Canisius men hope to keep hold on first place - The Buffalo News
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Canisius men hope to keep hold on first place

The Canisius men’s basketball team hasn’t been in this good a position in 17 years.

The Golden Griffins haven’t been in first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference this late in the season since 1997, the last season that John Beilein coached in Buffalo.

But even that team didn’t have 15 wins by the end of January.

So the Griffs are looking to keep on a roll today when they play Fairfield in Bridgeport, Conn. with a 1 p.m. tipoff (Radio 1400 AM).

Canisius (15-7 overall, 9-2 MAAC) is on a three-game winning streak coming off a 86-74 win at Quinnipiac on Thursday.

In the last five games, the Griffs are averaging 83.6 points a game while Fairfield is generating just 60.6 points in the same span. The Stags are in last place in the MAAC at 1-9 in the conference and 4-17 overall.

Billy Baron ranks fourth in the nation in scoring, netting 24.0 points a game.

The Griffs are tied with Iona for first place in the MAAC after the Gaels defeated Manhattan, 85-73, Friday night. David Laury scored 21 points as five Iona players scored in double figures.

Meanwhile the Niagara men will look to rebound from a loss at Siena when they play Marist in Poughkeepsie at 7 p.m.

The Purple Eagles slipped to 3-8 in the MAAC and 6-16 overall with the loss as Antoine Mason managed just 18 points against the Saints. Mason still leads the nation in scoring, averaging 27 points a game.

In women’s games, St. Bonaventure hosts Fordham (1 p.m., Reilly Center) in a critical Atlantic 10 matchup. The Rams (17-4, 6-2) are in third place in the conference — one spot ahead of the Bonnies.

St. Bonaventure (16-6, 5-2) have won four straight and are 7-1 at home this season.

Lancaster native Katie Healy leads the Bonnies in scoring (15.4) and rebounding (8.5) while Gabby Richmond and Nyla Rueter are both averaging 10 points a game.

Niagara hosts Quinnipiac at 2 p.m. in the Gallagher Center as the Purple Eagles (7-13, 5-6) are coming off a 69-60 win over Canisius. Niagara has won three of its last four with Meghan McGuinness averaging 13.2 points a game.

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