Antoine Mason, the nation’s leading scorer, was held to 20 points as Niagara fell to 1-7 after losing to Arkansas State on Monday, 86-61, in Jonesboro, Ark.
Mason, who entered the contest averaging 32 points a game, had scored 30 or more in six of the Purple Eagles first seven games. Niagara’s lone victory this season came at the Gallagher Center against the University at Buffalo.
Niagara trailed, 45-26, at the half but closed within nine points at 60-51 with 8:54 left in the game after a lay-up by Wesley Myers. But Arkansas State went on a 13-1 run to end Niagara’s rally. Marvin Jordan finished with 14 points for Niagara, which returns home Friday for its conference opener against Siena.
Elsewhere, after going 2-1 at the Gulf Coast Showcase last week, St. Bonaventure returns home to host UMass-Lowell tonight (7 p.m., Radio 95.7) at the Reilly Center.
This is the Bonnies’ only home game in the middle of a stretch where they are on the road for eight out of nine games, a span of 45 days. The Bonnies are 3-0 at the Reilly Center this season.
The Bonnies were the runner-up in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla. They defeated Southern Illinois and Wagner to advance to the championship game before losing to Louisiana Tech, 76-72.
Senior guard Matthew Wright was named to the all-tournament team after he averaged 23.6 points over the three games, including a career-high 32 against Southern Illinois. Senior point guard Charlon Kloof averaged 15 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists with a career-best 24 points against Louisiana Tech.
The Riverhawks are in their first season in Division I and picked up their first win of the season on Sunday by defeating Division III Mount Ida, 73-49. UMass-Lowell’s losses were to national runner up Michigan, Boston University, Dartmouth, Brown, Rhode Island and Cincinnati.