Canisius built a 15-point first half lead but couldn't hold of Alabama-Birmingham and fell to the Blazers, 68-58, Sunday morning in the Golden Griffins' final game in the AdvoCare Invitational at HP Field House in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Canisius fell to 1-5 with its fifth consecutive loss.
The Griffs led, 24-9 ,with 7:44 left in the first half after a basket by senior Jonathan Sanks. However, UAB rallied to tie at 31. Two jump shots by Malik Johnson, one with 7 seconds left in the half and the other with 2 remaining gave Canisius a 35-31 halftime advantage.
UAB made quick work of that in the second half, using a 13-2 run in the first 3:17. A 3-pointer by Zack Bryant put the Blazers in front 39-37. Canisius got as close as two, twice after that. Takal Molson scored the last Canisius basket with 1:03 left to make it 65-58, before a jumper by Jalen Allen and a Bryant free throw with 9 seconds left closed it out.
The 10-point final margin was UAB's largest lead of the game.
“I thought we came ready to play, and we jumped on them early, but we settled for too many tough 3-pointers in the first half and that allowed them to get right back into the game," coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "This was another game where we were dominated on the boards. We knew coming in that teams are really going to focus on hitting the offensive glass."
Canisius shot only 35.8 percent (19 of 53) and made just 4 of 20 from 3-point range. Also the Griffs were outrebounded 32-23.
Molson led Canisius with 15 points, sophomore forward Scott Hitchon had 13 points. Isaiah Reese was held to six points as he made only 3 of 12 field goal attempts.
Bryant, a sophomore guard, led UAB with 26 points. Jeremiah Bell had 15 points for the winners who made 26 of 54 shots (48.5) and5 of 17 3-point tries.
Next for Canisius is a road game at Big 4 rival St. Bonaventure at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Reilly Center.
Canisius women lose
The Canisius women lost at Oakland, 71-60, in Rochester, Mich. Sara Hinriksdottir had a game-high 19 points.
Canisius trailed, 61-43, heading in the fourth quarter and went on a 13-4 run to start the period to trim the lead to 67-58. Hinriksdottir had a pair of three-pointers in the run.
The Grifs remained winless and fell to 0-5 with the loss. Oakland got its second win of the season and is 2-4.
Canisius visits the University at Albany on Wednesday at 7 p.m.