December 15, 1984 -- For those making a list of memorable college basketball games that were played in Western New York, one will come to mind immediately.
St. John's University came to the Niagara Falls Convention Center for a game with Niagara. This was one of the great St. John's teams in school history. Ever hear of Chris Mullin? Mark Jackson? Walter Berry? They were on the team, along with center Bill Wennington. St. John's made it to the Final Four the following spring.
Yet, Niagara beat the Redmen, 62-59.
The game was played in almost a dream-like state. Niagara got ahead, and kept holding off rally after rally by St. John's. Surely the visitors would get over the hump and win.
But they never did. Joe Arlaukus finished with 20 points for the Purple Eagles, while Joe Alexander added 15.
About 7,000 were on hand for the game, and many won't ever forget it.
--- Budd Bailey