Canisius basketball player Phil Valenti thought he had scored a game-winning basket when he put the Golden Griffins ahead against Duquesne with 14 seconds to go.
But when the Dukes scored with six seconds left, Valenti was asked to come through again. So he did.
Valenti’s jumper with two seconds left lifted Canisius to a thrilling 78-77 win at the Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Kassius Robertson had missed a three-pointer with 17 seconds left, but Valenti scored after grabbing the rebound. Duquesne’s Mike Isiaha put his team back in front on a jumper. That set up Valenti’s heroics.
Valenti, a senior forward, finished the game with 14 points. Jermaine Crumpton scored 18 points to lead Canisius, which moved to 1-2 on the season. The Griffs picked up their first win under new coach Reggie Witherspoon.
Tarin Smith and Emile Blackman both had 18 points for the Dukes.
Canisius had a big night in shooting, hitting 50 percent of all field-goal attempts and going 13 for 26 on three-pointers. Duquesne was 4 for 17 from past the three-point line.
The Golden Griffins led by as much as 11 in the first half, only to see the Dukes get within two at 43-41 at the half. Duquesne led by seven with five minutes to go, but couldn’t hold on.
Canisius comes home on Monday night to play Tennessee-Martin.
Home cooking has been good for the University at Buffalo women’s basketball team so far, as the Bulls have won their first two games. They will try to make it three in a row Saturday when they host Manhattan (2 p.m.)
UB has picked up wins against Massachusetts and Niagara so far. One of the bright spots of the win over the Purple Eagles was the play of Summer Hemphill. The Cardinal O’Hara graduate scored 15 points with eight rebounds and three assists. Hemphill came off the bench to play 24 minutes. The freshman was a first-team All-Western New York selection last year.
UB has done well against nonconference foes in the last three-plus seasons, going 24-13.
Manhattan is also 2-0, after wins over Holy Cross and Yale. That’s the best start by the Jaspers in 13 seasons.
Meanwhile, St. Bonaventure’s women’s team travels to Newark, Del., for a game with the University of Delaware (8 p.m., 105.9 FM). The Bonnies are 1-2, which is the same record they had after three games last season. However, in Game Four they started a 16-game winning streak. Bona has lost to Niagara and Canisius so far this season.
Gabby Richmond of the Bonnies only had one double-double in all of last season. The forward has two of them already this season, including 20 points and 11 rebounds against Canisius.