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Canisius men top Quinnipiac; Niagara bows to Manhattan

Canisius continued its topsy-turvy season in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s basketball.

The Golden Griffins closed out a successful weekend road trip with a 63-53 triumph over Quinnipiac on Sunday afternoon at TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. It followed Friday night’s victory at Manhattan.

What makes things a little odd is that the Griffs lost a previous game to each at home. The Griffs are 3-1 in MAAC play away and 1-3 at home.

Canisius closed the game with a 9-0 run in the final 1:30 and improved to 9-10 overall and 4-4 in the MAAC. The host Bobcats are 5-11, 2-5 in the MAAC.

Jermaine Crumpton, who began the week getting ejected from a loss at Dartmouth on Tuesday night, more than redeemed himself with a strong showing. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound sophomore from Niagara Falls led the Griffs with 17 points, 15 coming in the second half. He made 6 of his 11 shots in 22 minutes off the bench.

It was a three-pointer by Crumpton that ended a 10-0 Quinnipiac run and gave Canisius a 54-50 lead with 2:50 to go. Ayron Hutton answered with a three for the Bobcats to make it 54-53, but the Griffs scored the next nine points, starting with a three by freshman guard Chris Atkinson.

Kassius Robertson had 11 points for Canisius and Atkinson 10. Hutton led the Bobcats with 15.

In Riverdale, meanwhile, Niagara fell to Manhattan, 69-64, reversing the outcome of their previous meeting, a 55-53 victory by the Purple Eagles in Lewiston on Jan. 9.

Matt Scott led Niagara (5-14, 3-5 MAAC) with 21 points. Shane Richards had 22 for the Jaspers (7-10, 4-4). Besides Scott, three other Purple Eagles reached double figures in points. Emile Blackman had 14, Chris Barton 13 and Karonn Davis 10.

Eighteen turnovers led to Niagara’s demise.

The Purple Eagles rallied from a 39-31 halftime deficit to tie the game at 46-all on a jumper by Scott with 12:49 left. Manhattan answered with five straight points, then Niagara closed to within one, 52-51, on a basket by Scott. It was a one-point game again after a dunk by Blackman made it 62-61.

With a chance to take the lead, Niagara turned the ball over and Zane Waterman hit a jumper for a 64-61 Jaspers lead heading into the final minute.

Manhattan then iced the game with five free throws.

“We grinded really hard and came back a few times, but we have to handle the ball better,” Niagara coach Chris Casey said. “We had some untimely charges and we needed to make a few more free throws, but I thought we defended well. We have to mature and grow into being able to grind it offensively as well as defensively. We are learning that, and we will go home and get ready for Canisius.”

Niagara and the Griffs will meet on Friday (7 p.m., ESPNU) at the Gallagher Center.

In MAAC women’s play, Niagara (6-11, 4-4 MAAC) got back on the winning side after its three-game conference win streak was ended by Quinnipiac on Friday by defeating Saint Peter’s, 51-46, at the Gallagher Center. The losing Peahens are 4-13 overall, 2-6 in the MAAC.

Kaylee Stroemple recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead Niagara. Sam Lapszynski narrowly missed her eighth double-double of the season with 10 points and nine rebounds. In her first career start, Kharysma Bryant scored a career-high nine points and had a career-best six rebounds.

“We’re feeling really good,” said Purple Eagles coach Jada Pierce. “The girls are following the game plan for the most part and we have to keep doing that. We can’t go away from what we’re good at, which we did a little bit in the first half of this game, but we snapped back to reality, which helped us win this game.”

Meanwhile, the Canisius women (8-9, 3-5 MAAC) lost at home to Quinnipiac (9-7, 4-3 MAAC), 80-68. The Griffs led, 38-34, at halftime but were outscored, 46-30, in the second half. Crystal Porter led Canisius with 14 points. Freshmen Aryn McClure (19) and Paula Strautmane (16) led the winners.