BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Scott Hitchon scored a career-high 21 points with five 3-pointers and Canisius held on to beat Fairfield 72-68 on Friday night and take over first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

With Monmouth's loss to Rider on Friday, the Golden Griffins (12-13, 9-4) grabbed a half-game lead over the Hawks (9-5).

Trailing by seven with 1:18 to go, Fairfield (7-19, 4-10) cut the Golden Griffins' lead to 70-68 on Taj Benning's 3-pointer and two free throws by Neftali Alvarez. But Canisius' Malik Johnson scored the game's final points on a pair of free throws with 12.5 seconds left.

Jalanni White added 16 points for Canisius with Johnson dishing seven assists, his sixth straight game of at least seven. Canisius made 10 of 25 from the arc.

Jesus Cruz scored 18 points to lead the Stags. Jonathan Kasibabu added 16 points and Alvarez 14.