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Niagara-Iona Game Thread

Welcome to HSBC Arena on a frigid Saturday afternoon. Updates at broadcast timeouts.

FINAL: Iona 63, Niagara 60: Benn misses 15-footer on last Niagara possession. Dwight makes two FTs with 1.4 seconds left. Second straight time Gaels have beaten Purple Eagles in WNY,.

27.5 left: Iona 61, Niagara 60. Machado drive puts Gaels on top,Niagara ball at own end.

3:55 2nd, Iona 52, Niagara 51: Scott Machado drive puts Gaels ahead, and he's at line to try and complete three-point play after Lewis called for a block. Niagara had 51-46 lead with about seven minutes left but offense has gone dry.

7:40 2nd: Niagara 49, Iona 46: Eagles went up 47-37 but Gaels storm back as Dwight scores five in a 9-0 blitz. Niagara 18-48 from field, Iona 16-42. Gaels have only four second-half turnovers after committing 11 in opening 20 minutes.

11:15 2nd: Niagara 45, Iona 37: Gaels take timeout after 9-0 Niagara run in which Benn had seven. Eric Williams, a 6-8 frosh, giving Purple Eagles big lift off bench on both ends of floor. The lefty has two inside buckets since score tied at 34. 

15:08 2nd: Iona 34, Niagara 32 -- Anthony Nelson heads to line for two after steal and intentional foul call on Alejo Rodriguez. Gaels off to quick start with a pair of threes from Jermel Jenkins.

Halftime: Niagara 28, Iona 26 -- Kind of scrappy game I envisioned, with Iona running a methodical offense and pounding the boards, while Niagara's having to force mistakes in order to get the tempo moving. Austin Cooley three gives Niagara the edge at intermission. Gaels nicely balanced, scoring  from three while also having success on the inside (12 points in paint). Niagara 9-28 from field, 3-10 from three and being outrebounded 22-15. Benn has 10 on 4-of-7 shooting. Rashon Dwight's six lead Iona, which has points from seven players.  Niagara forced 11 turnovers and came up with five steals.

3:11 1st: Iona 23, Niagara 22 -- Lewis will be at line trying to complete three-point play. Gaels went on 8-2 run  with three of the baskets coming in the paint. Iona has 20-11 rebounding advantage.

7:51 1st: Niagara 17, Iona 17 -- Niagara defense generating opportunities as Nelson produces steal and layup and Tyrone Lewis scores off a twisting fastbreak layup.

11:53 1st: Niagara 13, Iona 13 -- Purple Eagles score last four points on a Benn drive and two Demetrius Williamson FTs to erase four-point deficit. Gaels having a field day on the board, particularly at the offensive end. Iona's already cashed three threes.

15:57 1st: Niagara 9, Iona 8 -- Both teams start out hot from the field. Bilal Benn three from the corner gives Niagara the lead at the first break with Anthony Nelson at the line for two when play resumes. It's Gaels' game to set the tempo and they're running a lot of clock to work Niagara on the defensive end and minimize Purple Eagle possessions. Niagara "D" will be key to forcing a more uptempo pace

-- Bob DiCesare


Big 4 | 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.

@TBNDicesare |

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 |