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Griffins get far-flung hoops wins

It was a good day on the road for the Canisius basketball teams.

Both the men's and women's clubs earned wins away from home on Friday.

The men kicked off the day when some hot shooting helped the Golden Griffins to an 81-71 win over Hartford, while the women earned a 66-61 victory over Idaho in the consolation game of the Lady Griz Holiday Classic.

In Connecticut, the Griffs shot nearly 56 percent from the field, taking advantage of Hartford's zone play. Four starters were in double figures, led by Chuck Harris' 22 points and 10 rebounds with 21 points from Jovan Robinson.

"We opened up the zone by driving against it and [against] the gaps, which helps free up open looks on the perimeter," Canisius coach Tom Parrotta said. "It also creates lanes for guys like Darnell [Wilson] and Shaun [James] to go in and get offensive rebounds."

The Griffs (5-7) went on a 9-0 run late in the first half to open up a 37-25 lead with just under three minutes left. Hartford chipped away at the lead, which dwindled to 38-34 at halftime.

But the Griffs used a 9-2 spurt that turned a seven-point lead into a 14-point (72-58) advantage with 5:29 to go in the game.

Meanwhile in Montana, freshman Brittane Russell scored 13 points with seven assists as the Griffs held off pesky Idaho.

Megan Lyte scored 13 points with eight rebounds while Mere Mullins added 11 points.

Canisius (8-5) held a 31-22 halftime lead but Idaho went on a 9-0 run to start the second half and tie the game. The Griffs then used a 12-3 run to take 60-48 lead with 4:39 left to play.

"We controlled the game for the most part," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "Brittane Russell was phenomenal out there. She controlled the tempo of the game for us. She's getting better and better shooting the ball and making good decisions with it."

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Niagara used a 21-5 run to erase an 11-point second-half deficit and earn a 67-61 win over Holy Cross in the second day of the LaSalle Explorer Invitational in Philadelphia. Stanley Hodge hit a three-pointer with about 2:30 left to give Niagara a 57-55 lead. Clif Brown also sank a three-pointer in the final two minutes for the Purple Eagles (5-7). Hodge and Brown both had 11 points.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Jamie Schiebner had 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the University at Buffalo as the Bulls earned a 69-51 win over Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa.

Rachelle Matthys hit a three-pointer at the 17:20 mark of the first half and UB led the rest of the game.

Matthys led Buffalo with 15 points -- all on three-pointers. Stephanie Bennett added 13 points and Belinda Gibb had 10 points and five assists.

The Bulls (5-7) shot 53 percent from the field as the jump shooters took advantage of Bucknell's defense which spent the night double and triple-teaming forward Heather Turner.

"We were setting good screens and the shooters were coming off the screens well and making good open shots," UB coach Linda Hill-MacDonald said. "A win like this gives the team good confidence going into conference play."

In Akron, Ohio, Niagara shot a paltry 26 percent from the field and dropped a 69-42 decision to the host Zips.

The Purple Eagles made just 12 field goals in 47 attempts with no player breaking into double figures in scoring.

Sara Prybyl had eight points for Niagara (8-5) while Shaunna Ambrose and Michelle Manfredi each added seven. Manfredi also had a team-high nine rebounds and four assists.

Akron (7-5) rode the play of Sarah Tokodi, who had a game-high 26 points without taking a free throw. Tokodi shot 11 of 15 from the floor, including 4 of 7 from three-point range. She also led the team with six assists.

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