Niagara Gazette

Sports

December 2, 2012

Slow start, sloppy finish dooms Niagara

Niagara Gazette — After Sunday’s 66-64 loss at Central Michigan, Niagara men’s basketball coach Joe Mihalich said it felt “like we lost, then won and then lost again.”

Niagara (2-5) fell behind by 20 points in the first half, then battled back to take a five-point lead with five minutes remaining but ultimately lost its third straight road game.

Trailing 33-13 early, 35-23 at the half and 43-28 at the 15:35 mark, the PUrple Eagles went on a 22-6 run to take their first lead of the game on a T.J. Cline tip-in with seven minutes left to play. A Marvin Jordan 3-pointer put Niagara up 56-51 and Juan’ya Green reestablished the five-point lead with a layup at 4:47.

But Niagara turned the ball over on four of its next five possessions and the Chippewas (4-3) made 8 of 10 free throws in the final three minutes.

Antoine Mason led the Purple Eagles with 24 points on 9 of 14 field goal shooting. Juan’ya Green had 12 points but a season-low one assist and six turnovers. Cline had nine points and a career-high 11 rebounds.

Niagara resumes its Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schedule Wednesday night at defending champion Loyola.

•••

Davon Marshall (Niagara Falls) had 17 points, five assists and four rebounds for Liberty (0-8) in a 67-66 loss to Georgia State.

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