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Niagara men lose to Saint Peter’s; Canisius women finish strong in win

Niagara University’s men’s basketball team had a tough start to its game with Saint Peter’s on Friday night, and never could catch up.

The Purple Eagles went on to drop a 72-59 decision to the Peacocks before 346 in Jersey City, N.J.

Niagara fell to 8-14 overall, 5-8 in the Metro Atlantic. Saint Peter’s improved to 9-14, 7-6 MAAC.

The Eagles fell behind by a 38-25 count in the first half after taking a four-point lead in the first minute, and that was the ballgame. Both teams scored 34 points in the second half.

Niagara had three players in double figures. Marvin Prochet scored 19 points, while Matt Scott had 15 points and Emile Blackman added 14.

Quadir Welton had a big game for Saint Peter’s, with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Welton was 8 of 10 from the field, and 8 of 11 from the free-throw line. Antwon Portley boosted the rest of the offense with 21 points, including 7 of 7 from the line.

The Canisius women broke open a close game to beat Rider, 60-49, in the Koessler Center. The Golden Griffins had a 23-12 edge in the fourth quarter to take control.

Margret Halfdanardottir had 14 points to lead Canisius (10-14, 5-10).

The Niagara women’s team didn’t fare any better than their male counterparts, losing an 82-68 decision to Marist at the Gallagher Center.

The Purple Eagles had the same problem as the men – a slow start turned out to be a big problem. Niagara trailed, 24-15, after the first quarter, and by 49-29 at halftime.

The Eagles fell to 6-18 overall, 4-11 in the MAAC. Marist is 13-12, 12-3.

Kayle Stromple led Niagara with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jamie Shurburne was the only one of her teammates to be in double digits in scoring, finishing with 11 points – going 3 for 6 from the field.

Tori Jarosz had a nice game for Marist. She piled up 24 points and 15 rebounds in a big performance. Sydney Coffey added 16 points for the visitors.

Saturday’s games

• The spotlight in Olean will shift from the St. Bonaventure men’s team during their game with George Washington on Saturday (4 p.m., Radio 95.7 FM). It’s homecoming weekend, and Andrew Nicholson, Youssou Ndoye and Da’Quan Cook are coming back on campus for the game. Nicholson was the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year in 2011-12, and currently plays for the Orlando Magic in the NBA. Bona has won four games in a row to improve to 16-6 overall, 8-3 in A-10.

• Bona’s women’s team has been cruising as of late, with a 20-4 record, 9-2 in A-10. The Bonnies will play at Massachusetts (6-17, 0-11) (2 p.m., Radio 105.9 FM). Bona won the first game between the two teams, 66-41, back in January.

• The University at Buffalo women’s team needs to flip a switch in the midst of a stretch run. The Bulls have lost 7 of 8, sinking back to .500 (11-11) overall and are 3-8 in the Mid-American Conference. UB plays at Bowling Green on Saturday (4 p.m., Radio 1520 AM). The Bulls had a good-sized lead in their last game against Toledo, only to see it slip away in the second half. Bowling Green is 8-12, 4-7. Both teams are looking way up at Ohio, the MAC East leader (18-4, 10-1.)