Billy Baron and Harold Washington led the way offensively for the Golden Griffins in the opening half. Both scored in double digits, with Washington scoring 10, and Baron adding 13. It was a seven-point run by the junior that ignited the Griffs to the lead, after UB started to take over. At one point Baron scored nine of eleven points in a two minute stretch of the first. That helped propel Canisius to a 15-6 scoring run midway through the half. However, the Bulls scored the final four points of the half to cut their deficit to two, 40-38, at the break.
Javon McCrea contributed 12 points in the first to carry the Bulls scoring. Will Regan netted 9 and Aurum Nuiriankh had 8 points in the first for UB as well. Cameron Downing helped lead the Bulls in rebounding with five, as UB outrebounded Canisius 19-8 in the first. Downing was assessed a flagrant foul for an elbow thrown following a defensive rebound. Turnovers were a big problem for the Bulls in the first half, committing eleven turnovers to the Griffs three.
After a slow start to the second half, the Griffs opened up an eight point lead just under six minutes in. Five Bulls finished the night over thirty minutes of game action, and it showed not only for UB both for the Griffs as well. Canisius scored their largest lead of the night, leading by nine points with 6:42 to go. However, neither team scored for nearly three minutes. Canisius would wait out the clock and hold on for the victory.
Five Griffs finished with double digit point totals, led by Baron who paced the team with 18. Jordan Heath logged 14 points in 36 minutes, Chris Manhertz added 11 in 27 minutes of play, Isaac Sosa netted 10 points, and Washington finished the night with 12 in 37 minutes.
Two players that surely will be up the microscope this year for both schools will be Griffs guard Billy Baron and Bulls forward Will Regan.
Baron, the son of new Canisius coach Jim Baron, received a free clearance transfer from the NCAA and can play immediately this season after transferring from Rhode Island. Baron led a nice attack for the Griffs in the 1st half as they were able to put 40 points on the scoreboard, leading the way with 13 points of his own. Baron had two nice strip, steal and layup conversions and hit a three pointer in between those layups as he ran the offense for the Griffs. Baron then came out and scored on the first possession of the 2nd half and gave a perfect feed to Jordan Heath for a monster dunk on the second possession.
Will Regan is another name that WNY basketball fans will know. Regan starred at Nichols high school and transferred to UB after initially playing at Virginia. Regan is quick for a 6-8 forward and has some outside range. He made a 3-pointer with ease in the 1st half. Regan spent most of the game banging inside with Canisius center Jordan Heath who has about 3 inches on Regan. After a quiet opening five minutes, Regan made a really nice shot in the lane to tie the game at 14-14. He was 6-for-6 from the free throw line and had a career highs in points with 15, and minutes in 32 in the loss. He should get good looks inside this season as defenses will be geared up to stop fellow teammate Javon McCrea, who is an All-MAC preseason candidate.