Niagara seemed about to string together two wins for the first time this season on Monday night. Then the Purple Eagles lost their shooting touch -- and the game.
Quinnipiac wiped out a 12-point deficit, outscoring the home team 20-5 over the last 5:40 to leave Gallagher Center with an 81-78 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men's basketball victory.
Niagara led 41-37 at the half and built the lead to 12 points on three different occasions in the second half but could not hold off the Bobcats, particularly two freshmen, guards Mikey Dixon and Peter Kiss.
Dixon led Quinnipiac with 23 points including a jump shot to give his team the lead, 79-78 with 23 seconds left. After a Niagara turnover, Reggie Oliver sank a pair of free throws for Qu8innipiac to make it 81-78 with 12 seconds left. Matt Scott of Niagara missed a three-pointers with 5 seconds left that would have tied it.
Niagara (4-10, 1-2) upset Iona on the road in its last conference game. Quinnipiac (4-8, 2-1) had split games with Marist and Monmouth last month.
Five players scored in double figures for Niagara. Chris Barton and Prochet had 15 each, Khalil Dukes and Dominic Robb had 13 each and freshman Shane Gatling had 12.
In an afternoon game in Riverdale. the Canisius women (3-10, 2-2) scored a 62-57 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference road victory over Manhattan (5-8, 1-3 MAAC). The Golden Griffins shot 50 percent from the field and used a 22-point second quarter to gain the victory. Canisius opened the fourth quarter with a Sara Hinriksdottir three for a 52-42 lead and limited the Jaspers to just four baskets the rest of the quarter.
Hinriksdottir once again led the offense, scoring 20 points to go along with seven rebounds. Margret Halfdanardottir and Lauren D'Hont aided the effort with 12 points each.
Nyasha Irizarry led the Jaspers with 18 points.
"I was proud of the way we were able to bounce back after a tough loss Friday,” at Iona, Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. “It’s really nice to start off 2017 with a MAAC road win."
Siena doubled the score on Niagara's women's team (34-16) in the first half and went on to a 71-53 MAAC victory in Loudonville. It as the sixth straight loss for the Purple Eagles (4-9, 1-3 MAAC). Tiffany Corsell had 14 points and Kaylee Stroemple 11 to lead Niagara. Victoria Rampado, NU's usual scoring leader, was limited to eight points and nine rebounds. Jacquie Benitez and Kollyns Scarbroiugh had 15 points each for Siena (3-10, 2-2 MAAC). Scarbrough also had 10 rebounds.
Niagara never led in the game. Siena's largest lead was 24 points with 4:26 left.
St. Bonaventure faces one of its most important home tests of the season while the University at Buffalo opens conference play on the road in Tuesday's night's games involving Western New York Big 4 men's basketball teams.
The Bonnies (9-4, 1-0 A-10), the highest scoring team in the Atlantic 10, will take on Dayton(10-3, 1-0), which has been a defensive stalwart lately, in the Reilly Center (Radio 1450, 8 p.m.). Dayton was the preseason favorite to win the A-10 championship. While guards Jaylen Adams (23.5) and Matt Mobley (20.5) are driving an offense that is averaging 85.2 points per game, Dayton has allowed its last six opponents to score at only a 60.2 ppg and are forcing an average of 18.3 turnovers. Dayton's three losses have all been close -- by four at home to Saint Mary's, by two to Nebraska and by three to Northwestern on neutral courts.
The teams split their series last season, with each winning on the other's home court. Adams scored 31 as Bona won at the Dayton Arena, 79-72, its first victory in that facility since 2002. Dayton was ranked 15th in the Associated Press poll at the time.
The Flyers are a veteran team lead by the seniors Charles Cooke (18.7), Scoochie Smith (31.2), Kendall P0llard (12-3)and Kyle Davis (8-2).
UB (6-7) the two time Mid-American Conference tournament champion, will open its conference schedule against Toledo at Savage Arena (Radio 1520, 6 p.m.). The Bulls won, 73-68, in their last visit there but lost the return game to the Rockets, 71-69, in Alumni Arena last season. Toledo (7-6) has won its last three but has not faced nearly as difficult a schedule as UB which had taken on Xavier, Creighton, St. Bonaventure and Pittsburgh on the road, losing all four.