Niagara, playing without leading scorer Antoine Mason for the fourth consecutive game, nevertheless took another step toward claiming the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship with a 57-54 victory over Marist on Friday night in Poughkeepsie.
Sophomore guard Juan’ya Green, who finished with a game-high 20 points, broke a tie at 54 on a three-pointer with two seconds left in the contest to win the game for the Purple Eagles (15-11, 11-4).
Niagara remains in sole possession of first place and has a one-game lead over Loyola (Md.), which plays at Siena today. Mason, who averages 18.9 points a game, has been out with an ankle injury and the team is now 1-3 in his absence.
Meanwhile, the Niagara women’s basketball team had its winning streak stopped at three games by Marist, 68-41, at McCann Arena.
The Red Foxes (18-6, 13-0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) built their lead early in the game while the Purple Eagles (12-12, 7-6) didn’t shooting well.
Marist led, 35-15, at halftime. Niagara shot just 15 of 57 (26.3 percent) for the game.
Shy Britton scored a team-high eight points for the Purple Eagles, while Val McQuade led the team with eight rebounds.
In Big 4 men’s basketball today, Canisius tries to regain its footing in the MAAC race after a loss Thursday at Loyola, plays at last place Saint Peter’s at 2 p.m.
The Golden Griffins (16-10, 9-6) are two games out of first place. This is Canisius’ final road MAAC game of the season and a win today would give the Griffs a winning league record on the road for the first time since 1996-97.
After back-to-back home games, the University at Buffalo men (10-15, 5-6 Mid-American Conference) travel to Miami (Ohio) to take on the RedHawks (8-15, 3-8) at 3:30 today.
St. Bonaventure (11-12, 4-6 Atlantic 10) heads back on the road after a heartbreaking overtime loss Wednesday to La Salle for another crucial conference matchup, this time against Richmond (14-11, 4-6) at 6 p.m.
The Bonnies — who dropped a 69-66 decision to the Explorers on Wednesday — will look to earn their fourth A-10 road victory.
In Big 4 women’s basketball, UB (7-16, 5-5) concludes play against MAC West Division foes as it faces Eastern Michigan (6-17 4-6) at 2 at the Convocation Center. It is a pivotal contest for seeding in the conference tournament for both teams, which sit within one game of each other in the standings. The Bulls are coming off a loss at Central Michigan; Eastern defeated Ohio last Saturday.
Also at 2 p.m., Canisius (9-15, 6-7) plays at Iona (13-11, 8-5). Ashley Durham is averaging 22.7 points in the last three games against the Gaels, to go along with 14 assists, 14 rebounds and 11 three-pointers.
Elsewhere in local men’s college basketball, Hilbert (18-5, 12-4) is in a three-way tie for second place in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference heading into their contest at 3 against La Roche. The 18 victories are a school record. The Hawks are riding a five-game win streak.