Niagara fell behind early against Cleveland State Wednesday night and was never able to catch up to the Vikings at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland.
Cleveland State, which never has lost to Niagara at home, defeated the Purple Eagles, 82-60. NU was shut out over the last 4:57.
The Vikings took an 11-4 lead after a 3-pointer by Tyree Appleby. Niagara stayed withing striking distance but on a night when coach Chris Casey's five starters shot a combined 16 for 53 (30 percent) could not get even. It was 32-28 at the half. Niagara got as close as six three times in the second half but no closer.
James Towns led Niagara with 18 points. Marvin Prochet had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Dominic Robb also had 10 boards. Combined, Prochet and Towns, Niagara's top scoring threats made only 10 of 33 shots.
Appleby had 16 points in leading five double-figure scores for Cleveland State (5-8). The loss ended a three-game Niagara win streak.
Griffs at Holy Cross today
Canisius (3-6) and Holy Cross (6-4) will renew their men's basketball rivalry at 2:05 p.m. Wednesday at the Hart Center in Worcester. Mass. The Crusaders lead the all-time series which includes games involving some of the all-time greats in the history of both schools.
Over the years Canisius has face Holy Cross teams that have included such as Bob Cousy, George Kaftan, Togo Palazzi Tom Heinsohn, Jack "The Shot" Foley and Ronnie Perry. Kaftan and Cousy were on the 1946-47 Holy Cross team that defeated Canisius, 47-36, at the old Boston Garden in the first game ever between the Jesuit institutions. That Holy Cross team went on to win the NCAA championship.
Holy Cross is a member of the Patriot League now, but twice crossed paths with Canisius in other conferences, the North Atlantic Conferece of the ECAC and for one season when both were members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference>
Crusaders coach Bill Carmody will be coaching his 618 career game, but it will be the first time he has led a team agaisnt Canisius. Carmody succeeded Pete Carril at Princeton and then coached at Northwestern.
Canisius has won its last two games, over Robert Morris at home and at Elon on Sunday. Holy Cross has not played since Dec. 8 when it lost to Rhode Island, 79-63. Jacob Grandison, a 6-foot-6 sophomore guard, leads the Crusaders in scoring at 15.1 points a game. Sophomore Takal Molson is Canisius' top scorer at 16.8.
Six hockey signees for Canisius
Six hockey prospects, five from junior leagues in Canada and one from the North American Hockey League, signed their National Letters of Intent to play at Canisius, coach Trevor Large announced Thursday.
They are Simon Gravel of Boucherville, Que., Hudson Lambert of Richmond Hill, Ont., Keaton Mastrodonato of Power River, B.C., Ryan Miotto of Thorold, Ont., MacGregor Sinclair, of Irma, Alberta and John Stampohar of Grand Rapids, Minn.