game with 13:55 left in the half and the Griffs leading, 19-11, he hit his first three shots as part of a personal 8-2 run. He had 11 points in the half as the Griffs led, 57-36 at halftime.
Canisius led by 28 with 17:13 to go on Raney’s steal and dunk.
Siena didn’t run for the bus, though, as it pulled within 10 with 4:51 left on a Brett Bisping (17 points) free throw. But the Saints failed to get any closer than 10.
“I was disappointed with how we started and finished,” Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said. “The first four minutes of the two halves and the last four minutes are probably the most important 12 minutes of the game. We didn’t execute and I take responsibility for that.”