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Canisius vs. Niagara game thread

End of game: Niagara wins, 75-69, and goes to 6-3 in the MAAC. Griffs fall to 2-8, but it's a decent loss for a team that seems to be on the rise. Egemonye had 24 points for the winners. Nelson had 11 points, seven assists, two steals and no turnovers. Turner led Canisius with 22 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Coles had  17. The Griffs had a 42-26 edge on the boards.

28.5 seconds left in the second half: Nelson is fouled right away in the backcourt and makes both free throws. Nelson is a really solid complement to a very athletic squad. Niagara, 74-69. 

30.3 seconds left: Frank Turner hits two free throws -- after Lewis missed two for Niagara -- and Canisius is down only three, 72-69. Griffs call timeout to set up their press. Niagara has been very dependable with the ball. Anthony Nelson, the quiet point guard, hasn't turned the ball over all night. 

3:58 left in the second half: Niagara answered immediately after falling behind. The Eagles are up, 67-63. Rob Garrison (Niagara Falls), who had been quiet all night, made an uncontested layup at the left baseline to give Niagara the lead. Canisius has been careless with the ball since taking the lead.  

5:39 left in the second half: Julius Coles makes two free throws after getting fouled on a break and it's Canisius, 63-61. This has been an impressive run by the Griffs, who have been utterly unfazed by the Eagles' home crowd and athletic ability. They've been attacking on every possession and putting the heat on Niagara the whole way. Great game, one of the best I can remember in the old rivalry.

8:21 left in the second half: It's 59-53, Eagles. Maybe it was the Frazier dunk, but the pace got even faster the past few minutes. Canisius is showing a lot of spunk after being down 14. The Griffs are pushing the ball at every opportunity and getting good shots in transition. Frazier missed three of four free throws during one stretch, or it would be even closer.

11:29 left in the second half: Wow. The Gallagher Center crowd is still buzzing over a left-handed follow up slam dunk by Canisius sophomore Elton Frazier.  It's 54-45, Niagara, but that's the best dunk I've seen around here in many a year. It might even make SportsCenter. It's plays like that where you realize why Frazier was regarded as a top 100 national recruit.

15:00 left in the second half: Niagara extends to a 47-35 lead. Tomas Vazquez-Simmons  answers down low for Canisius, but Anthony Nelson scores on the break for the Eagles to make it 49-37. Niagara gets another steal and Lewis hits a 17-foot pullup jumper for a 51-37 lead, the biggest of the night.

End of first half:  Williamson, the Eagles' intelligent sixth man, hit his second three-pointer of the half to give Niagara a 40-31 lead going into the break. Anthony Nelson forced a bad shot with five seconds left, giving the Griffs a final possession before halftime but Turner missed a runner at the horn. 

Benn and Egemonye had 10 points apiece for Niagara, which turned it over only three times. Turner has 12 and Gadley six off the bench for Canisius --- Jerry Sullivan

2:01 left in the first half: Niagara is out to a 35-26 lead after a three-pointer by Tyrone Lewis from the right wing, his second three in the last few minutes. When Lewis is making the long ones, Niagara is a very dangerous team. Gadley is making a difference for Canisius, posting up low and getting to the line. If he stays healthy and continues to get into game shape, the Griffs will be a factor as the MAAC season rolls on.  

7:44: Canisius continues to hang, despite an aggressive Niagara defense that is making it tough for the Griffs to run their offense. Freshman Austin Cooley gave the Eagles a lift off the bench with a steal and breakaway dunk. But junior guard Frank Turner, who always seems to rise to the occasion in this rivalry, hit a three-pointer to make it 27-20, Eagles. Turner scored again to make it 27-24 after the timeout and has 10 points to lead all scorers.

11:47: No letup in the intensity, that's for sure. Niagara leads, 21-13, after an exhilirating run that featured a resounding shot block by Egemonye, who swatted Julius Coles' shot to halfcourt to begin a fastbreak that ended with a three-pointer by Demetrius Williamson in front of the Griffs' bench. But Canisius isn't backing down.

15:45 left in the first  half: As expected, a high-energy start as Niagara gets out to a 10-7 lead. Benson Egemonye didn't seem impressed with Canisius' high ranking in national field-goal defense. The 6-10 senior has worked his way inside for three layups. Chris Gadley, who has missed six games with a back injury, has checked in for the Griffs to deal with the big guy.

Big game for Niagara tonight. With a loss, the Purple Eagles would fall to 5-4 and into a three-way tie for third in the MAAC. It would raise a lot of questions about their status as a legitimate title contender. They need to be patient and try to get inside the Canisius half-court defense. Chucking three-pointers won't get it done. The Griffs are 24th in the country in field-goal percentage at 38.7, so it won't be easy. This series always makes for intense games and it won't be a surprise if it's ragged early --- Jerry Sullivan.

Probable starters

G Frank Turner
G Julius Coles
G Elton Frazier
F Tomas Vazquez-Simmons
F Greg Logins

G Anthony Nelson
G Tyrone Lewis
G Rob Garrison
G/F Bilal Benn
C Benson Egemonye


Big 4 | Canisius | College basketball | Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference | Niagara
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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |