Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) -- The Canisius Golden Griffins advanced to the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament with a 69-53 win over the Elon Phoenix on Wednesday night. It was the Griffs' first postseason appearance in seventeen years, and the school's first postseason game at Koessler Athetic Center.
Neither team got off to a hot start from the field in the first half. Isaac Sosa hit a three-pointer for the Griffs right away to give the team a 3-0 lead, but went nearly four minutes before recording another basket. Despite that, they held a lead for much of the opening twenty minutes thanks in part to stingy defense and poor shooting by the Phoenix. Sosa closed out the first half shooting 3-4 from behind the three-point arc, with 9 points in 14 minutes of play. The senior capped the half by converting a three-point basket just before time expired. Sosa and Harold Washington led the team with 9 points each in the half.
Elon committed 13 turnovers in the first, while shooting just 9-29 (31%) from the field. Even though they struggled from three early on, the Phoenix managed to convert 4 of 15 (26.7%) in the first. The visitors were led by Ryley Beaumont's 12 points in 17 minutes. The forward also recorded 5 rebounds to lead the team. They outrebounded Canisius 23-17 in the half, including a 7-3 edge on the offensive glass.
The Phoenix cut down on their turnovers in the second half, but were not able to find an offensive touch. Canisius led by double digits the entire half, going back to Sosa's three at the end of the first half. The lead ballooned to 19 points several times down the stretch, including at the 14:05 mark of the second thanks to an emphatic dunk by Josiah Heath that brought the bench players to their feet. Elon's 20-68, or 29.4%, shooting was the lowest allowed by the Golden Griffs all season long.
Heath contributed 10 points off of the bench, while his brother Jordan added 13 in 26 minutes of play. Chris Manhertz pulled down a 9 of the team's 37 rebounds, with 3 offensive rebounds as well. Washington led the team offensively with 19 points in a team-high 29 minutes. Five different Griffs scored in double digits in the victory. For Elon, Beaumont contributed a team best 20 points in the loss.
Canisius now moves on to the second round of the CIT, against an opponent yet to be determined. The Griffs are scheduled to go on the road in the next round, no matter whom they face. Catch the action on our sister station WWWS 1400 AM.