Niagara dropped by Purdue Fort Wayne

Nine days off wasn't enough to cure Niagara's early-season ills.

The Purple Eagles, coming off an extended break following an 0-4 start, were easily brushed aside by host Purdue Fort Wayne on Wednesday, 77-54.

After Niagara tied the game at 38 early in the second, the Mastadons (4-5) took off on an 11-0 run that separated things for good. Overall, PFW dominated the second half, 39-20.

Familiar problems hurt NU (0-5). The Purple Eagles were out-rebounded, 38-25. They gave up 11 offensive rebounds. They shot just 29.6% after halftime and hit only three 3-pointers on 20 tries (15%).

Niagara has now been outscored 397-299 for the season. That's almost an average of 20 points per game. It's shooting just 27.8% from deep and averaging 15 turnovers.

Head coach Greg Paulus did make a few moves to try to shake things up. Leading scorer James Towns and top rebounder Greg Kuakumensah went to the bench to start, in favor of Justin Roberts and Nicholas Kratholm.

It didn't matter. Roberts and Kratholm combined for six points, four rebounds and three assists in 41 minutes. Kuakumensah didn't score, tallying three rebounds, a block and a steal in 18 minutes. Towns was the Purple Eagles' lone source of off-the-bounce offense, scoring 13 points.

Raheem Solomon led NU with 15 points but went scoreless over the final 19 minutes.

Niagara will again shoot for its first win at 4 p.m. Sunday at Norfolk State.

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