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Canisius men’s basketball falls at nationally-ranked Florida State

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Dantai St. Louis
Game Recap
Florida State reserve forward Mfiondu Kabengele scored a career-high 18 points to lead four Seminoles in double-figures as the No. 14/13 ranked team in the country posted a 93-61 win over Canisius Monday night in the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla. The win moves Florida State to 3-0 on the season, while the Golden Griffins slipped to 1-2 on the year.
 
For Canisius, junior Malik Johnson scored 20 points on the power of a career-high five 3-point field goals, while fellow guard Isaiah Reese and Takal Molson scored 15 points each. Junior forward Dantai St. Louis came off the bench to add a career-high nine points in the losing effort, as the Blue and Gold shot 42.3 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from 3-point range and 60 percent from the free-throw line for the contest.
 
Florida State guards Terance Mann and MJ Walker chipped in 12 points apiece for the Seminoles, who shot 52.3 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point land and 80 percent from the charity stripe. Devin Vassell came off the bench and scored 10 points to go with a team-high three steals in the victory, as the 'Noles turned Canisius over 19 times in the ball game.
 
After trailing 42-27 at halftime, Canisius used an 8-2 run in the opening 3:26 of the second half to make the score 44-35, forcing a Florida State timeout. Canisius hung around for the next few minutes and got within six points at 47-41 with 14:12 left to play after Molson hit a jumper from the left wing. Kabengele would end that Canisius run, however, scoring the game's next five points, capped by a traditional three-point play with 13:10 showing on the clock to make the score 52-41 in favor of the home team.
 
Florida State would continue to build on that run moments later when the Griffs were called for a dead-ball technical foul, giving the Seminoles two free-throws and the ball, which Florida State turned into four points. A bucket by Mann with 12:05 left on the game clock made the score 58-41 in favor of the home team.
 
Johnson added four rebounds and two assists to his 20-point effort in 38 minutes of action, while Reese also grabbed four boards. Molson was credited with six rebounds and five assists, while St. Louis collected three boards, a blocked shot and two steals in the losing cause for the Blue and Gold.
 
Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon's Postgame Comments
"Florida State plays really, really hard on every possession. I hope we learned a little bit of what it is like to compete like that for a full 40 minutes. We had some good stretches, especially there in the second half where we got it down to six, but there was that swing after the technical foul that we could just never get back from."
 
"Their pressure on the ball allowed us to drive and kick for open shots in rhythm, and we made some, but not enough. We had to work so hard to get their lead down to where it was manageable, but then we got real uncomfortable again and we got sloppy and turned it over. I hope we can take something from tonight and start to work towards where we want to go as a team. When you're battling like we were, and a team gives you chances, there's no room for error. It doesn't matter who you are playing."
 
Game Notes
• Monday was the third all-time meeting between Canisius and Florida State. The Seminoles lead the series 2-1.
• Canisius was playing a team in the Associated Press Top-25 Poll for the 102nd time in program history, and Monday marked the seventh time the team has played No. 14. The Griffs are now 1-6 all-time against the 14th ranked team in the nation.
• The game in the state of Florida was the program's first since Jan. 2, 2003 when the Griffs played at and lost to FIU.
• Canisius was charged with 19 turnovers in the game after committing just 20 in the two previous games this year.
• Monday marked the second career game of 20-more more points for Johnson. He scored a career-high 22 points in the win over Youngstown State Nov. 18, 2017.
• Molson has now distributed five or more assists in six different career games as a Griff.

Up Next
Canisius returns to action Thursday, Nov. 22, when the team opens play at the 2018 AdvoCare Invitational against defending national champion Villanova. Tipoff in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., is set for 1:30 p.m., and the game can be seen live on ESPN2. The radio call can be heard on WECK-Radio Buffalo, GoGriffs.com and the TuneIn app.