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Siena-Niagara game analysis

Game analysis: Niagara's young talent has found its footing and looks like a legitimate MAAC contender after blowing out Siena, 87-64, on Thursday night at the Gallagher Center.

How Niagara won: The Purple Eagles sizzled from 3-point range while hitting 12 of 24, including 61.5 percent in the first half. They also scored 30 points off 18 Saints turnovers. Four players, led by sophomore Antoine Mason's 23 points, finished in double figures.

Turning Point: Niagara opened a big lead in the second half with a 24-7 run.

Player of the Game: Mason's father, former Knicks forward Anthony Mason, jumped for joy whenever his son made a shot. He jumped quite a bit.

Key stat: Siena is bigger along the frontline, but Niagara claimed the battle on the boards (33-28).

Ejected: Siena's O.D. Anosike was tossed with 7:50 left in the game for arguing with an official and wasn't every forthcoming with information after the game. The ejection probably didn't bother Niagara much considering he was 6 of 11 from the floor with 10 rebounds.

What It Means: The Purple Eagles are off to their best conference start since 1998-99 and are in sole possession of first place at 6-1. Iona, who is 5-1, plays against Fairfield on Friday.

In the House: 1,449

He said it: "Are we ahead of schedule? I don't know what the schedule is. But the team is coming together." - Niagara coach Joe Mihalich.

Up next: The Purple Eagles host Manhattan at 3 p.m. Saturday.

---Rodney McKissic

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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.

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