The Canisius varsity basketball team defeated rival St. Joe’s 61-55 in an exciting comeback in the Kennedy Field House on Thursday, February 7. Canisius started the game hot on offense. With the help of three three-pointers from Joe Ciocca ‘21 and lockdown defense, they maintained a ten point lead until the middle of the second quarter. At that point, St. Joe’s offense started to click, and the Crusader lead quickly diminished. At the end of the half, the Marauders led 27-26.
St. Joe’s kept their lead going in the third. They switched roles and maintained a 10 point lead over the Crusaders. Towards the end of the quarter, Canisius started to heat up. They got the game within five points after Joe Jamison ‘19 made a layup and free throw in the final seconds of the quarter.
The Crusaders slowly chipped away at the Marauders lead in the fourth, keyed by a defense that forced St. Joe’s into numerous bad shots. The atmosphere became intense midway through the quarter when Joey Ingrando ‘19 made three free throws after drawing a foul while shooting a three. Soon after, Ishmael Fairclough ’20 drew a foul and buried both free throws to tie the game at 45.
With under two minutes remaining, the Crusaders had possession as they trailed by one. After a couple of missed shots, Jamison got the ball on the perimeter and hit a clutch three to put them up by two. After Jamison pointed to the Blue Crew and the rattled Marauders called a timeout, Canisius started to pull away. Jamison and Ciocca closed the game out by adding a few more points, and the Crusaders secured the victory.
Ciocca led the offense with 16 points, including four three-pointers. With another superb late game performance, Jamison scored 12 points and recorded multiple steals. Fairclough also scored 12 points from a mix of shots from the perimeter and the paint. The Crusaders take on WNY second-ranked Niagara Falls on Saturday at 7:30 at Villa Maria College in the Centercourt Classic.
The Canisius JV basketball team also defeated St. Joe’s, recording a 71-27 blowout. Colin Herzog ‘21 led the team with 16 points.
Photo of Joe Ciocca '21 by Jacob Hanesworth '22.