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Drexel hands Niagara historic loss ; Margin equals largest of Mihalich's tenure

Niagara suffered a defeat equalling its worst in 13 seasons under coach Joe Mihalich, falling to Drexel, 84-39, Tuesday night in the John A. Daskalakis Center in Philadelphia. It also was the lowest point total for a Purple Eagles team under Mihalich.

Drexel led, 44-15, at the half.

Chris Fouch scored 19 points, making five three-pointers, for Drexel.

The Dragons (9-2) bolted to their big first-half lead on 55.9-percent shooting from the field (19 of 34 attempts). Meanwhile, the Purple Eagles missed 17 consecutive field-goal attempts over a 12:15 span and never recovered. They trailed by as many as 47 points in the second half.

The Purple Eagles (3-10), who lost their third in a row and their eighth of nine, were outrebounded, 49-27. They were led in scoring by Anthony Nelson, who with 14 points was their only player in double figures.

NU lost by 45 points to St. John's, 115-70, in 1998-99, Mihalich's first season. and was held to 32 by St. John's in the 2001-02 season.

The Niagara women's team lost by a larger margin, 55 points, dropping an 89-34 nonconference game to Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti, Mich. Niagara's 34 points was the lowest game total for an NCAA Division I team in Convocation Center history.

Senior guard Cassie Schrock (6 of 7) and junior backcourt mate Tavelyn James (6 of 12) each contributed 20 points for EMU (9-5).

Niagara (1-10) surrendered 31 turnovers, leading to 40 EMU points. The Purple Eagles managed only 19.2 percent (10-of-52) from the field.

Elsewhere in women's basketball, freshman Jen Morabito made 4 of her 7 three-point tries in an 18-point output that led Canisius (4-7) to a 58-48 triumph over Maryland-Eastern Shore (4-7) at the Koessler Center. Jamie Ruttle had 12 points and led the Griffs with six rebounds. Chelsea Sanders of the visiting Hawks was high scorer with 19 points.

Junior Jessica Jenkins scored 17 points to lead a trio of St. Bonaventure double-figure scorers in a 62-54 nonconference win over Sacred Heart (7-5) on Tuesday afternoon at the William H. Pitt Center in Fairfield, Conn. The Bonnies (9-4) used a 13-0 run near the end of the first half to pull away.

With the Bonnies down 19-18 late in the first half, junior Megan Van Tatenhove hit a three-pointer from the left wing to spearhead the 13-0 spurt. Once in the lead, the Bonnies settled into their trademark defense and shot a season-best 52.4 percent from the field to win their eighth game in the last 10.

"I thought we really passed the ball as well today as we have all year," coach Jim Crowley said as his team snapped Sacred Heart's four-game winning streak.

Van Tatenhove finished with 14 points and sophomore Alaina Walker tied her season high with 10 points. Bona shot .667 (10 of 15) from three-point range.


Tonight's games

Home for the first time since a 76-58 loss to St. Francis (N.Y.) on Dec. 10, the Canisius men's basketball team (5-6) will get a chance to avenge an 86-74 road loss to Northwestern State (La.) tonight at the Koessler Center at 7 p.m. The Griffs are coming off a 78-72 road victory at Lamar in Beaumont, Texas a week ago. Like Lamar, Northwestern State is a member of the Southland Conference.

In other Big 4 action, the University at Buffalo women's team (5-5) will face Mississippi State (7-3) of the Southeastern Conference in the first round of the Christmas City Classic in Bethlehem, Pa. Kourtney Brown leads the Bulls with a 20.4 ppg average.

Rider (0-9) and host Lehigh (7-3) meet in the other game.

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