Canisius takes on Buffalo in second game of the Big 4 Classic
Big 4 Classic
Canisius (6-5) at Buffalo (5-5)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Buffalo, N.Y. | KeyBank Center
- This is the 49th game between these two teams
Canisius holds a 31-17 lead in the series, which first began in 1912
This is the second game in the Big 4 Classic, which takes place at the Key Bank Center (home of the Buffalo Sabres).
UB got the better of Canisius last season in OT 98-96. The game took place at UB’s Alumni Arena
Get to know Canisius (6-5, 1-1)
The Griffs are coming off a 77-64 win over Albany on Dec. 12, the team’s third straight victory
Today’s game marks the 47th time the Griffs have played in the KeyBank Center. They are 27-19 all-time in the arena.
Junior guard Kassius Robertson leads the Griffs ins scoring and ranks second in the MAAC with 18.0 PPG
Freshman guard Isaiah Reese is the reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week
Since 2012-13, Canisius is 24-9 in games played in the month of December
Canisius head coach Reggie Witherspoon was formerly the head coach of the UB Bulls for 14 seasons, from 1999-2013
In his time at Buffalo he compiled a 197-225 record, earning four postseason berths, but zero in the NCAA Tournament
Get to know Buffalo (5-5, 0-0)
The Bulls are the two-time defending MAC tournament champions
The Bulls are coming off of a 87-52 win over Coppin State on Dec. 10
They had one their best shooting days in program history, going 15-for-30 from 3-point range–their second most makes all-time
Bulls head coach Nate Oats begins his second-year at the helm, replacing Bobby Hurley who took the job at Arizona State
The Bulls are averaging 75.7 PPG, and have reached at least 70 points in five straight
Senior Blake Hamilton leads UB in scoring with 16.5 PPG and has scored double-figures in seven straight contests
This will be the third game against a Western New York rival for Buffalo. They are 1-1 on the year, earning a 76-66 win over Niagara and losing 90-84 to St. Bonaventure
What to look for
Although the teams share common numbers in many stat categories, Canisius and Buffalo play different styles.
Canisius depends heavily on the three-ball, they average just shy on 10 3-pointers per game on 40% shooting. UB makes 7.9 three’s per game at a 35% clip.
Buffalo plays better defense, especially in the paint, averaging 39.2 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game. Canisius struggles with their size and that shows with only 2.5 blocks and 34 rebounds per game.
If Canisius wants to win they will need Kassius Robertson to continue his hot scoring ways as well as Senior forward Phil Valenti to get hot from the floor, he’s shooting just 44% from the floor and 26% from 3-point range (last season he shot 46% from the floor and 39% from 3-point range)
If Buffalo wants to win, they will need to dominate down-low, rebounding and scoring the bulk of their points in the paint. Canisius will struggle if Buffalo can get their bigs in foul trouble early.
Game Prediction: Canisius 77 Buffalo 74
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