Niagara overcame a 16-0 Albany run to start the game, but could not hold a late lead in a 79-74 loss to the Great Danes Monday before 829 at the Gallagher Center.
In other Western New York Big 4 basketball, Niagara’s women rode a 31-point performance by Jai Moore for a 764 win over Colgate in an earlier game at the Gallagher Center, and St. Bonaventure’s women struggled through a horrific shooting performance in a 58-44 lost at Cornell.
The win at Niagara was the first on the road for Albany (5-10) since a 75-66 win at Canisius on Nov. 17. The loss dropped Niagara to 7-6 before the Purple Eagles begin their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schedule at Manhattan 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Niagara was 0 for 8 on its field goal tries before Greg King broke the ice with a layup 5:39 into the game. By then, Albany owned a 16-2 lead, hitting 3 of 5 3-pointers.
Albany led, 42-30, at the half, but the Purple Eagles took their first lead, 67-66, on a 3-pointer by freshman Raheem Solomon. A fast break layup by another freshman, Marcus Hammond, made it 69-66 and Solomon scored to make it 71-66.
Niagara’s led, 73-70, after two free throws by King. Cameron Healy’s sixth 3-pointer of the game, put Albany back in front, 75-73, with 1:04 to play.
Hammond had 16 points off the bench, his season high and Solomon had 15, also off the bench. James Towns had 14 points and Marvin Prochet 13, under their recent norms.
Healy led Albany with 20 points including 6 of 10 3-pointers. The Great Danes made 10 of 28 threes and shot 45.3 (29 of 64) overall compared to Niagara’s 8 of 22 and 22 of 60.
Moore, a junior guard from Brooklyn, scored a career-high with her 31 points in the Niagara women win over Colgate.
Moore hit three 3-pointers and Maggie McIntyre had two in the second quarter as Niagara outscored the Raiders, 23-9, to build a 40-24 halftime lead. The Purple Eagles led only 52-51 after three quarters, however, and Colgate led 56-52 early in the fourth.
A three by McIntyre put Niagara back in front, 57-56, and coach Jada Pierce’s Purple Eagles held off the Raiders the rest of the way.
St. Bonaventure (3-10) shot only 8.3 percent on 3-point tries (2 of 24) in its loss to Cornell (6-5) at Newman Arena in Ithaca.
The Bonnies led 15-13 after the opening quarter but managed only five points in the second period, when they made only 2 of 10 shots. Bona was 0 for 17 from three-point range after the first quarter. Cornell led , 53-32, after three.
Freshman guard Deja Francis, who made both of her team’s 3-pointers, led Bona with 14 points.