Sophomore guard Juan’ya Green scored 11 of Niagara’s last 15 points in the final 6:19 of a 60-56 victory over Manhattan on Sunday in Riverdale, moving the Purple Eagles one step closer to clinching the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s basketball regular season championship.
Niagara (16-11 12-4 MAAC) led most of the game but had to keep fighting off the Jaspers (10-16, 8-8 MAAC), who had won their last four games.
Tahjere McCall’s layup basket put Niagara in front for good, 45-43, with 7:00 left. Green took over from there, scoring on two layups, then hitting a three-point shot and making 4 of 4 from the line in the final 22 seconds.
Green finished with 18 points two days after scoring the game-winning basket, a three-pointer, with 2 seconds left in a 57-54 triumph at Marist.
Any title clinching will have to wait for the Purple Eagles, who own a one-game lead with two to play over Loyola (11-5) in the MAAC standings. Niagara’s next game in the MAAC is not until Feb. 28 at home against Rider. It closes its conference schedule against Saint Peter’s at home March 2.
Until Sunday, Manhattan was riding the longest active win streak in the MAAC.
Green posted 13 points in the second half. He dished out four assists and shot a perfect 5 for 5 from the free-throw line. Junior guard Marvin Jordan added 16 points with four three-pointers, helping Niagara pick up its second straight win.
Manhattan’s next game is at the University at Buffalo in a BracketBuster game Saturday at 2 while Niagara will meet Northwestern State (La.) in a 3 p.m. BracketBuster in the Gallagher Center.
In Big 4 women’s basketball, Siena took charge after a see-saw first half, and defeated Niagara, 54-49, in Loudonville.
“When you turn the ball over 24 times, it makes it tough to be successful,” NU head coach Kendra Faustin said. “I thought they did a great job defensively in their zone and making us uncomfortable. I didn’t think we did a great job attacking at the rim and then rebounding. ”
Siena (10-15, 6-8 MAAC) led at the half, 25-23, but built a double-digit advantage early in the second half. Meghan McGuinness led Niagara with 15 points. Lauren Gatto had 13.
In the Hinkle Field House in Indianapolis, St. Bonaventure (9-16, 2-8 Atlantic 10) struggled mightily on the offensive end in the second half, allowing Butler (15-10, 6-4 A-10) to run away with the 64-46 victory.
Ashley Zahn scored 12 points, all in the first half, on 4-for-4 shooting from long range to lead the Bonnies.
Doris Ortega added 10 points while freshman Katie Healy (Lancaster) finished with nine points and six rebounds.