Times Union Center has been a house of horrors for years for the area’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams.
The tradition continued Friday night as Canisius frittered away a 13-point second half lead, as Siena handed the Golden Griffins a loss at the buzzer, 57-54, in men’s basketball Friday in Albany before 5,986.
Meanwhile in Jersey City, Niagara won its fourth conference game in a row, routing Saint Peter’s 77-58 before 1,103 at the Yanitelli Center.
In Albany, Rakeem Brookins (13 points) canned the game-winning basket from 25 feet after Billy Baron missed a trey with 12 seconds left. The loss prevented Griffs coach Jim Baron from securing his 400th career victory.
Canisius (10-6, 3-2) returns to action at 2 p.m. Sunday versus Iona in New Rochelle.
The Golden Griffins led by seven at halftime and increased their advantage to 13 with 12:18 left on a three-pointer by Harold Washington (12 points).
But turnovers, fouls and poor shooting down the stretch contributed to Canisius’ 14th loss in 15 games against Siena (3-13, 1-4).
The Griffs, who shot 33 percent in the second half and scored only 10 points over the final 10 minutes, haven’t beaten the Saints at Times Union Center since Jan. 17, 2005.
“They stepped up and made their plays and shots and we fell short,” Griffs coach Jim Baron said.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Evan Hymes (20 points) gave Siena a 50-49 lead with 5:07 left. Jordan Heath’s three-pointer with 2:15 left gave Canisius its final lead, 54-53. Brookins tied it with a free throw with 1:07 left.
Isaac Sosa led the Griffs with 13 points, while Billy Baron had 12 points and eight assists.
In Jersey City, Antoine Mason’s three-pointer with 6:09 left in the first half gave Niagara a 21-19 lead. The Purple Eagles (8-8, 4-1), who fell behind 7-0, never trailed after that.
The trey was part of a 11-0 burst as Juan’ya Green followed with two three-pointers and a two-point basket for Niagara, which last won four straight MAAC games late in 2009.
Mason led NU with 26 points – including 19 in the second half on 7-of-9 shooting, while Green had 19.
Niagara visits Fairfield at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Chris Burke had 17 points to lead the Peacocks (6-9, 1-4).
Canisius’ and Niagara’s women’s teams remain on the road, hoping to close out their respective trips with victories.
Niagara (7-7, 2-1) brings a two-game winning streak into its 2 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference clash with Fairfield. This is the first time the Purple Eagles have been at .500 this late into a season since 2006-07. NU has lost its last five meetings against the Stags since earning its last win in the series Jan. 16, 2010, 52-49, at Fairfield.
Lauren Gatto recorded a double-double (14 points and 11 rebounds) in Niagara’s win Thursday at Saint Peter’s.
Meanwhile, the Golden Griffins are searching for their fourth win in five games and second in a row when they face winless Saint Peter’s (0-14, 0-3) in Jersey City, N.J. at 2 p.m.
Canisius (5-9, 2-1) won its last start, 51-50, at Rider on a pair of Jamie Ruttle free throws with 16 seconds left. That was the 42nd time during coach Terry Zeh’s nine seasons the Griffs have won a game decided by five points or fewer or games that go to overtime, tied for most in the conference since the start of the 2004-05 season.