Niagara 75, Canisius 56
How Niagara Won: Redshirt Antoine Mason is the scorer it looked like he would be before injury cut short his true freshman season. And Marvin "The Microwave" Jordan? When he's hitting threes, watch out. The scoring exploits of those two, Juan'ya Green's passing and a zone that befuddled Canisius during the game's key juncture was all Niagara needed to run its winning streak to a season-high three games. The Purple Eagles are simply more talented and deeper.
Player of the Game: Mason said earlier in the week how he relished rivalry games. It showed. He had a game-high 22 points in his Niagara-Canisius debut and cut short a late Canisius rally with a mid-range jumper in the face of tough defense. That gave Niagara a seven-point lead with a little more than 5 minutes left. The Purple Eagles soared from there.
Missing in Action: This is the second time Harold Washington has disappeared against a Big 4 rival. He was no where to be found at UB. He faded to the background in this one, scoring just six points and none until 6:35 remained. Washington, a junior transfer, came in averaging 17.6.
Best Supporting Roles: Jordan's fully embraced entering off the bench. He entered and produced three straight threes as Niagara went from down 15-11 to up 20-11. And Green continues to show impressive maturity for a first-year player. Although he came in as the nation's leading freshman scorer, he subordinated himself to a director's role for a second straight game, dishing out a career-high 11 assists to break the mark of nine he set last game out. Looks like he just wants to win.
Stat of the Game: The Griffs went 7:03 without a field goal while Niagara's lead went from 26-19 to 37-21.
Out Indefinitely: Canisius reserve guard Reggie Groves didn't see the floor. He twisted a knee last week and already suffers from severe arthritis in the knees. Coach Tom Parrotta said Groves's future is uncertain.
They Said It . . .
Niagara coach Joe Mihalich on Jordan's torrid start: "I'll always ask the assistants what the warmup was like. All three of them talked about Marvin. They said 'MJ is ready to go.'
Mason on Jordan: "Once the shots started falling it opened up the whole floor. We needed Marvin, The Microwave, to heat up."
Canisius guard Gaby Belardo on the Griffs' offensive struggles : They had some good adjustments in the second half. They were playing tough defense on us. They knew me and Shwan (Alshwan Hymes) were on fire in the first half. They made some adjustments on me and him."
What It Means: Niagara's up to 4-4 in the MAAC and 9-11 overall. The Griffs are 4-14, 1-7.
In the House: A virtual sellout at 2,196. Good showing by the student body. It would have been crisis stage on Main Street had the students turned their backs on a Niagara game.
Next: The upcoming five games should define Niagara's capabilities. They're at Manhattan Sunday, then get Loyola and Manhattan at home before road games at Fairfield and Rider. A 3-2 showing would position them well for the stretch. Canisius continues its search for answers Sunday at Rider.
taggedCanisius | College basketball | Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference | Niagara