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Big 4 Roundup: Split decisions for Canisius, Niagara

Canisius showed plenty of poise when it mattered on Friday night, and the reward came in the form of a men’s basketball victory on the road. The Golden Griffins pulled out a 77-76 win over Manhattan.

In another game involving a Big 4 team, Niagara dropped a 72-66 decision at Marist.

The Canisius game came down to the final three minutes or so. The game was tied at 67, when Kiefer Douse picked up an offensive rebound. He came back a few seconds later with what proved to be the go-ahead basket. The Golden Griffins never trailed the rest of the way.

But that didn’t mean there were no nervous moments. Canisius missed a pair of free throws, giving the Jaspers one more chance to pull the game out. But Kassius Robertson made a steal just before the buzzer to preserve the win.

Robertson finished with 20 points, including five three-pointers. But he had to take a back seat for scoring honors to Jermaine Crumpton, who finished with 26 points. The forward was 10 of 21 from the field.

For Manhattan, Zavier Turner finished with 19 points.

The prospects for Canisius didn’t look too good at halftime. The Griffs trailed by a 46-32 count. But Canisius fought back through the second 20 minutes of play, finally taking the lead in the final minutes.

Canisius improved to 3-4 with the win, and has two straight victories. Manhattan fell to 2-5.

In Poughkeepsie, Marist held off a Niagara team that kept fighting back throughout the second half to take a hard-fought win.

The Purple Eagles (1-6) trailed by 35-26 at halftime, and had a couple of short-lived leads early in the second half. A jumper by Maurice Taylor got the margin down to one point with less than two minutes to go.

But the Red Foxes scored some big baskets the rest of the way to earn the win.

Kahlil Dukes led Niagara with 18 points; he was 8 for 8 from the free-throw line. Matt Scott had 15 points, but that included a tough night from three-point range (1 for 8).

Kentral Brooks topped Marist (4-4) with 17 points.

In women’s basketball, Niagara had a relatively easy time with its first conference game of the season. The Purple Eagles defeated Monmouth, 66-45, at the Gallagher Center. That was their second straight win after losing three in a row.

Victoria Rampado led the way with 15 points for Niagara (3-3). Kaylee Stroemple added 12 for the Eagles. Christina Mitchell had 10 points for the Hawks (2-4).

Meanwhile, Canisius’ conference opener didn’t go so well. The Golden Griffins dropped a 71-70 decision to Rider at the Koessler Athletic Center.

Saliah Serrett scored 23 points to lead Canisius. That’s a career-high; 13 of them came in the second half. Sara Hinriksdottir missed a three-pointer at the buzzer. It was the fourth straight loss for the Golden Griffins, who dropped to 1-5 on the season.

This was a close game for the most part. Rider only led, 35-34, at halftime. However, Canisius’ last lead was at 59-58.

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