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ST. PETER'S OUTSCORES NIAGARA IN 2 OTS

It had to end sometime.

Niagara's roll through the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference was halted, at least temporarily, Saturday night as St. Peter's handed the Purple Eagles a 106-103 double-overtime loss.

Niagara (12-8, 9-2) saw its five-game MAAC winning streak stopped and lost to the Peacocks (9-10, 6-4) at the Yanitelli Center for the third straight time.

This was the second highest-scoring MAAC game this season, trailing Niagara's 119-108 regulation win over Marist Jan. 18 at Marine Midland Arena.

The Purple Eagles' third 100-point performance of the season is the most since the 1986-87 team did it seven times.

"It was a tremendous basketball game," said Niagara coach Joe Mihalich, whose team remains a half-game ahead of second-place Siena in the MAAC standings.

"Our guys are champions and should be proud of themselves."

The Purple Eagles trailed, 34-20, midway through the first half, but rallied behind senior guard Alvin Young.

The senior guard played 48 minutes and finished with 34 points, 11 rebounds and nine steals, breaking the previous team record of eight steals set by him and Jeremiah Johnson against Iona in December.

"Alvin was fantastic, as usual," Mihalich said. "He came through when we needed him most."

Young made only 10 of 30 shots, but his seven-foot jumper tied the score at 84-all with 25 seconds left in regulation.

St. Peter's had three tries to win, but couldn't convert.

Johnson, Niagara's second-leading scorer, was held to five points in 23 minutes because of foul trouble and eventually fouled out in the first overtime.

However, junior forward Terry Edwards (21 points) and freshman point guard Daryl Greene (20 points in 36 minutes) picked up the slack with career-high performances.

Niagara had two starters (Johnson and center Mike Piwerka) foul out, then lost Edwards when he was ejected for a flagrant foul with 1:14 left in first OT.

The Purple Eagles still had a chance to win, but Nate Bernosky (10 points) missed a three-point attempt and Peter Strobl's follow wouldn't fall at the buzzer.

The Peacocks took the lead for good at 101-99 on a short jumper by guard Ricky Bellinger (26 points) with 57.7 seconds left in the second extra session.

Niagara got within one (104-103) on a Strobl tip-in, but Damian Spencer's dunk with 2.4 seconds left clinched the win for St. Peter's.

"When we got down early, we fought our way back in the game," Mihalich said. "There's no quit in our team. I give St. Peter's credit for the win, but our team will come back."

The second stop on the Purple Eagles' rugged five-game road trip is Iona Monday night.

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