The Niagara University men’s basketball team rallied from a 26-point deficit against USC Upstate on Thursday night, but eventually fell, 83-74, in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic Subregional in Kent, Ohio.
Junior guard Antoine Mason scored 21 of his game-high 31 points in the second half, while senior Marvin Jordan scored all 11 of his points in the second half, including draining his 219th career three-pointer for his 1,000th career point.
The Purple Eagles trimmed the South Carolina school’s lead to four points with 1:45 remaining, but the rally fizzled when Niagara went cold from the field and the Spartans went 5 for 8 at the free-throw line.
The Purple Eagles (1-2) continue play in the Coaches vs. Cancer subregional today at 5 p.m. against Western Carolina.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Canisius College, which is off to its best start since the 2007-08 season, hosts Akron at 7 tonight at the Koessler Center.
The Golden Griffins (3-1) played three road games in a span of six days but play their next four in Western New York, including Wednesday’s game against Big 4 rival the University at Buffalo.
Senior guard Jen Morabito averages a team-best 11.8 points followed by Jamie Ruttle (9.8), Kayla Hoohuli (9.5) and Tiahana Mills (8.8).
Akron (2-2) defeated Florida Atlantic and Tennessee Tech, but lost at Dayton and Wright State.
Rachel Tecca (29.2 ppg.) and Hanna Luburgh (27.0) rank in the top 10 nationally in scoring and combine to take 37 shots per game.
Hanna Plybon is shooting 60 percent (9 for 15) on three-pointers through four games.
Elsewhere, the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team travels to Connecticut to participate in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge. The Bonnies (4-1) will play three games in three days, beginning tonight against Monmouth, then face Boston University on Saturday and top-ranked Connecticut on Sunday.
The Bonnies are led by redshirt freshman Gabby Richmond and sophomores Katie Healy, Nyla Rueter and Hannah Little. Richmond and Healy are both averaging 15.2 points while Rueter registered a personal-high 18 points in the team’s victory Tuesday over Niagara. Little is tied for the team-high in rebounds with Healy with seven, while averaging 6.8 points per game.
Monmouth (0-3) is rebuilding after losing four starters from last year’s team.
HOCKEY: Niagara, in search of its first road victory, travels to Michigan (7-2-1) tonight. (7:05 p.m., Radio 1340).
The Purple Eagles, 0-5-1 on the road and 3-7-1 overall, are in second place in the Atlantic Hockey Association, at seven points but do not play again at home until Jan. 10. Ryan Rashid, Mike Conderman and Hugo Turcotte lead the Purple Eagles in scoring with eight points each.