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Luck continues for Canisius in Las Vegas

The dice continued to be hot for the Canisius College men’s basketball team in Nevada. Coming off a historic triple-overtime win against the University of Louisana-Monroe, the Golden Griffins had enough legs for one more win, this time 83-74 over Nicholls State in the Las Vegas Classic on Wednesday night.

The Griffs trailed Nicholls by six early in the second half, but the Griffs went on a 12-6 run and tied the game, 55-55, on a three-pointer from Phil Valenti. From there Canisius went on an 11-3 run to take a 66-58 lead and control of the game.

“I’m proud of these guys today because this took some extra energy,” Canisius caoch Jim Baron said. “We had a three-overtime game less than 24 hours ago and I was worried about our legs. But they came ready to play and when they saw the game was in the balance, they struck and we picked up another good win.”

It was the third straight win for the Griffs, who improved to 6-6.

Sophomore Kassius Robertson scored a game-high 20 points and was named to the all-tournament team. Sophomore Jermaine Crumpton added 18 points off the bench, 11 coming in the second half.

Canisius will celebrate one of the greatest three-year runs in its men’s basketball history on Jan. 24 when John Beilein and many of his former players return to campus for a reunion when the Griffs host Siena at 2 p.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center.

Beilein, the current Michigan coach, guided the Griffs’ run from 1993-1996, including 62 wins and two NIT berths including an NIT Final Four appearance in 1995 and an NCAA tourney bid in 1996. Among the former players in attendance will be Canisius Sports Hall of Famers Darrell Barley, Micheal Meeks, Javone “Bam” Moore and Craig Wise.

Fans will have the opportunity to attend a brunch with Beilein, his former staff and the many former players on Jan. 24 at Science Hall from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Cost is $25. There will also be an informal meet-and-greet with the staff and players from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m., in The Griffins’ Den. Admission costs $10.

Niagara loses to Albany

Niagara’s men’s basketball team dropped its fourth straight game Wednesday night, falling to Albany, 65-56, at SEFCU Arena.

The Purple Eagles jumped out to a 6-0 lead but the Great Danes (9-4) got right back in the game with their own 4-0 spurt. The dueling runs continued in the first half. Niagara had a 7-0 run for a 20-14 lead but a 12-0 run by Albany for a 26-20 advantage put the Great Danes ahead for good.

Dominic Robb led the Purple Eagles (3-9) with 19 points while Matt Scott added 13.