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Niagara-UMBC Game Analysis

Niagara 92, UMBC 75

How Niagara Won: The Purple Eagles forced Maryland-Baltimore County into 17 turnovers, victimized them for 12 steals and shot 13 of 27 from behind the arc. It made no difference that the Retrievers shot 48 percent from the field, not when they got off just 50 shots to Niagara's 64.

News Alert: Not only did Niagara get a strong inside presence from Scooter Gillette and Joe Thomas, they made the effort to get the ball inside. The two combined for 15 points and nine rebounds, with Gillette scoring 11. Just as importantly, Gillette and Thomas both asserted themselves on the offensive end, setting strong screens out top, making purposeful rolls to the basket and muscling inside when called for.

Player of the Game: Marvin Jordan made his first three from the left wing and was feeling it from the outset. His 23 points matched matched his season high set in the opener. He also had five boards, four assists and a pair of steals and finished 6 of 11 from three-point land.

POTG Runner-up: UMBC junior guard Ryan Cook was a whirlwind, scoring a game-high 26 points on 9 of 14 shooting while driving the basket like there was no stopping him. And there wasn't.

Stat of the Game: Niagara turned it over just seven times -- seven fewer than average.

They Said It: UMBC coach Randy Monroe: "I'm not happy with our defense right now. It's putrid and it's got to get better, especially going into conference play."

They Said It II Niagara coach Joe Mihalich: "All my assistants say, 'Hey, let's get iPads.' I say, 'Let's get 6-9 guys. That's what I say. Forget the IPads. Let's get 6-9 guys."

In the House: 1,393. College basketball's just not the same with the students on break.

What it Means: Niagara improved to 5-8 while setting a season high for points.

Up Next: The Purple Eagles haven't rung out a calendar year at home since 2004. They'll do it on Friday, when St. Bonaventure visits the Gallagher Center looking for its first series win in a decade.

-- Bob DiCesare

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