Niagara Gazette — The Purple Eagles' defensive strength Sunday allowed them to maintain control of a game in which they shot 7 of 28 from the floor and 1 of 12 from 3-point range in the first half.
Ahead 19-18 at the break, Niagara opened the second half with an 18-5 run and never led by fewer than seven points the rest of the way.
As has been the case in most all of this season's games, Mason was the efficient engine of Niagara's offense, scoring 19 of his 25 points in the second half. He shot 7 of 12 while the rest of the Purple Eagles went 12 for 28 and made 9 of 10 foul shots. He also had three of Niagara's six steals, and four assists, which tied Juan'ya Green for the team-high.
"Mason has been incredibly efficient," Mihalich said. "He shows us all that he can score in many different way, gets to the foul-line for a few, a 3 here and there and jumps shots. So there’s a lot of ways to get on the board and he did that today."
Green scored all of his 17 points in the second half, 10 in the final 8:37.
Marvin Jordan was Niagara's next-highest scorer with eight points, though he shot 1 for 7 from the field. Ameen Tanksley scored six points and T.J. Cline had 10 rebounds to go with his five points.
Niagara now travels to nationally-ranked Notre Dame on Friday then is off for two weeks before restarting Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.
Meghan McGuinness hit two free throws with 9.7 seconds left in overtime to lift the Niagara women's team to a 66-63 home win over Colgate.
“This is one of those non-conference games that gives you great experience for the conference play,” coach Kendra Faustin said. “We haven’t been in this particular situation and we executed down the stretch and we got what we wanted.”
Lauren Gatto scored 18 points to lead Niagara (5-4), which plays at UB at 2 p.m. Friday.