Billy Baron's Big Night Pushes Canisius Past Holy Cross, 83-73

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

The Canisius point guard put his elite scoring ability on display at the Hart Center on Monday night, finishing with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists.



Billy Baron has taken the long road to where he is now. A road that began at Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick, R.I. made stops at Worcester Academy, then Virginia, then URI before finally landing in Buffalo, N.Y. and the Canisius Golden Griffins. Just miles from where he made his name as a prep star, Baron led his father's team to an 83-73 win over the Holy Cross Crusaders at the Hart Center with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

The preseason MAAC Player of the Year was electric, scoring in a variety of ways and getting to the line seemingly at will. Baron finished 7-for-15 from the field (4-for-8 from three) and a perfect 13-for-13 from the free throw line, the final two of which gave us the final score and Canisius' largest lead of the game.

It wasn't always out of reach, however. Holy Cross, which trailed by three at the half, made several runs at Canisius' always-precarious lead, typically getting within one possession before letting it slip away. The game finally swung the Golden Griffins' way at the 1:36 mark when, with a 72-69 lead, Baron split two defenders then passed around a third to find a wide open Jordan Heath at the three-point line. The shot was nothing but net and the game was all but over.

Holy Cross tried to make it interesting over the final 96 seconds, but the Crusaders were never totally comfortable attacking the Canisius 2-3 zone. With everyone strung around the outside, Milan Brown's team was unable to use its best player, Dave Dudzinski (16 points, 10 rebounds), instead relying on Justin Burrell, Anthony Thompson, Eric Green, and Malachi Alexander to find ways to exploit the zone. Alexander fought his way to the line a few times, but for the most part the zone kept the Crusaders away from the paint and out of their comfort zone.

For the day, Holy Cross shot just 7-for-24 from beyond the arc -- a mark that will rarely get the job done against a zone defense. Only Malcolm Miller hit more than one long-range shot, making 2-of-6 from three.

On the other end, Baron and Chris Perez were able to get shots within their comfort zone all game. Perez supported Baron's effort with 14 points on 7-for-12 shooting, while Heath added 15 of his own.

Nobody could out-shine Baron on this night though -- not with 30 tickets at will call for friends and family out-numbering what Holy Cross fans made the trek up Mount St. James -- and after all he has been through in the last four years, he deserved to have his night in Worcester.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Mid-Major Madness

You must be a member of Mid-Major Madness to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mid-Major Madness. You should read them.

Join Mid-Major Madness

You must be a member of Mid-Major Madness to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mid-Major Madness. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker