College Basketball

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Canisius (8-4) at Notre Dame (8-4)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 29, 5 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Joyce Center (9,149) -- Notre Dame, Indiana. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: Canisius 4-0, Notre Dame 7-2. Away Record: Canisius 2-3, Notre Dame 0-1. Neutral Record: Canisius 2-1, Notre Dame 1-1. Conference Record: Canisius 2-0, Notre Dame 0-0. Series Record: Notre Dame leads, 19-4.

GAME NOTES: A pair of 8-4 teams are set for a Sunday afternoon showdown, as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish welcome the Canisius Golden Griffins to the Joyce Center for a non-conference clash.

The Griffins have gotten off to a flying start this season at 8-4, which includes wins in each of their first two games in their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schedule. Canisius are currently winners of two straight, taking down Holy Cross on the road on Dec. 16 (83-73) before besting Lamar at home on Dec. 21 (87-74).

Notre Dame's 8-4 ledger has been a mild disappointment considering it began the season ranked in the Top 25. The Irish dropped their latest game, losing to nationally-ranked Ohio State on Dec. 21 in the Gotham Classic Showcase Game at Madison Square Garden (64-61), making them just 3-3 in their last six contests.

The Irish have beaten the Griffins in 19 of 23 all-time meetings, including in six straight dating back to 1962.

Canisius opened up a 15-point halftime lead over Lamar in its most recent contest and cruised to the victory from there, shooting 46.8 percent from the field (including 10-of-20 from beyond the arc) while winning the turnover battle by a dominating 19-11 margin. Billy Baron and Jordan Heath each scored 16 points, while Baron stuffed the stat sheet elsewhere too with seven assists, six rebounds and two steals. Chris Perez netted 14 points, Chris Manhertz tallied 10 points and nine rebounds, and Zach Lewis also poured in 10 points.

On the season, the Griffins just barely outscore their opponents, as they boast a +1.2 scoring margin, but they own an impressive +2.3 turnover margin and hold their opponents to only 28.1 percent shooting from 3-point range. Baron is the unquestioned catalyst, scoring 20.0 points per game to go with nearly twice as many assists (56) as turnovers (31). Perez (11.6 ppg) and Heath (11.5 ppg) act as solid secondary options, with Heath draining field goals at a 57-percent success rate.

Not only did Notre Dame hang with an undefeated Ohio State squad in its latest bout, it even held an eight-point lead in the final minute, but it fell apart down the stretch, inexplicably allowing the Buckeyes to get back in the game at the foul line (8-of-9 in the final 41 seconds) before Lenzelle Smith, Jr. delivered the game-winning bucket, handing the Irish a devastating blow. Although they shot a respectable 45.1 percent from the field on the night, they were just 4-of-14 from long distance and 11-of-19 from the free-throw line. Jerian Grant led all scorers with 18 points but he also committed five turnovers. Garrick Sherman netted 14 points, Pat Connaughton posted 13 points and eight rebounds, and Eric Atkins added 10 points.

Despite its shortcomings against strong competition, Notre Dame has still been largely impressive this season, shooting 47.6 percent from the field for 79.5 points per game, 10.3 points more than it allows. Grant is one of the most efficient guards in the nation, tallying 19.0 points, 6.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game, while shooting 51.8 percent from the floor. Sherman (14.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Connaughton (13.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) are both mainstays in the paint, while Atkins rounds out the double-digit scorers with 11.8 points per game.

This is far from a layup for the Irish, as they dropped a home contest against a solid mid-major foe on Dec. 11 to North Dakota State (73-69). Canisius is more than capable of coming into the Joyce Center and pulling off the upset, but expect Notre Dame to bounce back from its most recent loss in its return home.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Notre Dame 83, Canisius 75

12/29 10:33:00 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
7:05pm Tuesday
PHI 0
ATL 0
7:05pm Tuesday
NYY 0
CHC 0
7:05pm Tuesday
BAL 0
TAM 0
7:08pm Tuesday
DET 0
CLE 0
Final
CIN 7
PIT 5
Final
MIA 11
WAS 2
Final
TEX 5
SEA 0
Final
CWS 2
BOS 1
Final
HOU 2
KAN 4
Final
MIL 1
STL 6
Final
MIN 3
TOR 9
Final
ARI 0
NYM 9
Final
ANA 9
OAK 10
Final
SDP 2
COL 3
Final
SFG 3
LOS 2
12:35pm Today
CIN
PIT
12:35pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
BRK 98
NYK 109
Final
LAC 117
DEN 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR