No. 7 Canisius vs. No. 10 Marist
MAAC Pre-Quarterfinal at Albany
7 p.m. Times Union Arena
Radio: 1230 AM
Records: Canisius 17-14, 10-10. Marist 8-23, 5-15
Regular season: Canisius won 91-58 (Jan. 14) and Marist won 76-74 (Feb. 19)
The Set-Up: After all the good things Canisius has done this season, it would be a shame for the Griffs to go one-and-done in Albany. The Griffs are better than Marist, but the two-point loss to the Red Foxes at home two weeks ago is an example of how Canisius has lost its mojo late in the season.
The Matchup: Marist is horrible at rebounding (342nd in the nation), both on the offensive glass (342nd) and the defensive end (307th). The Red Foxes aren’t good at defending the three (294th) or at forcing turnovers (329th) or in overall defensive efficiency (332nd). They’re ninth in the MAAC in scoring (70.2 ppg). Marist has an excellent senior guard in Khallid Hart (18.0 ppg) and a good, 6-5 sharp-shooting wing from Clarence in sophomore Ryan Funk (12.5).
How did Canisius lose to these guys? Despite the fact the Red Foxes made 22 turnovers, the Griffs let them shoot 59.5 percent overall and an astounding 73 percent from two-point range.
Where’s the D? Canisius lets opponents shoot 49.4 percent (342nd) overall and 55.2 percent from two-point range (337th). Interior defense. It’s an issue for the Griffs.
Good O: Canisius had done a good job this year of working around its defensive deficiencies by playing efficient offense. Canisius is third in the MAAC in scoring, fifth in shooting, second in three-pointers per game, sixth in the nation in assist rate. A quality offensive game by the Griffs should allow them to advance to the quarterfinals.
Next: The winner plays No. 2 seed St. Peter’s at 9:30 p.m. Friday.