Friday, March 6, 2009

Canisius Men to See Siena Again

ALBANY, N.Y. - The Canisius men, who gave top-seeded Siena a scare five days ago in their last regular-season contest (losing by four points), get another shot at the Saints on Saturday at 5 p.m. in a tournament quarterfinal-round contest.

The 9th-seeded Golden Griffins advanced by virtue of their 74-68 victory over No. 8 seed Loyola in an opening-round contest, easily the most-physical contest to date.

Whether the physicality of play a day earlier will have an adverse affect on the Griffs remains to be seen, but Canisius coach Tom Parrotta looks forward to today's rematch with the regular-season champs.

"We came pretty close (this past Sunday)," said the Canisius coach. "If we tighten some things up, I think we can beat them."

So far the only two MAAC teams to beat Siena in regular-season play were second-place finisher Niagara and third-place team Rider.

"Siena just had a great season," said Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos. "I think the league is terrific this year, so for Siena to get through with a 16-2 record is really special."

Loyola's hopes to advance past Friday's game were hindered by the ineffectivness of sophomore guard Jamal Barney, who finished regular-season play as the MAAC's leading scorer.

But Barney, battling sore knees for the past several weeks, did not start against Canisius, only played 19 total minutes and managed just four points on 2-of-7 shooting.

"He's just not what he was earlier in the season," said Patsos. "But, I'm glad I've got him for two more years."

Canisius' junior point guard Frank Turner made things difficult for Loyola all night with 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Forward Greg Loggins added 19 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, while guard Julius Coles added 18 points.

Canisius shot 53.3 percent from the field (24-of-45), while Loyola misfired to the tune of 32.0 percent (24-of-75), including just 20.8 percent (5-of-24) from three-point terriitory.

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