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Season over for Canisius men after loss to Samford

The Canisius College basketball season has ended.

The Golden Griffins dropped a 78-74 decision to Samford on Tuesday night in a game played in Birmingham, Ala. The contest was part of the CollegeInsiders.com Postseason Tournament.

Canisius fell to 18-16, while Samford improved to 20-15.

The game was an uphill battle for the Griffins, who still had their chances in the contest. Canisius started the game by giving up the first seven points of the game to the Bulldogs, and with a little more than five minutes gone they trailed, 13-4. The teams traded small runs for the next several minutes, and Samford pulled out to a 30-19 lead with about four minutes left in the half.

Then Canisius erupted by scoring 11 straight points in a little more than two minutes to take a 31-30 lead. Kassius Robertson had eight of those points in the run. The Golden Griffins held on to the one-point lead, 34-33, at halftime.

Canisius maintained the lead for the first four minutes of the second half, and maintained a 49-47 edge with 12:40 left to play.

But the Bulldogs scored the next eight points to go ahead, 55-49. Their lead reached seven at one point, but the Griffins made it interesting at times the rest of the way. They only trailed by one with five minutes left, and the margin was two in the final 29 seconds.

Samford, however, got two big free throws from Alex Thompson with 13 seconds left. That wrapped up the scoring.

Robertson led Canisius with 24 points. He finished 9 of 15 from the field, including 4 for 8 in three-pointers. The rest of the Golden Griffins were a combined 1 for 12 from beyond the arc. Phil Valenti, playing his final game for Canisius, had 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Center Wyatt Walker had a big game for Samford. He finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Demetrius Denzel-Dyson had 15 points from the guard position.

Both teams shot the ball well, particularly in the second half when a combined total of 85 points were scored. Samford shot 56 percent from the field, while Canisius hit 52 percent. The Griffins scored 54 of their 74 points in the paint, while the Bulldogs had 50 points from around the basket.

It was the fourth time in five years that Canisius has played in a postseason event. Samford played in a postseason game for the first time in 17 years.

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