Canisius rode an offensive identity to success on the hardwood last season, but this year the Golden Griffins have had to rely on defense to get the job done on most nights.
The formula worked once again, as Canisius closed out the nonconference portion of its schedule with a 67-55 win over University of Missouri-Kansas City on Tuesday night at the Koessler Athletic Center.
A crowd of 1,227 watched the Golden Griffins (7-4) extend their winning streak to three in a row as they won for the fourth time this season by holding their opponent to 57 or fewer points.
Canisius, winner of five of its last six, entered the game ranked second in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and 79th nationally in scoring defense (61.2 points per).
The Griffs made life difficult for the Kangaroos (5-10), who made just 15-of-48 shots (31.3 percent), including 4 for 15 from beyond the arc. Missouri-Kansas City kept it close, however, by canning 21-of-29 shots from the free-throw line.
Phil Valenti led three Canisius players in double figures with 18 points, but Josiah Heath scored seven of his 11 points in a 55-second span to keep the Griffs ahead, 50-45 with 8:25 left.
Zach Lewis added 17 for Canisius, which returns to action at home Friday night against Monmouth in a MAAC clash.
Shannon Evans recorded the first triple-double in University at Buffalo history as the Bulls defeated Binghamton University, 76-50, in the Events Center in Vestal.
Evans, a sophomore guard, finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as UB (8-3) had five players score in double-figures. He scored 13 points during a first half in which the Bulls shot 50 percent to take a 40-21 halftime lead. Justin Moss scored 16 points, while Will Regan (14), Rodell Wiggington (14) and Xavier Ford (11) also hit double-figures for UB, which handed Binghamton (1-14) its 12th loss in a row.
UB hosts Cornell at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Delaware stuns Bona
Delaware was due for a win. Unfortunately for St. Bonaventure, that triumph happened at its expense as the Blue Hens broke into the win column with an 82-77 comeback win at the Carpenter Center in Newark, Del.
Bona led 63-54 with 9:12 left but endured a cold-shooting spell that opened the door for Delaware, which shot 58 percent from beyond the arc and 54 percent from the floor. The Blue Hens (1-10) took the lead for good, 64-63, on Marvin King’s jumper with 6:27 left. Marcus Posley led Bona (7-4) with 22 points.