Niagara Gazette — Juan'ya Green posted his first career double-double — just missing a triple-double — with 19 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds as Niagara held off Siena 78-69 Friday night.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference-leading Purple Eagles (12-8, 8-1), who won their fifth consecutive game and eighth-straight in league play, also defeated the Saints 87-64 on Jan. 17 to sweep the series.
The first half was close, with Niagara ahead 42-40 at intermission. The Purple Eagles built a 12-point lead, only to see it nearly disappear as Siena climbed back within a point.
NU coach Joe Mihalich said his team is growing comfortable in close games.
"We talk a lot about toughness and attitude and I think our guys are developing that," he said. "They found a way a win and winners do that. I think we have a room full of winners. There toughness and belief in themselves is probably what is putting us over the top.”
After O.D. Anosike's dunk with 2:04 left made it 70-69, Devon White answered with a dunk for Niagara. Antoine Mason hit two free throws to finish with 17 points and Green clinched the win with four foul shots.
“Mason and Green are the guys you want on the line," Mihalich said. "They want to be there, they are confident and they are way beyond their years.”
Evan Hymes matched his career high of 30 points for the Saints (4-16, 2-7), who have dropped three straight.
The Purple Eagles face cross-town rival Canisius at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Koessler Athletic Center.