BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Playing in his 130th game for Canisius, Josiah Heath never had a game like he did Saturday in the Golden Griffins’ surprising 82-59 romp over Bowling Green in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
The 6-foot-9 senior forward from Rochester scored a career-high 23 points, hitting 10-of-15 shots in just 27 minutes as the Griffs dominated inside from start to finish. To put Heath’s improvement in perspective, he scored only 22 points total in his first five games this season and didn’t hit double figures until the sixth game.
Heath was supported by junior Jamal Reynolds, who recorded his fourth double-double of the season and third in the last four games with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Another late bloomer, the 6-foot-4 junior college transfer from Pickering, Ont., has totaled 38 points and 32 rebounds in the Griffs’ two CIT wins.
Senior guard Jeremiah Williams, yet another late-season standout, contributed 16 points, six rebounds and three steals.
“This team came in here today focused and ready to go and I’m really proud of their efforts,” Canisius coach Jim Baron said.
“This was a great team victory. We did a great job sharing the basketball and we beat them on the glass. Bowling Green is a good team from a strong league and they’ve been very good in this building. We came in here with the attitude that we’re playing to win, and our guys showed that from the opening tip.”
Canisius (18-14) never was behind. The Griffs broke to a 22-6 lead and led, 38-25, at the half. Bowling Green (21-12) trimmed the deficit to 45-38 early in the second half. The Griffs repelled that threat with a 16-2 spurt. The run was capped by a triple by redshirt freshman Kassius Robertson, who came off the bench and scored all 14 of his points in the second half.
Bowling Green was led by guard Jehvon Clarke, who had 17 points
Canisius shot 49.2 percent, 40.7 from three-point range while holding Bowling Green to 33.9 shooting and just 20.8 from long range.
The Griffs won’t learn their quarterfinal opponent until the second round of the CIT is completed Monday, when three games are scheduled.
There is no bracketing in the CIT, but it would seem likely that Canisius would face the winner of Monday’s Cleveland State-NJIT, Evansville-Eastern Illinois or Kent State-Texas A&M Corpus Christi games.