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Live from the Gallagher Center

The Niagara men’s basketball team opens its season against Central Connecticut.

CC lost its opener Friday, 73-69, to Yale in the Connecticut 6 Classic Tripleheader at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

CC has eight returnees from last year’s 19-12 outfit including Northeast Conference Player of the Year Ken Horton, who had 12 double-doubles last year. 

In the Blue Devils’ opener freshman Kyle Vinales had 24 points, while Horton had 21.

Niagara has a young squad with just one senior in Paul Kowalski, a walk-on who has played only nine minutes in three years. Three key returnees from last year’s 9-23 outfit are sophomores.

Should be interesting.

NU starters: Gillette-Green-Tanksley-Mason-Jordan

CC starters: Vinales-McMillan-Efese, Ptacek-Horton

First half

CC; Vinales trey, 19:09 left, CC 3-0

NU: steal Tanksley and Mason finishes it with layup, 18:35 left, CC 3-2 lead

C: Vinales layup, 18:10, CC 5-2

C: Efese layup, 17:45, CC 7-2

C: Missed trey NU, and Vinales layup and fouled, 17:38, CC 9-2

CC: Vinales hits free throw, CC, 10-2

NU: Mason at line for two 17:20 left, hits both, CC 10-4 lead

CC: Horton putback of Efese miss, 17:00, CC 12-4

Steal CC leads to Vinales layup, 16:35, 14-4

Timeout NU, 16:35 left. NU likes to play fast historically under Joe Mihalich but they’re trying to go a little too fast. Good timeout so close to media timeout.

After media timeout

NU: Tanksley layup, 15:41, CC 16-6

NU Tanksley putback, 15:10, CC 16-8

C: Vinales layup 14:44 left, CC 18-8 (Vinales has 14 points alrfeady)

C: turnover one end, leads to Vinales layup and foul, 14:32, CC 20-8.

C: Vinales free throw is good, CC 21-8 (Vinales 17 points)

NU: Green fouled on shot. 14:20 left. Hits both free throws.. CC 21-10

C: After NU miss, CC gets rebound and long pass to open Vinales, 13:20, CC leads 23-10

NU: Mason basket, 13:09, CC leads 23-12

CC; Ptcek free throws, to make it 25-12

CC; Horton three-pointer, CC 28-12 with 12:08 left

NU timeout

Media timeout, 11:57 left. C 28-12 leaders

NU: Langford layup, 11:36. CC 28-14

CC: Horton at line 11:22 left and makes both, CC 30-14

NU miss, CC rebound and

CC Ptacek layup, 10:58, CC 32-14

C: Vinales free throw, 10:44, CC 33-14

NU: Green laup and foul, 10:00, CC 33-16

NU: Green misses free throw

CC: Vinales trey, 9:43, open, 36-16

NU: Lemmons trey and foul, 9:24, CC 36-19

NU: Lemmons misses FT

Turnover CC on offense via charge

NU: Green three-pointer, 8:56, CC 36-22

Turnover OB CC with 8:48 left

Timeout CC, 8:48 left

CC: Horton layup, 8:22, CC 38-22

NU: Airball and tie up goes to CC

CC: Ptacek basket via goaltending, 7:20, CC leads, 40-22

NU: Lemmons at line for two, hits both, 7:00 left. CC leads 40-24

CC: Vinales misses a three-pointer. It’s noteworthy because up until this point, he was 9 for 11 from the floor, 2 for 2 from beyond the arc, with 6:32 left.

NU: Jordan at line for one-and-one, 6:19 left. Hits both. CC leads 40-26

CC: Shelton two misses, the second on  block by Gillete.

CC: Horton layup, CC 42-25

NU: Green basket

NU: steal Lemmons, miss Green and dunk by Gillette and foul, 5:11 left, CC leads, 42-30

NU Gillette hits free throw, 42-31

NU Jordan steal and lay up 4:55 left, 42-33

CC: McMillan, 1-2 at line, 4:48 left. CC 43-33

CC: Vinales miss, rebound Niagara and foul CC Ptacek.

U: Jordan at line for two, 4:19 left. Hits both. CC leads 43-35

Pressure defense helping NU comeback; off ball fol CC.

Media timeout 3:53 left. CC leads 43-35.

CC: Vinale three pointer 2:53 left, CC leads 46-35

NU: Jordan at line, hits first, misses second. CC 46-36

CC: Vinales from downtown (too much room for him), 1:26 left, CC 49-36

NU: Green at line wih 1:11 left, hits both. CC 49-38

CC; Allen fouled hard. Think refs called flagrant, with 12.4 left. Vs. Eric Williams of Niagara and he’s been ejected

CC: Allen at line, hits both free throws. CC 51-38, CC still has possession

CC: wild miss

NU: Lemmons three-pointer beats buzzer from 2-3 feet beyond arc.

 HALFTIME: CC leads, 51-41

Second half

NU: Green misses first shot of half.

Gillette picks up his third foul

CC: Vinales trey, 19:12, CC 54-41

NU: Green basket, 18:59, CC 54-43

CC: Horton putback tip, 18:33, CC 56-43

NU: Jordan layup and foul, 18:29. CC 56-45

NU: Jordan hits free throw. CC 56-46

CC; Efese basket, 18:15, CC 58-46

NU: Gillette at line for two, hits both, CC 58-48

NU: Tanksley basket, 16:48 left, CC 58-50 (CLOSEST NU has BEEN IN WHILE)

NU: Gillete basket, 15:53, CC 58-52

Media timeout, 15:35 left. CC 58-52

Four fouls on Vinales. Could open the door for NU.

NU: Jordan long two, 15:06, CC 58-54

NU: Green layup in transition, 14:46 left. CC 58-56

CC: Burbage miss, gets own rebound but called for charge on drive 14:09 left.

Steal cc Simmons and NU Lemmons hustles back to break up seemingly sure two-points, knocking ball OB. Then offensive foul on CC McMIllan (his third, teamlff ball fou)

Spech foul fo CC, off ball, team’s seventh

NU Green at line one and one, 13:@4 eft, hits both, loud cheer as game tied 58-58

CC: Mickell at line for two, misses first, hits second, 13:12, CC 59-58 lead

Turnover OB Langford pass to no one on entry. NU player zigged instead of zagged

CC; Ptacek layup, 12:25, CC 61-58

NU: Lnagford basket 12:05, CC 61-60

NU: Thomas layup on break and place goes crazy, 11:15 left. NU leads 62-61.

Tmeout CC, 11:15

NU: Steal NU Jordan lazy cross court pass and dunk, 10:55 left. NU 64-61 lead

CC; VInales trey, 10:34,  TIED 64-64

NU: Green basket, 66-64, 10:28

TIMEOUT with 10:03 left, NU LEADS 66-64

TIMEOUT with 10:03 lef

NU: Jordan three, 9:55 left, NU 69-64 lead


CC: Vinales two-pointer, 8:45, NU 69-66

NU: Jordan at line one-and-one, hits both, 8:37 left, NU leads, 71-66

CC: Vinales trey, 8:13 left after almost losing ball, 71-68

NU: Thomas basket, NU leads 73-68

CC miss, reb, NU and Jordan draws the fifth foul on Vinales, who tried to draw charge with 7:45 left. Freshman mistake, should’ve just got out of the way. Exits game with 39 points.

NU: Jordan hits both free throws, NU 75-68

Steal in paint NU Jordan hitting deck, slow to get up, but gets up into the play

Five-second call vs. NU with 7:!5 left

CC: Horton at line 6:59 left for one-and-one. Hits both. NU leads 75-70

NU: Tankersly basket, 77-70

CC: Horton three pointer, 6:30 left, 77-73

NU: Mason basket and fouled with 6:25 left, NU leads 79-73.

NU: Mason free throw is good. NU leads, 80-73

CC; Horton turnaround J off glass, 5:51, NU leads, 80-75

CC; steal and McMIllan fouled while going up

CC; McMillan at line with 5:46 left, misses first, misses second, follows shot and gets rebound and fouled with 5:44 left.

CC: McMillan at line for two (both teams in double bonus as Gillette fouls out for Niagara), 5;44 left. Hits both. NU leads 80-77

Bad pass NU Lemmons, CC misses layup, rebound NU

NU: two misses in paint (Mason and Thomas) but ball OB on CC.

NU: Thomas at line for two, 5:04 left. Hits first, misses second. NU leads 81-77

CC: Ptacek trey, 4:51 left. NU leads, 81-80

Turnover NU, foot on line on inbounds and ball to CC

 CC; Mickell layup, 4:21 left, CC leads, 82-81.

Crazy game

Steal CC and ends with Mickell getting friendly bounce on trey, 3:55 left, CC leads 85-81

NU Lemmons miss, Thomas rebound and fouled with 3:39 left

Media timeout 3:39 left, CC leads 85-81

NU: Thomas hits one of two at line, 3:39, CC leads 85-82

10 second violation vs. CC

NU: Jordan miss, lemons losses battle for rebound

Thomas rejects Efese with 2:30 left on close-in shot, NU gets ball

Foul on NU Thomas for pick

CC miss, rebound Niagara

NU mason fouled on baseline drive with 1:54 left

NU: Mason at line, 1:54 left, miss, hit, CC leads, 85-83

CC miss, 1:19 left

45.9 left: CC McMillan hts one of two at line, CC 86-84

NU: Jordan drive and layup, 33.5 left, TIED 86-86

Timeout CC with 3.6 seconds left

Steal Lemmons but can’t get handle and we’re going to overtime

CC: Efese layup, CC 88-86

NU: Thomas tip in, 4:25 TIED 88-88

NU: Mihason at line for three, 4:04 left, hits fvirst two, NU Langford reboud, NU 90=88 lead. ,miss mason, rebound Jordan

NU: Thomas layup and foul off dish from Langford, 3:36 left, NU leads 92-88

NU: Thomas adds free throw, 93-88

NU: Lnagford three, 2:55, NU leads 96-88

CC: PTseck, 2:33, NU 96-90 lead

NU: Green drive and layup off nice Thomas screen,  2:10, 98-90 NU

Tnover ob CC with 2:01 left

CC; PTacek basket

NU: Green two free throws 119 left, NU leads 100-93

Block Thomas leads to free throw chance for NU


 missed ft

NU Thomas, makes it 102-92 with 25 seconds lef

This things over

NU wins it 102-93

---Miguel Rodriguez

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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 |