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Big 4 Hoops: Canisius basket at buzzer edges Saint Peter's (with VIDEO)

Coach Reggie Witherspoon's Canisius Golden Griffins have become road warriors.

Malik Johnson scored a layup at the final buzzer to give the Griffs a 72-70 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory over Saint Peter's Monday night at the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City, N.J. It was the eight victory in 15 road games for Canisius in a 15-10 season. It does not include a win over the University at Buffalo at KeyBank Center.

Johnson, who was scoreless but had six assists in the victory over Siena on Saturday in Albany, had 11 pointsagainst the Peacocks. Phil Valenti, who stood out with 24 points against Siena, had only nine points against Saint Peter's and Jermaine Crumption had seven. The Griffs' backcourt and wing players took up the slack.

Kiefer Douse led the attack with a career-high 22 points. Kassius Robertson had 15.

Canisius was outrebounded badly, 35-21, but made up for it by pressuring the Peacocks into 21 turnovers which led to 32 points.

There were 12 lead changes in the game and eight ties, the last after Trevis Wyche was fouled on a three-point attempt with 5 seconds left. Wyche made all three of his foul shots to tie the game at 70. After a pause for substitutions by each side, Johnson, a freshman, took it to the rim for his game winning basket.

Saint Peter's largest lead was nine points, 32-23, late in thefirst half but a 9-0 run by the Griffs wiped that out as Douse scored two baskets and Johnson one before Robertson tied it with a three. The Peacocks took a 34-32 lead into the break on a basket by Cavon Baker. Canisius fell behind 55-48 after a seven-point Saint Peter's run but the Griffs rallied for a 58-57 lead with Douse finishing it off with a layup and a three-pointer. The game was tied twice more before Valenti gave the Griffs a 68-65 lead, scoring on a layup with 36 seconds left. Wyche came back with a layup aat o:25) before Johnson made two free throws for a 70-67 lead with 8 seconds left.

Canisius (8-6) moved into a tie with Saints Peter's for third place in the MAAC. The Peacocks are 12-12 overal, 8-6 in the conference

Tuesday’s games

Beating Northern Illinois in football is one thing, but UB had defeated the Huskies the last 11 times they have met in men’s basketball.

The Bulls (11-12, 5-5 Mid-American Conference) will renew their rivalry with NIU (14-9, 6-4 MAC) Tuesday night at Alumni Arena. UB, which has scored 90, 101 and 96 points in its last three games, is coming off a decisive win at Ball State on Friday.

Northern Illinois is led by Marin Maric, a 6-foot-11, 250-pound junior from Croatia who leads NIU with 13.6 points and 7.6 rebounds.

NIU is tied with Ball State at 6-5 for first place in the MAC West Division and is even with Ohio U of the MAC East in the overall standings behind Akron (9-1). UB is among four teams at 5-5.

The St. Bonaventure women (9-14, 4-7 Atlantic 10) will face La Salle (14-9, 7-4 A-10) in the annual Pink Game at the Reilly Center. The Bonnies lost two conference games last week, at Saint Joseph’s and Fordham. La Salle won only five games last season and was picked to finish 12th in the conference . Instead, the Explorers are contending for a top two seed in the A-10 tournament after upsetting first place Dayton on the road, 54-51. #


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