A tenth of a second is all that Billy Baron and the Golden Griffins of Canisius College need as motivation when they step on the court in front of a sold out crowd at the Gallagher Center this afternoon.
The last time these two cross-town rivals hit the court, it was back on January 27th at the Koessler Center in Buffalo. Today they meet 30 minutes up the road in Lewiston. Niagara won the earlier meeting 66-65 on a wild final sequence.
With the game knotted at 63, Canisius guard Billy Baron drove to the basket and laid the ball high off the glass and in to give his Griffs the lead with eight seconds remaining. Purple Eagle guard Juan’ya Green then drove the length of the court and kicked to a wide open Marvin Jordan who buried a three with just under three seconds left. Baron then raced down the court and shot up a 25-footer which was good and caused the Griffs to storm the court in thought of a huge win. After review, the basket ended up being waved off, citing the shot left Baron’s hand a tenth of a second too late.
Here are the keys to today’s game for each team.
1. Chris Manhertz and Jordan Heath: In order for the guards (Baron, Isaac Sosa, and Harold Washington) to get good looks, they have to establish a post presence and Heath and Manhertz are the guys to do that.
2. Baron has to be special: Billy is a special player and today he will have to be extra special for his Griffs to move within a game of Niagara for the MAAC lead.
3. Bench is key: The bench has to step up for the Griffs. Reggie Groves, Alshwan Hymes, and Josiah Heath have to take some of the pressure off the starters and allow them to rest and play at the highest level.
1. Devon White has to play smart: White committed some costly fouls and basket interference penalties last game. He will have to use his size and strength in a manner that helps his team.
2. Make up for Mason: Antoine Mason may not play for Niagara today and if he does, it won’t be his normal workload. The other Purple Eagles have to make up for that.
3. Marvin Jordan has to repeat: Jordan killed the Griffs last game notching 23 points off the bench. They will need close to the same from him.
Tip off: 2:00 pm
Radio: AM 1400
Photo courtesy of Niagara Athletics
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