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Big 4 basketball: Canisius men keep pace near top of MAAC while Niagara goes cold

Takal Molson and Isaiah Reese scored 21 points each as the Canisius men’s basketball team rallied from a 10-point, second-half deficit to beat Marist on the road Friday night, 73-67, and get back within half a game of Rider for first place in the conference.

Meanwhile, Niagara couldn’t continue the hot shooting from its 105-point performance against Canisius last weekend, failing to reach half of that total in a 58-52 loss against lowly Saint Peter’s.

Canisius (14-9, 8-2 MAAC) found itself in a 49-39 hole with 14:38 to play, but took advantage of 22 Marist turnovers to get back into the game. Canisius led 63-62 with four minutes to go, but pulled away with an 8-0 run while holding Marist without a field goal until the final 30 seconds.

Senior Jermaine Crumpton (Niagara Falls) scored 18 points and had 16 rebounds while moving past Billy Baron into 11th place on the school’s career scoring list with 1,408 points.

Molson also completed a double-double with 10 rebounds while Reese added four assists and three steals. Brian Parker led Marist with 19 points and 11 boards.

UB offense rolls in 92-86 win before sellout crowd

Niagara managed just 18 points in the first half while the Peacocks earned their third conference win of the season. Matt Scott had a team-high 16 points plus nine rebounds on a tough offensive night for the Purple Eagles, who shot just 27.1 percent from the field and 17.9 percent from behind the arc.

Niagara drew within two points with 20 seconds to play, but Saint Peter’s made the necessary free throws.

Khalil Dukes scored 10 for Niagara while Greg King pulled in 10 rebounds. Nick Griffin scored 20 for Saint Peter’s.

Niagara (14-10, 7-4 MAAC) fell to fourth in the conference with the loss.

Canisius heads to Saint Peter’s at 2 p.m. Sunday while Niagara visits Monmouth (7-15, 3-7).

Saturday's games

• St. Bonaventure men (15-6, 5-4 Atlantic 10) at Duquesne (15-8, 6-4), 6:30 p.m., NBCSN: The Bonnies have won three in a row since their early-January slide, and look to extend their winning streak in Pittsburgh against an upstart Duquesne squad that was picked 14th out of 14 in the A-10 preseason poll with former Akron coach Keith Dambrot now at the helm.

A pair of underclassmen pace the Dukes’ offense. Sophomore Mike Lewis leads the team with 15.9 points per game with 6-foot-5 freshman Eric Williams Jr. averaging 15.0 points and 9.5 rebounds. Rene Castro-Caneddy and Tarin Smith also average double-digit points. The Dukes are 12-3 at home.

Bona’s Matt Mobley, who is coming off a career-high 35 points, needs 21 points to reach 1,000 in the Brown and White. He stands at 1,716 career points, including his time at Central Connecticut.

• University at Buffalo women (16-4, 7-2 MAC) at Toledo (15-7, 6-4), 2 p.m.: The Bulls will try to get back to their winning ways after falling at Western Michigan on Wednesday. UB, which received votes in the USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll before the loss, still holds a two-game lead in the MAC East. Toledo is led by Kaayla McIntyre, who averages 14.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Both teams rank at the top of the MAC in three-point percentage defense, holding opponents under 30 percent.

• Niagara women (8-14, 5-6 MAAC) vs. Saint Peter’s (4-18, 1-10), 3 p.m.: Niagara cam get back in the win column after Thursday’s overtime loss to Canisius with a game against Saint Peter’s, which enters Gallagher Center tied for last in the conference. The game could be high-scoring, with Niagara ranked 10th and Saint Peter’s ranked 11th in scoring defense. NU’s Victoria Rampado leads the MAAC at 20.7 ppg.

Jerry Sullivan: Niagara comes over the bridge, steals the show

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