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A last-minute rally came up just short for Niagara University in a 63-60 nonconference men's basketball loss to Youngstown State before a crowd of 687 Saturday evening at the Gallagher Center.

It appeared the Purple Eagles were out of it when Youngstown State led by 10 points, 60-50, with 56 seconds remaining.

A combination of the Eagles' long-range shooting and the Penguins' poor free-throw shooting got NU back into the game.

Niagara pulled within four points on consecutive three-point field goals by Alvin Young and Jeff O'Connor.

After a Penguin turnover, Niagara's Kevin Jobity scored on a lob pass during an inbounds play to cut the lead to 62-60 with five seconds left.

After Youngstown's Craig Haese hit a free throw, Jeremiah Johnson found O'Connor open for a 25-foot three-pointer on the right wing. The shot went wide of the basket before the buzzer sounded.

"We felt with a three-point game and four seconds left, we couldn't run a set play," Niagara coach Jack Armstrong said. "Jeff got an open look. Unfortunately, he didn't make the shot."

As the Eagles (2-5) were making their late surge, Youngstown State (6-2) was cooperating by hitting only 1 of 4 from the foul line. The Penguins did not score a field goal during the last 4:28.

Youngstown State, which extended its winning streak to four games, put together a 19-6 run that saw the Penguins take a 53-37 lead with 4:43 left in the contest. Haese had eight of his 15 points during that spurt.

Devon Lewis added 15 points for the winners and Anthony Hunt chipped in with 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Niagara shot 41.7 percent from the field (25 of 60), which is 10 percent lower than its season percentage.

Jobity and Jermaine Young led the Purple Eagles with 16 points each while Jermaine Young added 13 rebounds. Alvin Young added 12 points.

Niagara plays St. John's in the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden at 9 p.m. Friday.

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