FINAL: Canisius 69, Niagara 54. It wasn't nearly that easy. Coles finishes with 20 to lead Griffs. Jordan nets 23 for Niagara.
Canisius 38, Niagara 33, 15:13: Marvin Jordan heating up for Niagara and already has 10 in the half. Griffs getting sloppy on the offensive end. Had lead by nine after Coles converted a traditioinal three-point play . Nelson picked up third foul in bad fashion, another reach-in.
Niagara 38, Canisius 38, 11:46: Jordan converts three free throws after being fouled by Cole behind arc and we're all tied up. Canisius has gone scoreless 5-plus minutes. Jordan has 16 and Nelson 14 for Niagara. Griffs definitely shaken and have committed five second-half turnovers.
Canisius 41, Niagara 40, 9:33. Griffs 3 for last 5 at line.
Canisius 45, Niagara 41, 8:36: Niagara timeout after Logins hits two free throws and turnover results in fast-break layup by Frazier. Nelson on bench with fourth foul but Niagara probably can't afford to have him out for long.
Canisius 51, Niagara 44: Griffs victimizing Niagara left and right with Nelson on bech. Belardo has a pair of layups of turnovers and Nelson's back in.
Canisius 51, Niagara 46, 6:31: Nelson checks in and immediately scores off drive and draws foul. He'll be going to line after media timeout. It couldn't be more obvious that if he fouls out Niagara's cooked. Canisius just 6 of 18 from field in second half and 0 of 3 from three. Niagara 6 of 15 (4 of 8).
Canisius 60, Niagara 49, 2:49: Julius Coles has taken over game for Canisius, just like a senior scorer should. He has last nine Canisius points, including a pair of threes, the last of which looms as the dagger. Griffs have asserted themselves the last three minutes. About time.
We're at the Koessler Athletic Center for the 166th meeting between the schools. Or is it the 168th meeting? Niagara has the series, 95-72, in its favor. Canisius has it 91-74 in favor of the Purple Eagles. Can we please get these two rivals to sit down and settle their differences?
Yes, Canisius does have a student body, and it's well represented for a change. Nothing like an ESPNU game to get 'em out of the dorms
Kashief Edwards is in uniform for Niagara but they're starting Erik Williams and Scooter Gillette in the post.
Canisius 8, Niagara 5, 14:47: Threes by Coles and Belardo followed by a Coles jam off a baseline drive. Niagara already looking overmatched down low. Williams definitely battling a case of nerves.
Canisius 14, Niagara 8, 11:59: Frazier jams off a Belardo alley-opp to put Griffs up six after Nelson nailed his second three. Edwards in for Purple Eagles.
Canisius 18, Niagara 11, 7:57: Nelson keeping Niagara in the gym with his third three. Purple Eagles so lost without him that he sat out 1 1/2 minutes with two fouls then came right back in when Niagara struggled with Canisius pressure. Mihalich really has no choice. This is best I've seen Griffs play this season. They're running offense and hitting board in waves. Belardo has seven.
Canisius 25, Niagara 13, 3:57: Nelson back on bench and Niagara has no clue on offensive end. Freshman-sophomore lineup overwhelmed by experienced Griffs, who own the boards 14-8 and are shooting 52.1 percent. ... Nelson checking back in.
Halftime: Canisius 31, Niagara 23. Lemmons has Niagara's last four points. Canisius guard Robert Goldsberry done for the night after suffering a head injury during a scramble with 2:36 remaining. He was helped to the locker room. Canisius 12 of 25 from field, Niagara 6 of 23. Niagara has come back to lead on the boards, 17-16. Coles leads Griffs with eight points. Nelson tops all scorers with 12.
-- Bob DiCesare