Niagara Gazette


March 10, 2013

Niagara bows out of MAAC tournament; NIT awaits

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Chilean folklorist Violeta Parra once sang, "Don't cry when the sun is gone, because the tears won't let you see the stars."

The Niagara Purple Eagles had their hearts broken here Sunday. The sun set on their Big Dance dreams during a 79-73 loss to Iona in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.

But the youngest team in the MAAC has a bright future ahead. And it won't have to wait too long to try and realize it.

Niagara (19-13) is on its way to the National Invitation Tournament now, its consolation prize for winning the MAAC regular season championship.

"Our hearts are broken," coach Joe Mihalich. "At the same time, as I said to the guys, there's a lot of people whose hearts are broken and they turned their uniforms in.

"We're going to a special postseason tournament. And we are going to let the pain wear away. And if I know these guys, they will set a new set of goals to do something special in the NIT."

Niagara has appeared in the NIT 13 times before, most recently in 2009 after winning a school-record 26 games before losing in the MAAC final.

"We are going to wake up in a day or two and just be tickled to death, excited as can be to be in such a prestigious postseason tournament," Mihalich said. "It's an incredible accomplishment for this team. We're as heartbroken as can be. The dream season is to be cutting down the nets. But to be in the NIT is something to be proud of."

The Purple Eagles weren't proud of their performance as the top seed in the MAAC tournament. After rallying late to beat Siena in the quarterfinals, Niagara fell flat offensively in the second half against Iona.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page