Canisius falls short against No. 21 UNLV 89-74 Print
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Saturday, 22 December 2012 20:49
 LAS VEGAS (AP) - Canisius coach Jim Baron had seen his Golden Griffins win plenty of games with their 3-point prowess.
It didn't work against No. 21 UNLV, which cruised to an 89-74 victory over Canisius, despite the Griffins shooting 13 of 29 (44.8 percent) from beyond the arc Saturday night.
``We're Canisius, we won five games last year,'' Baron said. ``We got eight new players. This is on-the-job training. This thing ain't gonna happen overnight. But we won a lot of games up to now. We gotta keep building, we gotta keep coming together and we gotta keep learning from these situations.''
Canisius (8-3), which had four players score in double figures, was led by Billy Baron's 30 points. Harold Washington added 17, while Jordan Heath and Isaac Sosa each had 11 points.
Canisius, which came into the game having made 61 3-pointers in its previous five games, was 7 of 15 (46.7 percent) from beyond the arc in the first half.
The Golden Griffins also came in ranked second in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and 15th nationally with 9.3 3-pointers per game.
``We knew it would be a tremendous challenge with their ability to stretch the floor,'' UNLV coach Dave Rice said. ``They have multiple 3-point shooters on the floor at all times. Billy Baron controlled the game for them from an offensive standpoint.''
Anthony Bennett had 21 points and seven rebounds and was one of five Rebels to score in double figures.
Bennett was 8 of 12 from the field, including three 3-pointers and numerous highlight dunks that ignited the crowd.
``We played together,'' Rice said. ``We did a terrific job sharing the ball, we had 24 assists on the night and it was a very balanced attack for us.
``I tell the guys all the time that whoever is open is going to get the ball and we did a great job in sharing the ball, making extra passes. It was certainly a team effort tonight against a very good basketball team.''
Khem Birch, playing in his third game since becoming eligible for the Rebels (11-1) added 20 points on 7 of 8 shooting from the field, eight rebounds and six blocked shots. Katin Reinhardt had 14 while Bryce Dejean-Jones and Justin Hawkins added 12 apiece.
``Khem Birch has worked extremely hard during the two semesters that he practiced with us after he transferred (from Pittsburgh),'' Rice said. ``He's always been a defensive post presence, but he's worked extremely hard on his offensive post game with our assistant coaches after practice. And it's great when a young man, who's worked as hard as he has, (gets to) see the reward.''
Said Birch: ``The one thing that got me going was my offense early. I really shocked myself, and after that, that gave me more confidence.''
After a sluggish start that saw them fall behind 8-3 a little more than three minutes into the game, the Runnin' Rebels used a 7-0 run to take the lead and a 14-3 run to take the lead for good.
The Golden Griffins, who were looking for their second straight upset after defeating Temple by 10 in Philadelphia on Wednesday, tried to rally but were thwarted by UNLV's transition game.
At the 6:40 mark of the first half the Golden Griffins got within 3, but then Birch hit one of two from the free throw line, Bennett hit a short jumper and Reinhardt went coast-to-coast, put it in and completed the three-point play to put UNLV up by nine at 37-28.
``We knew they went into a very good Temple team and beat them at their house,'' Reinhardt said. ``We knew they were going to be physical, we knew that we couldn't let up. We got off to that hot start and I think it carried over to the rest of the game.''

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