Siena vs Canisius Preview and Prediction
Siena vs Canisius Preview
The Canisius men’s basketball team opens a three-game MAAC homestand Thursday night when the Golden Griffins play host to Siena. Canisius has won 11 of its last 13, and start Thursday’s action with a 15-9 overall record and a 9-2 mark in MAAC play. One of those two league losses came Jan. 7, at Siena, when the Saints scored a 65-62 victory.
Tonight’s game against Siena will mark the 100th meeting between these two programs.
Freshman Takal Molson is coming off a great week in which he earned MAAC Rookie of the Week honors. He pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds in the win against St. Peter’s. He averaged 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in a pair of road wins at Marist and Saint Peter’s.
The underrated part of the Griffs attack
Jermaine Crumpton, Isaiah Reese and Takal Molson get a lot of the credit, but sophomore point guard Malik Johnson is putting together a great season.
Johnson has been credited with 31 assists against three turnovers in the Griffs’ last five contests. He leads the MAAC in assist-to-turnover ratio.
He has made 58 consecutive starts for the Griffs and ranks fifth in the MAAC with 4.9 assists per game (78th nationally).
Canisius loves to share the ball
- Canisius comes into tonight’s game leading the MAAC and 20th in the nation in assists per game with 17.2 per contest.
- The Blue and Gold dished out 18 assists on 28 makes in the team’s win at Saint Peter’s Feb. 4. According to kenpom.com, the Griffs rank fifth in the nation in assists-to-field goal percentage, with 64.5 percent (412-of-639) of the team’s baskets this season coming off assists.
- After being credited with those 18 assists against Saint Peter’s, the Griffs’ 412 total assist this year ranks 15th in the nation.
- Sophomores Malik Johnson (117 assists) and Isaiah Reese (115 assists) have accounted for 56.3 percent of Canisius’ total assists this season. Johnson ranks 78th nationally in assists per game, while Reese ranks 84th in the country. Canisius is the only school in the nation with two players ranked among the top-100 in assists per game average.
- Siena holds a 54-45 advantage over the Griffs in the series history
- The Saints beat the Griffs 65-62 back on Jan. 7 in Times Union Center when these teams met for the first time this year. That three-point victory improved Siena to 13-10 all-time in series history when games were decided by five points or less.
- Canisius is 16-13 all-time against Siena in the Koessler Athletic Center. The Griffs have won four of the last five home games in this series by an average margin of 18.5 points per game.
Get to know Siena
- Siena comes into tonight’s game with an overall record of 7-18 to go with a 3-9 mark in MAAC play.
- The Saints have dropped six of their last eight games since defeating Canisius at home Jan. 7 by the score of 65-62.
- As a team, Siena is averaging 67.4 points per game, which ranks ninth in the MAAC. Defensively, the Saints rank fourth in the MAAC in scoring defense, allowing 73.8 points per game.
- Siena ranks second in the MAAC and 116th in the nation in rebounding margin at +2.3. In the first meeting between these two schools, Siena out rebounded the Griffs by a 43-24 count.
- Freshman Roman Penn leads the team in scoring at 9.7 points per game. On Wednesday, it was announced that Penn will miss the rest of the season with a heel injury.
Canisius was not supposed to have this kind of success this season in the MAAC, but they have an opportunity to cement themselves as a Top 4 seed in the MAAC Tournament in March. Currently sitting in second place, the Griffs are only 0.5 games behind Rider for first place.
Siena is a shell of themselves this season and are struggling on both ends of the floor. The Saints hope and only offensive weapon Roman Penn is out for the season which only continues the woes of the Siena program.
LINE: -14 Canisius
The line may be a little scary to see such a high number, but the Griffs are used to blowing out the Saints at home (18.5 points is the margin of victory four out of the last five meetings at the Koessler Center).
Canisius 84 Siena 60