UAB vs Canisius: Live Reaction
No team wants to finish dead last in any tournament and that is what the Canisius Golden Griffins are trying to avoid today at the AdvoCare Invitational.
In a game I believe they should win, the Griffs will take on the also winless UAB Blazers in the final game of the Invitational.
As I do, I will give my live reaction courtside during the game.
Refresh this page as we update it live throughout the game
Two minutes in and we have our first bucket of the game as UAB takes a 2-0 lead.
Canisius should matchup better on the glass today as they have been absolutely dominated on the glass by Villanova and Memphis.
Canisius gets their first lead of the tournament as Isaiah Reese steals the ball and drives coast-to-coast for the layup. Canisius leads 4-2 with 16:00 to play.
Both teams are strugglingling from the floor—22% for UAB, 25% from Canisius.
The Griffs are looking strong defensively, turning over UAB five times in the first five minutes of the game.
Canisius looks fresh, pushing the pace of play and UAB is struggling to keep up—in addition to the turnovers, they have committed four fouls in less than six minutes. Canisius has sunk their free shots, taking a 7-2 lead.
After UAB took an early 2-0 lead, Canisius has gone on a 10-0 run on the back of their defense (four steals).
Malik Johnson really is the leader of this team—he is the only one who consistently talks on the floor and directs literally everyone where to go.
The Blazers scoring drought ends as they get 1-of-2 free throws to get within nine, 12-3 Canisius.
After a turnover by Reese, UAB gets a fastbreak layup to climb within seven points with 11:54 to go.
Another key stat as we near the halfway mark of the first half—-Canisius is outrebounding UAB 8-6.
We have a Jonathan Sanks sighting as he is leading the way offensively with a pair of three-pointers and seven points total. Canisius has a 19-5 lead with nine minutes to play.
Canisius is taking advantage of some really bad defense by UAB, who has clearly missed assignments regularly to start this game. Canisius is doubling-up the Blazers 26-13.
After a torrid start, Canisius is beginning to come back down to earth—they have gone scoreless the last three minutes and UAB has cut the lead to single-digits, 26-17 with 5:02 to play.
The Blazers haave gone on an 8-0 run and are beginning to play tighter defense and the Griffs are struggling to adapt.
Turnovers are becoming a problem for the Griffs—their 15 point lead has been cut to four, 30-26 with 1:06 to play.
After the best ten minutes of basketball Canisius has played all year, they fell back in the final ten minutes of the first half. They are lucky to go into halftime with a slim 35-31 lead—-thanks to solid offensive play by Malik Johnson in the final minute of the first period.
Key stat—we’ve talked about rebounding and shooting all tournament long and Canisius is shooting 45 percent from the floor and is only -2 with their rebounding margin—a lot better than the -20 they had in the first half the previous two games.
Turnovers have been key as well—they have turned UAB over 13 times and have 16 points off of those turnovers.
UAB’s offense is clicking to start the second half—and the Griffs rebounding troubles are creeping back into play. Back-to-back possessions the Blazers have secured offensive rebounds. The Griffs still lead 37-36.
The Blazers have their first lead since the opening seconds…a three-pointer gives UAB a 39-37 lead with 17:38 to play.
The Griffs are sloppy with three turnovers in a little over two minutes of second half action.
The Blazers have gone on another run, this one a 10-0 run to give them their biggest lead of the game 44-37 with 16:40 to play.
Reggie Witherspoon with an in-game adjustment, putting Takal Molson on the Blazers best player Zack Bryant, who has 19 point so far in this game and has been on a tear in the second half. Malik Johnson was on him for the first half and to start the second half.
This is a completely different Canisius team in the second half—zero defensive intensity and the Blazers are doing whatever they want in the paint—-driving in the lane, passing it in and of course—grabbing those offensive rebounds. UAB’s lead has expanded to 48-39 with 13:45 to go.
The Griffs have gone from -2 rebounding margin at the end of the first half to -9 less than eight minutes into the second half—and UAB has grabbed seven offensive boards.
Scott Hitchon with another career-high game—he has 13 points and five rebounds. The Griffs are within five, 50-45 with 9:18 to go.
More sloppy play from the Griffs—-I can’t explain what happened at halftime for Canisius to play Jekyl and Hyde like this.
All that being said, UAB is sloppy as well—Griffs trail 54-49 with 6:30 to go.
Isaiah Reese continues to struggle—only six points on 3-of-12 shooting with three turnovers. Witherspoon has had enough of him as he surprisingly took him out with the Griffs down five and 1:30 on the clock.
Canisius has not ended halves well—-UAB has stretched their lead to nine with 1:12 to play. Looks like a winless AdvoCare Invitational for the Griffs.
Final Score: UAB 68 Canisius 58