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MAAC Tournament game day: Canisius men's basketball vs. Monmouth

Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Times Union Center, Albany


Radio: WECK (102.9 FM)

Records: No. 2 Canisius 15-16, No. 4 Monmouth 13-20

Last time out: Jibreel Faulkner scored 20 points in Canisius' 69-65 overtime win Friday night against No. 7 Manhattan. Canisius rallied from a 12-point deficit at the start of the second half, and held Manhattan to seven made shots from the floor in the second half at the Times Union Center. Jalanni White (16 points), Takal Molson (15 points) and Malik Johnson (11 points) also scored in double figures against Manhattan.

Ray Salnave and Mustapha Traore each scored 19 points as Monmouth defeated Quinnipiac 98-92 in a quarterfinal Saturday at the Times Union Center. Salnave’s layup broke a 71-71 tie with 8:46 left, and the Hawks opened their lead to 14 points late in the second half, until Quinnipiac cut it to 92-86 with less than a minute left. The Hawks put up 63 shots against the Bobcats, and Monmouth’s bench scored 32 points.

History: Canisius swept the season series from Monmouth. Molson scored 18 points and Jonathan Sanks scored 14 in an 80-66 win on Jan. 24 at the Koessler Athletic Center. Molson scored 15 points and Scott Hitchon added 14 in a 60-59 win on Feb. 22 in West Long Branch, N.J.

Monmouth leads the all-time series, 7-6. This is only the second time Canisius and Monmouth have met in the MAAC Tournament. The Hawks eliminated the Griffs in the quarterfinals of the 2015 tournament.

Five-year drought: The Griffs have reached the MAAC semifinals for the first time since 2014. Canisius lost in the semifinal round that year to Iona, 75-72. This is the fourth time since 2000 that the Griffs have reached the MAAC semifinals; Canisius also played in the semifinals in 2001 and 2002.

Winning the close ones: The Griffs are 11-3 in games decided by five points or less this season, with the 11 wins setting a program record for wins in a game decided by five points or fewer.

Also, Canisius’ four-point margin of victory against Manhattan tied for the largest margin of victory over the first five games of the MAAC Tournament. Monmouth defeated Niagara 76-72 on Thursday, and prior to Monmouth's win against Quinnipiac, three of the first five MAAC Tournament games were decided by four points or less.

Helping hand: Johnson had six assists Friday against Manhattan, which gives him 452 in his career. He needs two assists to pass Rodney Brown for fourth on the school’s career assist list (453).

Entering Saturday, Canisius led the MAAC in assists, averaging 14.7 per game.

Offense vs. defense: Monmouth entered the weekend 10th in the 11-team MAAC in field-goal percentage (40.7 percent, 710 for 1,744) but was first in the conference in field-goal percentage defense (41.7 percent, 716 for 1,716).

On the boards: Monmouth entered the weekend averaging 10.3 offensive rebounds a game, and had 10 offensive rebounds against Quinnipiac.

Next: Canisius or Monmouth will play for the MAAC championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament at 9 p.m. Monday at the Times Union Center in Albany.

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