Niagara stuns Canisius 105-89

The MAAC rivals met in a matchup at the Koessler Center

Pat Malacaro
January 27, 2018 - 10:44 pm

Photo: Pat Malacaro (@PatWGR)

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The Niagara Purple Eagles used a long first half surge to propel themselves to a 105-89 win over the Canisius Golden Griffins at Saturday night at Koessler Athletic Center.

Canisius used some early scoring by Jermaine Crumpton to open up a seven point lead over the Purple Eagles early in the first half. However, Niagara roared back to open up a double-digit lead for much of the first half. Niagara’s largest least was 20 points, 44-24, while holding the lead for the majority of the first half.

Matt Scott and Khalil Dukes combined for 27 points in the first half, more than the entire Canisius team combined. The senior guards converted seven of the Purple Eagles’ eight three point baskets in the half as well. All 12 of Dukes’ points came from behind the three point line in the opening half, converting on four of his seven opportunities.

Scott led all scorers with 15 points in the opening 20 minutes. The guard also committed four of the team’s five turnovers. However, the Golden Griffins scored just four points off of turnovers. Niagara scored 17 points off of six Canisius turnovers. Crumpton led the Griffs in scoring with 14 points in the first half.

Canisius failed to convert a field goal over the final nine minutes and thirty seconds of the opening half. That helped Niagara score 42 of the half’s final 58 points, and included a 21-8 scoring run over the final ten minutes of the half.

James Towns helped lead Niagara in the second half, as the lead would not get below ten points. The sophomore scored 20 of his 31 overall points in the second half. The Purple Eagles contributed 35 points off of the bench in the win.

Takal Molson and Isaiah Reese each scored the majority of their points in the second half for Canisius. Molson finished with 18 points and five rebounds, while Reese added 14 points and 10 assists in the losing effort. Crumpton led the Griffs with six rebounds and 32 points overall.

Niagara continued with the hot shooting in the second half, converting more than sixty percent from the three point line with seven in the half. Niagara finished the game with 15 three point baskets on 26 tries. They also converted 26 free throw attempts on 28 opportunities in the half.

The Purple Eagles turned the ball over 18 times, compared to eight turnovers for Canisius. However, the visitors enjoyed a 47-29 advantage in rebounding. Scott led all players with 11 rebounds and finished the game with 23 points.

Niagara is now 7-3 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play, and Canisius is 7-2. The Purple Eagles travel to Saint Peter’s on Friday for a 7 p.m. tip-off with the Peacocks. You can hear all of the action right here on WGR Sports Radio 550.

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