Niagara Gazette

December 2, 2012

Slow start, sloppy finish dooms Niagara

STAFF REPORTS
Niagara Gazette

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.

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