"The first team to 80 will win tonight" - Tim McCormick
Both Canisius and Iona came into Friday night's game looking to move to 6-1 in the MAAC and tie Manhattan for first place in the conference. Right off the bat it looked like the story of the evening would be the "Billy Baron Show" and Canisius running away with a win as the Golden Griffins surged to a 50-39 halftime lead.
The Griffins would continue to pour it on in the second half to take a 20 point lead with 16:39 left in the game. The Gaels then decided to chip away at the Griffins and then eventually exploded for an 18-0 run to give Iona a 74-71 lead with 7:24 left in the game.
The other explosion was Jim Baron's head, as the Griffins coach came out onto the court to confront Iona guard Tavon Sledge after an exchange between both teams under the basket. Baron's act drew a technical and, frankly, he was lucky not to be thrown out of the game.
But the real show went back to Tim McCormick:
"Manhattan deserves an at-large bid. They beat South Carolina and LaSalle, and how great is it to see George Beamon healthy all season!"
Apparently Tim McCormick doesn't read Mid-Major Madness or anything that covers the MAAC.
Ok back to the game...
Baron did wake up his team at the very least and the Griffins would tie the game at 81 with thanks to a Chris Perez layup with 3:21 left.
But wait! Back to McCormick:
"I said at the beginning of this game that the first team to 80 would win this game!"
Partner: "Well, that would favor Iona"
Alright, back to the action...
Perez and Iona's Tre Bowman would exchange points to tie the game at 83. Billy Baron, who finished the night with 29 points and 8 assists, would nail two free throws with 14 seconds left to give the Griffins a 85-83 advantage. Iona would call a timeout and draw up a play, but to no avail for the Gaels. Sorry Tim McCormick!
It was a tremendous comeback for Iona tonight and the Gaels saw Bowman, Sean Armand, A.J. English, and Isaiah Williams account for 69 of their points.
While many would give Billy Baron the performance of the night, I have to give it to Tim McCormick who somehow managed to make it an entire basketball game without breathing, stopping his speech, and just saying things like "attack the basket!"