Courtesy of PurpleEagles.com
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Niagara Purple Eagles were edged by the Marist Red Foxes, 72-66, in their MAAC opener on Friday night.
In a game that featured nine lead changes and four ties, it was the Red Foxes who came out with a narrow win in the final seconds.
Niagara trailed 66-64 when Marist’s Ryan Funk made a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left in the game. A pair of free throws by Kahlil Dukes on Niagara’s next possession cut the lead to 69-66, but Marist made 3 of 4 free throws in the last 12 seconds to seal the win.
The Red Foxes had their largest lead of the game, 27-17, with five minutes left in the first half and went into halftime up 33-28. Niagara opened the second half on a 10-4 run which was capped by a 3-pointer by Dukes to put NU back in front, 38-37. Niagara led 40-39 at the 15-minute mark, after a James Towns’ steal and dunk, but the Red Foxes answered with a 9-0 run in a three-minute span.
Trailing 55-47 with 8:12 remaining, the duo of Matt Scott and Dukes combined for a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to one point with six minutes left. The rest of the game was played in a six-point window, however the Purple Eagles never regained the lead.
Eagle’s Eye On…
· Matt Scott recorded his seventh double-double, and first of the season, with 15 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
· Kahlil Dukes led all scorers with 18 points and had a team-high three assists.
· Dominic Robb rounded out the trio who scored in double figures with 10 points. He had a team-high three blocks, and now has at least two blocks in every game this season.
· Maurice Taylor Jr. grabbed a DI career-high eight rebounds to share team-high honors with Marvin Prochet and Robb.
Inside The Numbers
· Niagara shot 96.3 percent (26-for-27) from the free throw-line for its second highest percentage in program history (minimum 20 made). The record is 96.8 (30-for-31) against Fairfield on Jan. 31, 1998.
· NU outrebounded Marist, 52-33. The 52 rebounds are the most since Niagara’s double-overtime victory over Rider in the 2009 MAAC Tournament semifinals (58) and the most in regulation since the 2008-09 season opener against Towson (59).
· The Purple Eagles continue their conference opening weekend at Iona on Sunday for a 4 p.m. tipoff.
· The game will air live on ESPN3 and the radio broadcast will be on AM 1400 WWWS and PurpleEagles.com.