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Niagara's high-scoring guard Matt Scott spotted on crutches ahead of Canisius game

LEWISTON – Niagara senior guard Matt Scott, the MAAC's third-leading scorer at 19.5 points per game, was spotted on crutches Tuesday at the school's women's basketball game, rendering him all but certain to miss Wednesday's game against Canisius as he recovers from a sprained right ankle.

Scott suffered the injury in first half of last Friday's win at Iona and didn't play in Sunday's loss to Manhattan. A team source said earlier Tuesday that Scott had not returned to practice since the injury.

Officially, Scott's status is day-to-day, but the team has good reason to hold him out for the remainder of the regular season. Niagara (18-11, 11-5 MAAC) wraps up conference play Friday but has already clinched a first-round bye in the MAAC tournament. The Purple Eagles sit in third place with two games to go, but can only move into second if they win out and Canisius loses out. They need Scott more for the conference tournament the first weekend of March – if he's ready by then.

Scott averaged over 33 minutes per game before the injury and was also the team's second-leading rebounder at 7.4 per game. His absence could mean an expanded role for Marvin Prochet (10.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and James Towns (8.9 ppg), while it pushed Keleaf Tate into the starting lineup. It will also put more pressure on top scorer Khalil Dukes (20.8 ppg), the USC transfer who ranks second in the conference in scoring.

Niagara and Canisius tip off at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Gallagher Center. The Niagara women lost their game to Canisius on Tuesday, 72-66.

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