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Defense fails Canisius in loss to Siena

So much for that.

After righting the ship for one game, the Canisius men’s basketball team struggled to defend and struggled to score Thursday night as the Golden Griffins reverted back to their losing ways.

Host Siena shot 47.4 percent from beyond the arc, sank nearly 53 percent of its shots from the floor and held the Griffs to 37.3 shooting in claiming a 90-67 triumph in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference clash from Times Union Center in Albany.

Canisius (11-15, 6-9) lost for the fifth time in six games as the Saints used a 20-9 run to seize control before a crowd of 5,477. After Kiefer Douse’s layup gave the Griffs a 7-6 lead just 3 minutes, 54 seconds into the contest, Ryan Oliver’s trey sparked the eight-minute run that put Siena in position to sweep the regular-season series from the Griffs. Nico Clareth’s layup capped the burst that put the Saints (17-9, 10-5) out in front for good.

Kassius Robinson led Canisius with 19 points, while Isaiah Gurley added 12.

Clareth took game-scoring honors with 22 points as he’s one of four Saints in double figures. Javion Ogunyemi had 21 for Siena.

Big 4 Friday

It’s easy to forget the University at Buffalo has gotten the better of longtime nemesis Ohio recently. That’s because the Bobcats own the all-time series, having won 29 of 39 meetings between the teams with Ohio (15-8, 6-5) dealing UB its share of heartbreaking losses.

The two renew acquaintances before a national television audience (ESPNU) at 7 p.m. Friday at Alumni Arena. UB looks to beat the Bobcats for the third time in four meetings, but is coming off Tuesday’s tough 71-69 loss to Toledo in which the Rockets ended the game on a 12-2 run to secure the comeback triumph.

The Bulls (14-10, 7-4) played that game without leading scorer Lamonte Bearden, who is expected to miss Friday’s game as part of a suspension for violating team rules.

Ohio brings a two-game winning streak into the clash, while UB is looking to win for the fifth time in six games.

It began Thursday tied for second in the MAC East Division with Kent State, with Ohio a game back in fourth.

In the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Niagara (6-19, 4-10) hits the road to take on Saint Peter’s (9-13, 7-6) at 7 p.m. at the Yanitelli Center. While the Purple Eagles have struggled the past few seasons, they have won seven of their last nine starts against the Peacocks and are 6-4 in their last 10 visits to the Yanitelli Center.

In women’s MAAC action, Marist (12-12, 11-3) visits Niagara (6-17, 4-10) in the Purple Eagles’ annual Pink Game at the Gallagher Center. Niagara coach Jada Pierce will donate a dollar to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund for each person in attendance Friday.

Canisius (9-14, 4-10) hosts Rider (5-18, 2-12) in a 7 p.m. start at the Koessler Center.