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Big 4 Hoops: Niagara knocks off first-place Saint Peter's

Niagara came back from a 10-point second-half deficit, scored the final three points of the game and upset
Saint Peter's, 57-55, in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon in the Yanitli Center in Jersey City, N.J. The outcome ended a four-game Saint Peter's win streak and knocked the Peacocks out of a tie for first place in the MAAC.

The scrappy Purple Eagles (5-14, 3-6 MAAC) who have lost only three times by more than 10 points finally were able to close out a game after four straight conference losses, including Monday's overtime loss at home to Marist. Besides coming back from a 45-35 deficit, the largest lead of the game for the Peacocks, Niagara survived an off-day by one of their leading scorers. Kahlil Dukes made only 2 of 14 shots and scored just six points, but had a game-high six assists in the victory.

Niagara outscored Saint Peter's 14-4 over a span of 7 minutes, 50 seconds to tie at 49-all. on a layup by Maurice Taylor with 6:06 left to play. The lead changed hands twice before a layup by Chris Barton put Niagara in front for good, 56-55, with 23 seconds to play. Matt Scott made the first of two free throws with 1 second left to close out the scoring.

Scott led Niagara with 15 points, moving him within 47 points of the 1,000 mark for his career. Marvin Prochet had 13 points and nine rebounds while Barton had 11 points. Niagara was outrebounded, 37-32, but had only eight turnovers to 11 for the Peacocks. Quadir Welton led Saint Peter's 1ith 14 points, nine boards and four assists.

It was Niagara'a eighth win in the last 11 games against Saint Peter's, where Purple Eagles coach Chris Casey once was an assistant coach. NU has 7-4 in its last visits to Yanitelli.

The victory served as preparation for Monday night's home game with rival Canisius at the Gallagher Center (Radio 505, 7 p.m.).

Meanwhile, sophomore  Mckenna Maycock, who set the Western New York girls career scoring record at Randolph Central with 2,947 points, scored 14 points, her career high at St. Bonaventure in a 69-56 victory over Duquesne at the Reilly Center.  Forward Gabby Richmond led a balanced performance the Bonnies with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Mariah Ruff had 13 points, Matea Britvar 12 points and nine rebounds and freshman Jalisha Terry had 12 points.

The Bonnies, who won their second in a row after a five-game losing streak, did it with their defensive play, limiting the Dukes to 33.3 percent shooting (21 of 63). Bona outscored Duquesne,14-7, in the third quarter to take a 13-point lead into the fourth period.

Sunday's game

The Canisius women, fresh off Thursday night's 65-57 win at Niagara will try to make it two in a row when they face Fairfield in a MAAC game at 2 Sunday afternoon in the Koessler Center. The Griffs (5-14, 4-5 MAAC) will be facing the MAAC's third-place team. Fairfield (9-9, 6-3 MAAC) is led by Kelsey Carey, the fifth-leading scorer in the conference (15.6) and Casey Smith, who is averaging 13.1 and is one of the conference's leading free-throw shooters (81.6 percent).



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