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Niagara's record no longer perfect

Niagara faded down the stretch, managinged just one basket in the final six minutes, and suffered its first loss of the season to Duquesne, 76-65, before 2,402 in the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Duquesne, which often substitutes five men at a time and plays an up-tempo game, took the lead, 58-57, on a pair of free throws by Kieron Achara and outscored the Purple Eagles, 18-8, the rest of the way. It was the fifth straight win for the undefeated Dukes, off to their best start since the 1985-86 season.

Niagara led, 39-35, at the half, but shot only 25.8 percent (8 for 31) in the second half and had 19 turnovers.

"I thought we played well for the first 35 minutes, but maybe their pressure finally wore us down," said Niagara coach Joe Mihalich.

Seniors Charron Fisher (25) and Stanley Hodge (18) combined for 43 points for Niagara. Backing up the Duquesne pressure was 6-foot-10 Shawn James, the nation's leading shot blocker, who rejected seven shots. He also had 10 points and 13 rebounds. Kojo Mensah, a junior transfer from Siena, led the Dukes with 17 points.

The Purple Eagles will be back in action Wednesday when they host St. Bonaventure at 7 p.m.


>Griffs can't hang on

BROOKLYN -- Winless Canisius let a 16-point second half lead slip away and lost its fourth in a row, 70-63, to Long Island University on Saturday night.

The Griffs owned a 47-31 lead with 16:07 left but were outscored, 26-9, by the Blackbirds over the next 10 minutes.

Junior college transfer Willie Hassell, who had struggled in the first three games, was the lone bright spot for Canisius. Hassell scored 19 points, six more than the 13 he had tallied in his first three games for the Griffs. Hassell, who came into the game shooting 18.5 percent (5 of 27), made 8 of 17 and was 3 for 10 from three-point range. He also had four assists and four steals.

Frank Turner and Jovan Robinson scored 11 points each for Canisius. Freshman Elton Frazer had nine points before he fouled out with 5:41 left in the game.

Kyle Johnson, a freshman from Toronto, led the Blackbirds with 18 points.

Canisius will play at UB on Tuesday night and end a series of five straight road games at St. Bonaventure next Saturday.


>Bonnies lose at home

OLEAN -- Big games from seniors Mike Lee and Tyler Relph weren't enough to produce a victory for St. Bonaventure on the Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center. Bona dropped a 63-60 verdict to Eastern Michigan.

Lee scored a game-high 22 points and had nine rebounds while Relph had 14 points for the Bonnies (3-3).

The visiting Eagles scored their last five points at the foul line in the final 65 seconds after a pair of free throws by Relph had tied the game at 58-all.

Jesse Bunkley, a 6-5 senior guard led Eastern Michigan with 17 points, and Jarred Axon added 15 for the Eagles (3-2).

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