Niagara 68, Vermont 58
How Niagara Won: What's the Gallagher Center turning into, Fort Niagara? The Purple Eagles forced 19 turnovers and held the Catamounts to 38 percent shooting. They've forced 41 turnovers the last two games in mouting their first winning streak of the season.
Turning Point: The first half was a grind, with Niagara holding a 19-18 advantage. The second half was barely two minutes old when the Purple Eagles had pushed their edge to 28-21. Antoine Mason had five points during the surge and the steal that led to Juan'ya Green's transition layup.
Player of the Game: Mason a sophomore is a different player than Mason the freshman. He's taking better shots and as a result he's making more shots. His 25 points matched his season high set against St. Francis in the second game of the season.
Best Supporting Role: Juan'ya Green scored all 17 of his points in the second half. Green has shown a penchant for becoming more assertive offensively after intermission.
Stat Check: Freshman T.J. Cline came off the bench to pull down a team-high 10 boards in 23 minutes.
Stat Check II: Niagara shot 54.5 percent in the second half (12 of 22) after a 25 percent first half (7 of 28).
What It Means: Niagara (5-6) has won two in a row for the first time this season.
In the House: There were 1,491 at the Gallagher Center with many of the students already on break.
They Said It
Niagara coach Joe Mihalich on what the addition of fifth-year senior transfer Devon White has meant to the defense:
"We knew Devon would make us a better defensive team. He's a big person. He takes up space. He has good instincts. He's active. As he gets in better and better shape I think he'll foul less."
Mason on the addition of White:
"They could see he's a big presence so we can get up on them with more confidence that we have help."
Mihalich on what defense Niagara's actually playing:
"It's good that you can't tell what it is. Now the problem is sometimes we don't know. We're just out there scrambling around."
Next Up: Niagara plays its penultimate non-conference game of the season Friday night at No. 22 Notre Dame.
-- Bob DiCesare
taggedCollege basketball | Niagara