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Canisius takes down Cornell 87-62 to stay perfect at home

The Griffs stay perfect at home after a 87-62 smothering of Cornell at the Koessler Athletic Center in Buffalo.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

The Canisius Golden Griffins improved to 2-1 on Saturday afternoon after knocking off the Cornell Big Red 87-62 in Buffalo. The Griffs jumped out to an early 7-0 lead thanks to three quick buckets by Griffs' forward Phil Valenti. The lead would later balloon to 21-11 with just over 8 mins to go capped by a Chris Atkinson 3-pointer. Cornell would battle back thanks to a mini-run compiled of mostly free throws to pull to within three points, 25-28, with 3:51 remaining in the Half. Darryl Smith, Matt Morgan, Jordan Abdur-Ra'oof, and Joel Davis went a combined 9-of-10 at the line in this stretch for the Big Red. Both teams would trade buckets in the final three minutes and Canisius would head to the locker room with a 36-33 lead.

Cornell would take the lead after 5 straight points to open the half capped by a Darryl Smith Layup to go up 38-36 one minute into the second half. The Griffs would answer right away with an aggressive Kevin Bleeker Dunk off a nice feed from Valenti to tie the game. The Griffs would not trail again after this dunk. Bleeker would follow his dunk with a put-back tip-in on the next possession.McMillan would lead the Griffs to a 19 to 4 run over the next six-plus minutes. He scored 10 of his game high 16 points in the second half. McMillan who came into the game as the nations leading scorer with 32 points per game would dial it way back tonight as he was swarmed by the Big Red all night. Instead of chucking up contested shots he was able to help his teams in other ways pulling down 2 boards and dishing 3 assists in the second half. Valenti and Senior big man, Kevin Bleeker added 15 and 14 points for the Griffs respectively.

The Griffs would ultimately pull away down the stretch en route to a 87-62 victory. Robert Hatter and Matt Morgan both had solid games for Cornell leading the way with 12 points each, The Griffs dominated the boards 47-31 and forced 17 Big Red turnovers in the victory.

Canisius will take the court next against local rival Saint Bonaventure on Tuesday at home. Cornell is back in action on Monday on just one day's rest against non-D1 Harrisburg in Ithaca.