After a home loss to Loyola (Md.) on Saturday, first-place Niagara will try to get back on the winning track in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s basketball against Rider tonight in Lawrenceville, N.J. (Radio 1520 AM, 7:30 p.m.).
Despite their 10-2 record in MAAC play, little has come easy for the Purple Eagles and tonight doesn’t figure to be different. Five of Niagara’s conference wins have been by four points or less or overtime and Rider (7-5) is sitting just one game behind the three 8-4 teams tied for second place in the conference standings. Also, Niagara has lost five straight on the Broncs’ home court since their last win there in the 2006-07 season.
Rider has a trio of double-figure scorers in Anthony Myles (11.8), Jonathon Thompson (11.5) and Daniel Stewart (11.3) to duel with Niagara’s top scorers Antoine Mason (18.9) and Juan’ya Green (16.7).
Canisius (15-8, 8-4 MAAC) will play at Manhattan (7-15, 5-7 MAAC) in Riverdale (Radio 1400 AM, 7 p.m.), the first of five straight road games for the Golden Griffins.
The Niagara and Canisius women’s teams also will face MAAC opponents at home today. Niagara (10-11, 5-5) will play Loyola (9-12, 4-6) in an 11 a.m. Kids’ Day game in the Gallagher Center. The Greyhounds defeated Niagara, 71-68, in overtime on Jan. 31 in their first meeting. Lauren Gatto leads the Purple Eagles with a 15.2 scoring average, but has been averaging closer to 20 (19.5) in NU’s most recent wins.
Canisius (8-13, 5-5 MAAC) will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak when it faces Saint Peter’s (1-20, 1-9 MAAC) in the Koessler Center at 7 p.m.
In other Big 4 women’s games, the University at Buffalo (7-14, 5-3 Mid-American Conference) will face Bowling Green (14-7, 5-3 MAC) at Alumni Arena (Radio 1340 AM, 7 p.m.). It will be UB’s Play4Kay game where they will wear pink uniforms to help increase cancer awareness. The visiting Falcons scored an impressive 84-59 win over MAC West leader Central Michigan. UB lost at Akron, 75-57, in its last game, snapping a three-game MAC winning streak.
St. Bonaventure (9-13, 2-5 A-10) will be trying to snap a three-game losing streak at Duquesne (17-3, 6-1) in the Atlantic 10.