Niagara Gazette


December 12, 2012

Defense keys Mihalich's 250th victory at Niagara


Niagara Gazette — On the other end, the Purple Eagles shot 50 percent from both inside and outside the arc and 70 percent from the foul line. But they did turn the ball over 22 times, of which most were self-inflicted.

"It's unacceptable," Mihalich said. "We're not good enough to do that."

Hartford used a 14-1 run to cut the lead down to 67-57 with 3:42 left to play, but a fallaway jumper from Mason ended the threat.

Malcolm Lemmons had a season-high 11 points, including an off-balance, off-the-glass 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer. Juan'ya Green added nine points and four assists. Freshman Tahjere McCall got his first start because of his perimeter defense and had four points, four assists and three steals. Marvin Jordan returned from a two-game injury absence to score six points. Devon White had six points, four rebounds and two blocks in his second game of the season. 

The Purple Eagles will try to get Mihalich career win No. 251 when Sunday when the top team in Hartford's league, Vermont, visits the Gallagher Center.

After Wednesday's win, Mihalich called himself "a lucky guy."

"It means you've got good players, that's for sure," he said. "I say it all the time. I'm living the dream. I'm lucky to be here and lucky to coach these guys and the rest of the team."

In Gallagher's opinion, Niagara is lucky to have Mihalich.

"He's got to be considered one of the best coaches," Gallagher said. "He really knows how to get his guys to play hard. He does a phenomenal job recruiting. His plan is detailed. His guys know what they're doing.

"Put it in perspective. First, how many guys stay at one place 15 years? He's been offered five or six different jobs. We all know that. He loves the Niagara area. He turned down LaSalle, his alma mater. He grew up in Philadelphia, but he's from Niagara Falls. He's from Buffalo.

"... He's a great role model for young coaches like myself. For him to get 250, I know it was against me, but I'm proud to say he's a friend."

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