Buffalo, NY (WGR550) -- The Jim Baron era at Canisius College began with an 83-75 victory over the Boston University Terriers on Monday night at the Koessler Athletic Center. The Golden Griffins never trailed in their season opener.
Harold Washington scored on the opening possession of the game to give the Griffs a quick 3-0 lead over Boston University. The senior guard scored 15 in the first half to lead Canisius. He also was a perfect 3-3 from three-point range. The Griffs shot 6-11 (54.5%) from behind the arc as a team. The lead ballooned to 12 points twice in the first, and the two teams went to the locker room with the Griffs leading 38-28. Billy Baron added 7 points and 7 assists in the first.
Canisius controlled the boards in the first, outrebounding the Terriers 17-10. They also led BU 6-2 on the offensive glass. Washington, Baron and Chris Manhertz all had 4 rebounds for the home team. Dom Morris led the Terriers in the first half in scoring with 6 points. Both teams shot better than 40% in the opening half, with the Griffs holding a slight edge at 48.4% (15-31) from the field. The Terries hit 10 of 23 shots, for a 43.5 FG %.
The Griffs offense was more spread out in the second half, with Washington adding just 7 points. However, Alshwan Hymes came off the bench and scored 12 of his 15 points in the second, and Baron had 14 points in the half to close with 21 in the game. The lead would grow to 15 points midway through the half, but timely shooting by D.J. Irving helped the Terriers close the gap.
Irving and John Papale combined for 8 three-pointers in the second half, helping the visitors shoot 10-16 (62.5%) from behind the arc in the half. Irving finished with 20 points to lead Boston University, and Papale contributed 17. The Canisius lead was down to three points with just 2:54 to go in regulation. However, the Griffs closed the game on a 10-5 run to pick up the win in front of their home fans.
With the win, Jim Baron became the first Canisius men’s head coach to win his debut since the 1977-78 season. The last coach to accomplish the feat was Nick Macarchuk.
The Griffins have back-to-back Big 4 contests on their schedule. The team hosts St. Bonaventure on Saturday for a 4 o’clock tip-off, and then welcome the University at Buffalo next Tuesday at 8 p.m. You can hear all of the play-by-play action on our sister station, AM-1400.