Youngstown State vs Canisius LIVE Reaction and Analysis

We will be doing things a little differently this college basketball season. As MFST covers games every week, instead of writing a general recap we will cover the games right as they happen. This will be live analysis and reaction to the game as it goes down. Dan Schalk, our Founder here at MFST, covers every Canisius Golden Griffins home game. Tonight, Canisius welcomes the Youngstown State Penguins to the Koessler Center in Buffalo, New York for their 2017-18 home opener. To read Dan’s preview and score prediction, click here.

Here is Dan’s LIVE reaction to the game as it goes down…

 

Before Tip

The atmosphere in the Koessler Center is electric right now–as it usually is with most home openers. The Griffs have lost their first two games of the season, both on the road to the Buffalo Bulls and Air Force Falcons.

The stands are decently packed, although no one would mistake it for a sellout.

With seven minutes to go before the tip, cheerleaders are lining up to announce the players for the first time this season at home…

One stat that I can’t get out of my mind before this game officially tips: Canisius has never lost to Youngstown State in their history (five previous meetings) and while I expect this game to be close, I can’t envision a scenario (as I outlined in my preview) where the Griffs lose this game. Obviously, time will tell…

1st Half Reaction and Analysis

Canisius wins the tip and immediately turns it over–Malik Johnson with a bad pass to Crumpton. Youngstown State immediately turns that into two points.

The energy out on the court is fierce with both teams flying around with reckless abandon.

And just like that the Penguins have a 7-0 lead in the first minute and a half.

Crumpton snaps the Griffs scoreless skid with a layup to make the score 7-2 with 18 minutes to play in the first half.

Freshman Takal Molson looks good with the ball and is a scoring threat from anywhere on the court.

Just as Youngstown State started with a 7-0 run, Canisius responds with a 7-0 run of their own to tie the game.

Back-to-back three’s make it 10-7 Canisius with 16 minutes to play.

Reese hits Crumpton with a beautiful pass as he cuts the lane and scores an easy layup. Canisius leads 14-9. If the Griffs can feed Crumpton with easy looks like that it will be a long night for the Penguins.

The Griffs are playing pressure defense forcing Youngstown State to throw up bad shots consistently.

Reese with a no-look pass to find Spencer Foley for a wide open three-pointer. Foley has eight points in the first six minutes. Canisius continues to expand their lead, 19-11.

Foley is an animal early on, to add to his points he grabbed an offensive rebound while four Youngstown players stood and watched.

And….another three by Foley. Eleven of the Griffs 22 points belong to the sophomore.

Halfway through the first half, Youngstown State trails Canisius 25-19. The Griffs are being led by Crumpton and Foley who have combined for 19 points.

And just as I write that Foley hits another three-pointer…

Penguins guard James Benton fouls Malik Johnson hard and gets into a slight shoving match, Benton gets assessed a technical foul. That’s the last thing Youngstown needed—with those free throws the Griffs hold a 32-19 lead with nine minutes to play in the first half.

Foley takes his first break of the night, a well deserved one at that, he has paced the Griffs attack offensively.

Guard Braun Hartfield has carried the Penguins offense with 10 points in the first half, he’s the only one consistently driving the lane and looking for contact.

Malik Johnson with another assist, passing to a cutting SelvedinĀ PlanincicĀ for an easy dunk. Johnson’s both assists so far have led to easy, wide open buckets.

I will say, Canisius has some die-hard fans, one elderly gentleman in particular enjoys yelling at the refs and banging his cane against the bleachers. Quite enjoyable–if you aren’t the refs that is…

Rebounding has been huge for Canisius this half, with five minutes to play they hold a 17-11 edge on the boards.

Spencer Foley has stayed hot, hitting yet another three, his fifth of the half–Canisius now leads 44-31.

Make that six three’s for Foley—one of the greatest shooting halves in Canisius history is going down right now. Foley has 22 points on 7-of-7 shooting (six of those being three-pointers).

Credit the Penguins, they have not given up and clawed back into this game with one minute to play it is 47-39 Canisius.

A three at the buzzer from Reese makes the score 54-39 at the half.

Spencer Foley WAS the first half for Canisius, he led the way with 22 points, never missing a shot from the field. Without his shooting, this game would likely be in the single-digits.

Youngstown State started going with a full-court trap which seemed to fluster Canisius, but if it can’t be successful in creating turnovers it could be much of the same in the second half.

Prediction: Cansius does much of the same–maybe Foley will miss a shot, but a double-digit victory is in store for the Griffs.

1st Half Stats

Braun Hartfield played every minute of the first half for Youngstown State, scoring 16 points while adding one rebound and one assist. He was the lone player on his team to score in double-digits.

We know about Foley’s incredible shooting display, but two other Griffs ended with double figures in the first stanza, Jermaine Crumpton with 11 and Isaiah Reese with 10–Reese also added seven assists so he is on his way to a double-double.

The Griffs shot an unreasonable 63% from the field.

2nd Half Reaction and Analysis

The second half started with some sloppy play, but back-to-back dunks on both ends of the floor make the score 57-41 with 18 minutes to play.

Takal Molson who was limited to only three minutes in the first half seems determined to pick up his play. He is aggressively attacking the rim and drawing fouls. I was excited to watch him play in person after the outings he had in Canisius’ two road games to start the year.

The three-pointers continue as Isaiah Reese knocks down his third of the game–Canisius continues to lead 60-45.

The Penguins unsuccefully continue to employ a full court press, the Griffs continue to beat it and….another three-pointer by Reese. His point total has now reached 16.

Reese is pulling a Foley, he has hit three three’s in a row for a quick nine points and a massive 21-point lead for the Griffs 66-45.

One problem that has been hidden tonight by the Griffs great shooting is their free throws. They only connected on 8-of-15 in the first half and are 1-for-4 early in the second, for a total of 9-for-19 from the line.

Everyone is getting involved from beyond the arc as Malik Johnson nails his first three-pointer of the game. The lead has expanded to 71-49 Griffs.

Everything is going the Griffs way as Jalanni White just ran down a Youngstown State player for a come-from-behind block on his breakaway layup attempt.

Canisius leads by 20, 73-53 with 11:22 of game action remaining.

Spencer Foley has just entered the game, his first game action of the second half–somewhat surprising it has taken coach Reggie Witherspoon this long to get him in the game after that remarkable first half.

The Penguins have gone on an 8-0 run the last two minutes to claw within 15 points, 73-58.

Hartfield continues to be the only offense for Youngstown–he has 19 points the only one on his team to hit double-digits so far.

The Griffs are getting sloppy with their play, turning the ball over on multiple possessions and missing shots—not a recipe for success and Youngstown is taking advantage, they are now on a 12-0 run to make the game even tighter 73-62 with eight minutes to play.

We now have a single-digit ball game. Michael Akuchie sank two free throws to narrow the gap to nine points, 73-64.

Malik Johnson ends the scoring drought with a layup in the lane, 75-64 Canisius.

Yet another turnover for Canisius leads to a three-pointer for Youngstown. The Griffs 20+ point lead has shrunk to six with seven minutes to play.

Reggie Witherspoon called a quick timeout after that three–he needs to get his players focused for these final seven minutes. If the Griffs were to lose this game it would be a crushing blow this early in the season. You never want to drop to 0-3 when 1-2 was so firmly in your grasp.

And that’s what a senior leader does. Jermaine Crumpton hits a three out of the timeout to make it a 78-68 lead.

The Penguins answer with a three of their own, but then Crumpton drives the lane and slams down a monster dunk getting the crowd rowdy. Griffs lead 80-71.

Spencer Foley continues his impressive play-after converting an and-one he dishes off a beautiful assist to Malik Johnson to increase the lead 85-74 Canisius.

Youngstown State made it a game in the second half, but ultimately it seems Canisius has too much firepower for the Penguins to stop.

With three minutes remaining Canisius leads by ten, 87-77.

Takal Molson put the finishing touches on a soon-to-be victory with a dunk to increase the lead to thirteen, 90-77.

Each team traded buckets to close out the game, Canisius was victorious beating Youngstown State 104-84.

Final Stats

  • Spencer Foley ended with 25 points in 25 minutes of action
  • Isaiah Reese had his first career triple-double with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists
  • Malik Johnson had an all-around solid outing with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists
  • Jermaine Crumpton ended with 21 points
  • Four players ended with 20+ points for Canisius

Final Analysis

The Golden Griffins dominated most of the game but had their fair share of bumps along the way. Midway through the second half they went cold, started turning the ball over and allowed Youngstown to get back into the game. Witherspoon called a timeout at the right time to stop the momentum and the Griffs senior leader Jermaine Crumpton took over and put the finishing touches on the game.

It was a solid first win on the season and Canisius now stands at 1-2 in non-conference play.

Up Next

Canisius heads to Tennessee to take on Tennessee State on Tuesday.

Youngstown State returns home for a matchup against Westminster PA on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

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