Canisius lost a heartbreaker to Fairfield on Friday night, while Niagara dropped a decision to Saint Peter’s on a tough night for the two local members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The Golden Griffins saw Tyler Nelson hit a three-pointer at the buzzer in the Koessler Athletic Center to give the Stags a 58-55 win. Canisius had the ball with 18 seconds left and the score tied, but couldn’t convert on the opportunity. Fairfield didn’t miss when it had a chance to win.
It was a tale of two halves for the Golden Griffins. They played very well in the opening 20 minutes, and at one point had a 10-point lead. Canisius led, 36-31, halfway through the game.
But the Stags rallied. They had a 27-19 edge in the second half to pull out the win. Canisius and Fairfield are now both 10-9 in the Metro
Atlantic standings, as the Griffins missed a good chance to gain a little ground in the hunt for playoff seedings. Canisius is 17-13 overall, while the Stags are 15-13.
Phil Valenti was the individual standout for the Golden Griffins. He finished with 23 points, and 13 rebounds, game-high totals for both teams in each category. Kassius Robertson added 15 points for Canisius, which hosts Saint Peter’s on Sunday afternoon.
At the Gallagher Center, Saint Peter’s pulled away quickly as the Peacocks earned a 66-53 win. The Peacocks led by as many as 16 in the first half, and had a 34-21 margin after 20 minutes. Niagara opened the second half with seven straight points, but an 11-2 run in the fourth quarter took care of any upset hopes the Purple Eagles might have had.
Dominic Robb led Niagara with 15 points and eight rebounds. The Eagles host Fairfield on Sunday afternoon.
St. Bonaventure takes a 17-10 record into an afternoon contest with Duquesne at the Reilly Center (4 p.m., Radio 95.7 FM). The Bonnies are 9-6 in the Atlantic 10, and a 10th win would be something of a landmark. Bona would have 10 wins in the conference for a third straight year, which the team has never accomplished before. If the Bonnies don’t get to 10 wins in this game, they’ll have two more chances before the regular season ends. St. Bonaventure took a 71-64 decision in Pittsburgh on Feb. 1.