NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A first half run proved to be the difference for Canisius this afternoon as the hosts held off a second half comeback effort from the Iona College men's basketball team, 85-78, in MAAC action.
Despite the Gaels (7-7, 1-1 MAAC) building a 12-point lead, the Golden Griffins (8-7, 2-0 MAAC) closed out the opening half on a 31-5 run to go into the halftime break up 43-29. Iona was held without a field goal for the final 6:15 of the first period as a pair of free throws from Roland Griffin were the only points in the span.
After Canisius built the advantage to 16 points early in the second half, the Maroon & Gold rallied to take back the lead at 55-53 with 11:58 remaining following a Rickey McGill 3-pointer. Following a pair of ties, the Golden Griffins took the lead for good with 10:09 remaining behind a layup from Isaiah Reese.
The Gaels were within two points as late as 40 seconds to go, however, Canisius used three free throws and a layup to secure the MAAC win and move to 2-0 in league play.
McGill and E.J. Crawford each posted 21 points on the afternoon while Deyshonee Much notched his second career double-double with 14 points and a career-best 12 rebounds to go along with four assists and two steals.
Jermaine Crumpton recorded the game-high of 24 points in addition to eight points to lead the Griffs. Takal Molson added 21 points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes of action. Canisius converted 19-of-22 free throws (86.4 percent) compared to a 13-of-24 (54.2 percent) showing from the Gaels.
Iona begins a stretch of four straight home games on Friday, January 5 with a 7 pm conference contest against Saint Peter's. The game is scheduled to air on ESPNU.