BUFFALO, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Reserve Tre Dinkins scored a career-high 18 points as Canisius snapped Siena Basketball’s seven-game win streak with a 66-62 decision at the Koessler Athletic Center. Michael Baer posted career-highs of 15 points and three blocks while adding eight rebounds for the Saints who suffered their first MAAC defeat.
Dinkins, who came in averaging just 4.1 points with 11 made threes all season, shot 5-7 from the field including 4-5 from distance while adding six rebounds for Canisius (5-12, 3-5), which has won three of four following a nine-game losing streak. Fellow reserve George Maslennikov added 14 points on 6-9 shooting for the Golden Griffins who held a 36-10 advantage in bench points.
Baer shot 6-8 from the field for Siena (12-6, 6-1) which had entered play leading the MAAC in both field goal percentage (.462) and three-point field goal percentage (.366). However, the Saints, outside of Baer, shot just a collective 18-58 (31%) from the field including only 5-19 (26%) from three against the MAAC’s worst field goal percentage defense in Canisius (.473).
The Golden Griffins led for the final 27 minutes and by as many as 14 points. Siena jumped out to a quick 9-2 start, but Canisius countered with a 12-2 response to take a 14-11 lead at the 12:06 mark on one of Dinkins’ four first-half threes. The Golden Griffins never trailed thereafter, and the MAAC’s leader in threes made six in the first half to take a 36-28 lead at the break.
The Canisius advantage ballooned to 46-32 with 14:05 to go before the Saints’ defense clamped down. Siena held the Griffs scoreless for the next 7:15, and slowly chipped away with 10 unanswered to rally within 46-42 with 7:20 left.
But Canisius answered with a 9-1 run to push their lead back to a dozen at 55-43 with 2:58 remaining. The Saints made one final furious push – scoring 13 points in the final 46 seconds – capped by a Michael Eley steal of inbound and three to make it a one-possession game at 65-62 with 10.3 seconds to go. However, Canisius shot 14-15 from the free throw line to hang on as Siena suffered its first loss in 35 days.
Javian McCollum scored 13 points and dished out five assists for the Saints who have lost six straight and nine of their last 10 at the Koessler Athletic Center. Jackson Stormo added 10 of his 12 points in the first half for Siena which came up short in their bid for the program’s first Western New York sweep in seven years.
The Saints return to the Capital Region to open a season-long three-game homestand Friday vs. new MAAC foe Mount St Mary’s at 7 p.m. at MVP Arena.