The Canisius Crusaders fell to the St. Joe’s Marauders 63-60 in their second of two regular season meetings on Sunday afternoon. Early in the first quarter, the team got down to a 10-0 deficit. They finally took the lid off of the basket but were still at a 19-9 disadvantage after the quarter.
In the second, the Marauders stayed on top. Canisius started to put a dent in the lead a few times, but couldn’t significantly close the gap. Despite the relatively uneventful half for the Crusaders, Eric Geisler ‘21 kept the deficit to seven after a nice block on Josh Haskell as the horn sounded. For the Marauders, Justin Glover had twelve points for St. Joe’s after a solid half of shooting. On the other end, Max Dowling ‘21 was the main scoring threat, tallying nine points off of a three-pointer and multiple baskets in the paint.
To start the second half, Canisius came out of the tunnel as a completely different team. The defense tightened up, and shots finally started to fall for the squad, cutting the St. Joe’s lead to three points with under three minutes remaining in the quarter. From there, the two opponents went back-and-forth for a few possessions, and Shane Cercone ‘23 ended the quarter with a tough finish at the basket, converting a foul shot to make it a one point game.
To start the fourth, the Crusaders jumped to their first lead of the game with a pair of Declan Ryan ‘22 free throws. The lead was short-lived, as Glover responded with two three-pointers in two possessions to put the Marauders up once again. The ensuing few minutes were a rollercoaster. The teams traded leads multiple times with shots finally falling for both sides. Then, St. Joe’s extended their lead to four points with 1:24 remaining in the matchup. With thirty seconds left, the Crusaders had a chance to bring themselves within a possession of their rivals, but excellent Marauder defense forced Cercone to take an off-balance shot. The result was a miss and the nail in the Canisius coffin.
In the paint, Dowling and Ryan were integral to the Crusader comeback attempt, each scoring 19 points. Cercone wasn’t far behind with thirteen. For the Marauders, Glover finished with 27, leading the phenomenal three-point shooting for his team.
With the win, St. Joe’s clinches the Monsignor Martin first seed going into the playoffs. The Crusaders look to take the second seed with a win against Timon this Friday at 6pm. If these two teams meet in the playoffs once again, game three should be one for the ages.