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Canisius nets 85-78 victory over Iona


Canisius senior Jermaine Crumpton matched a season-high with 24 points to go along with eight rebounds, freshman Takal Molson scored 21 points and grabbed nine boards and sophomore Isaiah Reese scored 12 of his 18 points in the game's second half as the Golden Griffins posted an 85-78 win over Iona Sunday afternoon in the Koessler Athletic Center. The win, Canisius' fourth straight, improves the team to 8-7 overall and 2-0 in MAAC play, while the Gaels fell to 7-7 overall and 1-1 in league action.

Crumpton scored his game-high 24 points after going 9-for-18 from the floor, 1-for-4 from 3-point land and 5-for-5 from the free-throw line in 36 minutes of action. Molson, who became the first Canisius freshman to record a double-double in his first career MAAC game in Friday's win over Rider, went 8-for-13 from the floor, 1-for-2 from 3-point range and 4-for-5 from the charity stripe in the win, as the Griffs ended the contest making 19-of-22 chances from the stripe. Reese added seven boards, two assists and a steal to his final stat line and junior Jonathan Sanks posted 10 points and two assists off the bench for Canisius, which out-rebounded Iona by a 40-33 count for the game and turned 15 Iona turnovers into 21 points.

Five Iona players scored in double-figures, led by E,J. Crawford and Rickey McGill, who each posted 21 points in the loss. Rochester, N.Y., native Deyshonee Much had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Gaels, while teammate Roland Griffin came off the bench to add 11 points in the losing cause. Iona shot 47.5 percent from the field, 31.8 percent from behind the arc and 54.2 percent from the free-throw line, making just 13 of 24 tosses from the charity stripe.

Iona came out of the gates and led by as many as 12 points at 24-12 with 9:20 left in the first half, but the Griffs raced back thanks to an 18-0 run over the final 4:05 of the first stanza to take a 43-29 lead into the halftime intermission. Iona answered right back, as the Gaels used a 22-5 run over a stretch of 7:06 midway through the second half to take a 55-53 lead. That two-point margin would end up being Iona's final lead of the day, however, as the Griffs scored six of the game's next eight points to take a 59-57 lead with 10:09 left on the clock. Four of those six points for the Griffs came from Reese, and moments later, Molson gave the Blue and Gold a four-point cushion at 61-57 when he knifed through the lane for a lay-up.

The Griffs' lead hovered around five for the better part of the game's next three-plus minutes, but Iona got within three points at 75-72 on a bucket from McGill with 2:29 left to play. Canisius answered right back and went up six at 78-72 when Sanks drilled a three-ball from the far wing, but back-to-back fast-break lay-ups by Iona made it a two-point affair with 1:21 left to play, and Canisius leading 78-76.

That would be as close as Iona would come down the stretch, as the Griffs hit three-straight free-throws and then got a fast-break lay-up by Reese off a feed from teammate Malik Johnson with 16 seconds left to make the score 83-76. The win for Canisius makes the Griffs 2-0 in league play for the fourth time in the last six seasons and for the first time since 2014-15.

The Griffs will return to action on Friday when the team plays at Quinnipiac in its first road MAAC game of the season. Tipoff in Hamden, Conn., is set for 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3, and the radio call available on Buffalo's WECK 1230-AM and 102.9-FM, GoGriffs.com and the TUNEIN app.