Any chance Niagara had of finishing first in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference officially ended Wednesday night with a 90-87 loss to Rider in Lawrenceville, N.J.
The Purple Eagles battled back from a 50-38 halftime deficit and took an 87-86 lead on a tip-in by Demetrius Williamson with 27 seconds left. After a Rider timeout, Harris Mansell hit a go-ahead three-pointer with six seconds left to give the Broncs (15-11, 10-6) the victory.
Niagara trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half.
"I'm proud of the comeback that our guys had [Wednesday]," Niagara coach Joe Mihalich said. "But that doesn't take away from our disappointment in the way that we played in the first half."
Rider owned an 84-74 lead with 3:21 remaining in the contest before Tyrone Lewis brought Niagara back into it with 10 straight points.
Mansell led Rider with 22 points. Ryan Thompson added 21 points and seven rebounds.
Lewis had a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds for Niagara. Bilal Benn had 22 points and Benson Egemonye 16 for the Purple Eagles.
Niagara (21-7, 12-4) trails first-place Siena by three games with only two MAAC games left to play.
The loss snapped a seven-game win streak for the Purple Eagles.
Bona women lose
St. Bonaventure's hopes for a top-four finish in the Atlantic 10 women's basketball standings and a first-round bye in the conference tournament took a hit Wednesday night at Reilly Center.
Duquesne upset the Bonnies, 70-68, in overtime, ending coach Jim Crowley's team's four-game conference winning streak. Bona, trying to reach 20 wins for the first time, fell to 19-7 and into a three-way tie for third place in the conference with George Washington and Temple (8-3).
The Bonnies never led in the overtime after tying the game on Dana Mitchell's layup with 11 seconds left in regulation.
Duquesne was led by Samantha Pollino's 22 points. Mitchell and Megan Van Tatenhove each had 14 points for the Bonnies.
St. Bonaventure's men's team (13-11, 4-7 A-10) will be looking to end a 13-game losing streak at George Washington tonight in an Atlantic 10 matchup (9 p.m., Time Warner Ch. 13, 1300 AM). The last time the Bonnies defeated the Colonials on the road was a 60-55 win Feb. 11, 1989.