Niagara University made a late second-half comeback to force overtime but fell short Tuesday morning at Hartford, 82-78. The game was a 6:30 a.m. start on ESPN2.
The Purple Eagles trailed almost all of regulation and still were down, 67-55, with 3:48 left. Niagara then went on a 15-1 run to take a 70-68 lead with 56 seconds left in regulation.
Kahlil Dukes made two three-pointers, Matt Scott hit one three, and Dominic Robb scored six points in the rally.
After Hartford tied it, Dukes missed a three at the end of regulation.
In overtime, Hartford took the lead for good, 80-78, on an open three-pointer by Jason Dunne with 43 seconds left. Niagara worked the ball around for an open corner three-pointer by James Towns with 18 seconds left but the shot missed and Hartford held on.
Niagara (0-3) got 26 points from Scott, the 6-4 junior guard. Robb, the 6-8 sophomore, had 17 points and eight rebounds. Dukes, a junior guard, had 11 points, as did freshman guard Shane Gatling.
Hartford (1-1) is picked to finish eighth out of nine in the America East Conference.
Senior guard Jalen Ross led Hartford with 35 points and got 13 from the foul line. The Hawks outscored Niagara, 26-13, at the free-throw line. Hartford also shot better than Niagara, with a 45-37 field-goal percentage edge.