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GRIFFS COLLAPSE IN FIFTH STRAIGHT LOSS

Statistics were for losers in the case of Canisius College's men's basketball team Tuesday night.

The Golden Griffins (2-9) outshot and out-rebounded Alabama-Birmingham (7-4) and led by as many as 23 points in the second half, but still lost, 85-79, in the third-place game of the 18th annual Hoosier Classic at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Canisius had three more field goals (31 to 28), five more three-point baskets (13 to 8), eight more rebounds (45-37) but were victimized by foul trouble and erratic ballhandling. The Griffs were outscored, 21-4, at the free-throw stripe (15-3 in the second half) and committed 23 turnovers (leading to 33 points) to 11 for UAB.

Canisius held UAB to 27 percent shooting (9 of 33) in the first half and built a 46-25 lead, but couldn't make it stand up.

Key to the UAB comeback was a 19-0 run early in the second half after Canisius led, 58-38. A three-pointer by Eric Holmes gave UAB its first lead, 70-68, with 4:44 left and coach Murry Bartow's Blazers went ahead for good, 74-73, with 3:20 to play.

"We played great defense for 20 minutes," said Canisius coach Mike MacDonald, whose team lost its fifth in a row. "When they made their 19-0 run they made their threes. . . . That opened up lanes which allowed them to drive to the basket."

Freshman Toby Foster led Canisius with 18 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs. Darren Fenn, who fouled out with 5:05 left, had 12 points.

Holmes led UAB with 26 points off the bench.

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