Canisius hangs tough, eventually falls to #2 Kentucky
Canisius vs Kentucky: Recap, Analysis and Box Score
The final score doesn’t show to the average fan just how close this game was. The Kentucky Wildcats walked away with a 93-69 win over Canisius on Sunday night at Rupp Arena.
The Golden Griffins jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead with the help of physical play, out-rebounding the Cats to convert some easy buckets at the rim.
After a quick timeout from head coach John Calipari, UK stormed back on an impressive 11-2 run to take a 13-11 lead. From there, the contest was back and forth for the remainder of the first half.
When you rely as heavily on freshmen as second-ranked Kentucky basketball does, and the kids start a game ice-cold, it’s going to be a struggle no matter the opponent. But Canisius, led by first-year head coach Reggie Witherspoon, were able to contest early baskets, play solid defense and make the three-point shot in the first half.
Canisius made 46 percent of their field goals in the first half, and stayed even in the rebounding department (39-36), but their downfall was turnovers. The Golden Griffins committed 18 turnovers leading to 29 Kentucky points and cooled off to 37 percent shooting after the break and finished 42 percent overall.
”I thought it was a fast-paced game, probably a little faster than our depth handled tonight,” Witherspoon said. ”We were able to move the ball and get some good looks, but a team like this (Kentucky) recovers quickly and sometimes a good look can still be difficult. We had pockets where we played well, but weren’t able to sustain it.”
Canisius could have had a double-digit lead heading into the second half if it weren’t for sophomore guard Isaiah Briscoe. When the heavily hyped newcomers couldn’t buy a bucket, Kentucky’s grizzled, 19-year-old “veteran” Briscoe hit 8 of 9 shots to start, all but one of them on driving layups, pouring in 19 points in his first 22 minutes. He finished with a career-high 21 points and 5 rebounds.
“You could see that he was a veteran and that he had been through it,” Canisius coach Reggie Witherspoon said. “Overall, what stood out was he was physical and his aggressiveness, and he stayed poised while he did that. It can be difficult to arrive at that kind of balance.”
Kassius Robertson had 16 points, Jermaine Crumpton 13 and Phil Valenti 12 for Canisius (0-1) in the coaching debut of Reggie Witherspoon. The Golden Griffins initially pushed the pace and had Kentucky reacting but had no long-term answer for the Wildcats’ pace and backcourt.
Up Next for Each Team:
Canisius: Visits Cleveland State on Tuesday night in the second game of the Bluegrass Showcase, an event that also features Duquesne, Cleveland State and UT Martin playing games at campus sites.
Kentucky: Faces Michigan State on Tuesday in New York. The schools last met in the same event two years ago in Chicago, a 78-74 Spartans victory that brought them within 12-11 in the series.
Full Box Score
|CANISIUS GOLDEN GRIFFINS STATISTICS|
|P. Valenti, F||36||6-12||0-2||0-0||3||7||2||6||1||0||2||12|
|K. Robertson, G||35||5-15||2-10||4-5||0||4||2||3||0||0||1||16|
|M. Johnson, G||30||2-4||1-1||1-2||1||2||1||2||0||0||3||6|
|J. Crumpton, F||26||4-9||0-2||5-7||1||2||0||0||2||0||4||13|
|K. Douse, G||16||1-4||0-0||0-0||1||4||2||0||1||1||3||2|
|I. Reese, G||16||3-8||0-4||0-0||0||4||1||1||3||0||4||6|
|M. Dixon-Green, G||13||1-3||0-0||0-0||1||4||1||1||0||0||3||2|
|J. Faulkner, F||9||2-3||1-1||1-2||2||2||1||1||0||0||0||6|
|S. Foley, G||6||2-3||0-1||0-0||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||4|
|D. St. Louis, F||6||0-0||0-0||2-4||0||1||1||1||0||0||4||2|
|C. Atkinson, G||4||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||1||1||0||2||0|
|S. Planincic, C||3||0-0||0-0||0-0||1||1||0||1||0||0||3||0|
|R. Gombe, F||0||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|KENTUCKY WILDCATS STATISTICS|
|D. Fox, G||33||6-13||0-3||9-9||1||4||3||2||0||0||1||21|
|I. Briscoe, G||32||9-13||0-0||3-4||0||5||2||1||0||1||3||21|
|M. Monk, G||32||5-11||2-6||4-4||1||4||2||3||1||1||2||16|
|E. Adebayo, F||27||3-9||0-0||8-13||6||11||2||0||0||3||2||14|
|D. Willis, F||16||1-2||0-1||0-0||0||2||0||1||0||1||0||2|
|W. Gabriel, F||17||1-4||1-3||0-0||2||3||0||0||0||0||3||3|
|D. Hawkins, G||15||1-2||0-1||0-0||1||1||1||0||2||0||3||2|
|I. Humphries, F||7||3-4||0-0||0-0||3||4||0||1||0||0||3||6|
|S. Killeya-Jones, F||7||1-1||0-0||1-4||1||4||0||0||0||1||1||3|
|M. Mulder, G||4||1-2||1-2||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||3|
|T. Wynyard, F||3||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|B. Calipari, G||3||0-0||0-0||2-3||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||2|
|J. David, G||2||0-0||0-0||0-2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|D. Pulliam, G||2||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Dan Schalk covers the Canisius Golden Griffins for MyFantasySportsTalk.com, you can follow him on Twitter @FFSportsTalk