Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Blog Curse, and More Big Numbers

There's nothing like the "Curse of Sports Illustrated," where, if you believe in such things, you can find an illogical number of athletes who appeared on the cover of that national publication and, then, soon after suffered debilitating injuries or career downturns.

And, then, barely days after this blog featured the 25-rebound performance by Canisius center Chris Gadley against the University of Maine on Dec. 30, the big man suffered a reported back injury midway through the Jan. 3 game against Loyola.

Gadley did not return in that game and, then, did not play on Jan. 5 in the Golden Griffins' loss to Manhattan.

Gadley's presence might not have helped much had he continued to play against Loyola, which won that Jan. 3 meeting, 86-62 behind one of the top individual performances of the season.

The Greyhounds' sophomore guard Jamel Barney poured in 41 points, matching the single-game record for points at the venerable Canisius on-campus home court, the Koessler Athletic Center. Barney's performance actually accounted for the highest regulation-game point total by an individual. Only former Manhattan player Bruce Seals matched that number, scoring 41 points in a four-overtime contest on Jan. 31, 2000.

Two nights later there was another record-setting effort at the Koessler when Griffs' 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Tomas Vazquez-Simmons blocked eight shots in his team's 59-57 loss against Manhattan.

Vazquez-Simmons' block total set a Koessler record, and matched his program's single-game best mark of Darnell Wilson in a Feb. 21, 2006 game at Loyola.

Prior to his "block party" Vazquez-Simmons was leading all MAAC players with 2.7 blocks per contest.

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