Niagara Gazette


February 2, 2013

NU drops heartbreaker


Niagara Gazette — Despite turning the ball over on six of its first 11 possessions, Niagara never trailed by more than five points early on and was down just 35-34 at halftime.

Loyola built a 50-41 lead by the 13-minute mark in the second half, and with Niagara's starting center Devon White picking up his fifth and disqualifying foul for arguing with the referees, it appeared the Greyhounds were going to run away with the victory.

Niagara then went on a 16-2 run, tying the game on a three-point play by Mason and going ahead on a fast-break layup by Marvin Jordan with 7:55 to play. Loyola's high-scorer, Robert Olson (23 points) fouled out during that stretch.

After Green's layup made it 66-64 with two minutes left, Niagara did not score again. The Greyhounds made sure Green could not get an open look in the final possessions, having seen him hit the winning 3-pointer to beat Iona on Friday.

"They weren't going to let Juan'ya do what he did the other night," Mihalich said.

But after spotting Loyola an eight-point lead in the first overtime, Niagara went on an 11-3 run that included 3-pointers from Mason and T.J. Cline, a tip-in from Malcolm Lemmons, and Green's pull-up 3 from the left wing to tie the game.

The second overtime featured six ties and two lead changes and neither team led by more than two points. Trailing by two with six seconds left, Mason couldn't connect with a double-teamed Green and instead lofted an inbounds pass to Lemmons, who drove in the paint and drew a reach-in foul on Loyola's Julius Brooks.

"What Malcolm did was incredible," Mihalich said. "He's been a little down, rightfully so. He's not playing as much as he used to play. To come out there and do that and make those two foul shots like that, that's what winners do. That's why I love this team."

Mason and Green each scored 23 points to lead the Purple Eagles. Cline had 14 points and six rebounds off the bench. Ameen Tanksley had 12 points and eight rebounds. Green and Lemmons each had eight rebounds, as Niagara held a 51-40 advantage on the boards.

The Purple Eagles play at Rider on Thursday before hosting Canisius next Sunday.

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