Jaspers Lose MAAC Opener to Canisius

By: Charles Lippolis & Daniel Ynfante

Turning Point

The Jaspers carried a 14-point lead into halftime and turned it into a 15-point lead early in the second half. But after a poor shooting performance in the second half, the Jaspers’ lead dwindled little by little.

With the Jaspers up 63-56 and with nine minutes to play, Canisius went on a 17-4 run. The Griffs took a six-point lead with less than three minutes remaining.

The Jaspers pulled to within one at 77-76 with 15 seconds remaining, and after the Griffs’ Malik Johnson missed a pair of free throws, the Jaspers got the ball back with a chance to win the game.

With 8.1 seconds remaining, Zavier Turner received the inbounds pass, went around a screen, but the Griffs read the play perfectly. Turner was trapped coming around the pick and couldn’t get a shot off. The Griffs held on to win 77-76.

Key Stat

Of Manhattan’s 17 turnovers 10 came in the second half, and 13 points came from those second half turnovers. The Jasper bench also quieted down in the second half. After a 32 point first half from the bench, the Manhattan bench only notched seven points in the second half.

Three-point field goal percentage, as well as overall field goal percentage were the deciding factors in the matchup. The Jaspers shot 52.9 percent from the field in the first half, and 54.5 percent from three, roughly 10 percent higher than Canisius’ 43.5 percent and 44.4 percent respectively.

However, the second half told a different story, as the Jaspers shot 27.6 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from three-point range. Conversely, the Griffs elevated their game in the second half. Canisus shot 41.7 from the field and a formidable 60 percent from three.

Key Players

The Griffins comeback was charged by junior forward Jermaine Crumpton. Crumpton led all scorers, logging 26 points and nine rebounds for Canisius. The junior from Niagara Falls, N.Y., was a force inside all game. Crumpton led the team in offensive rebounds, while finishing 10 of his 21 field goal attempts.

For the Jaspers, junior guard Zavier Turner once again paced the team in scoring. He was able to notch 19 points while also having three assists. However, in the end, turnovers came back to bite Turner yet again.

Turner improved on his eight-turnover performance against West Virginia, accumulating only three turnovers in 27 minutes. However, his last turnover was the most costly. Turner turned it over as the clock expired in the second half. In total, the Jaspers tallied 17 turnovers.

What They Said

“We tried to get [Turner] and [Waterman in a ball screen with a slip,” Steve Masiello, Manhattan head coach said about the failed final possession. “They were switching everything. … [Turner went out, kind of got into a path to turn the corner, tried to turn the corner, they tied him up. Bad play call by me.”

“Credit to our guys, they fought the fight,” Reggie Witherspoon, Canisius head coach said. “Got themselves calm a little bit and took better care of the basketball in the second half. That was, I think, the first thing. Then we got back in the game from a rebound standpoint.”

“Our guys were anxious,” Witherspoon said about what led to his team’s first half 14-point deficit. “Then when we got the lead it was really like putting gasoline on a fire. But to open the game I think we got more anxious. We got in a hurry.”

“I’ve been playing against Manhattan for a while now,” Crumpton said about his career-best performance. “I’ve had the opportunity to see the defense multiple times, so I was just trying to pick my spots. Pick and choose when I can go, when I can make a play for one of my teammates. Ultimately, we came out with the win.”

“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Crumpton said. “We just wanted to stay the course. We knew some of their shots that fell in the first half probably were not going to fall in the second half.”