One-sided wins have been rare in recent seasons for Niagara men’s basketball.
Saturday, the Purple Eagles scored a surprising 75-48 victory over Monmouth in their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game at the Gallagher Center. The 27-point margin was Niagara’s largest since beating Marist, 79-50, in the 2009 MAAC Tournament Quarterfinals.
The victory included a career-high 22-point performance by Chris Barton, a 6-foot-3 senior guard from Pontiac, Mich. His previous career high was 17 in the final game of his freshman season against Canisius in the MAAC Tournament. Barton went into Saturday’s game averaging 5.5 points a game, but he had scored 14 and 11 points in his two previous games.
Senior forward Marvin Prochet had 21 points including 6 of 10 3-point shots raising his conference leading percentage to 47.1 in that department.
Also, junior guard James Towns made all four of his free throws to raise his percentage to 82.7, best in the MAAC.
Niagara trailed, 23-22, at the half then blew out the visiting Hawks with 52 percent shooting in the second half. The Purple Eagles made 7 of 12 3-point shots after halftime for 58.3 percent.
Monmouth’s last lead was 39-38 with 11:39 left to play. Niagara took over from there. A three by Prochet made it 45-42 and started a 10-0 Niagara run. Another 9-0 run later and scoring the last six points of the game established the 27-point final margin, which was the largest of the game.
Deion Hammond led Monmouth’s scoring with 12 points.
Overall, Niagara made 22 of 51 shots for 43.1 percent and 11 of 25 3-pointers. Monmouth was 19 for 55 (34.5) for the game and 4-12 from 3-point range. In the second half, the Hawks were limited to 10 field goals in 29 attempt and made 2 of 5 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Lofton leads Bonnies over Richmond
Iron man guard Kyle Lofton went the distance again for St. Bonaventure in a 66-57 Atlantic 10 Conference victory over the Richmond Spiders on Saturday at the Robins Center in Richmond, Va.
Lofton who played all 50 minutes in a double-overtime loss to Dayton the week before and all 40 minutes of a victory at Massachusetts Wednesday night, didn’t sit once in the Bona victory. He finished with with 21 points.
One reason Bona coach Mark Schmidt is leaning so heavily on the freshman guard from Hillside, N.J. is the concussion injuries that have kept backcourtmen Jalen Poyser and Nelson Kaputo out of the lineup.
Kaputo did return on Saturday and played 20 minutes. He scored three points, but more importantly, was a team high plus-14 when he was on the floor.
The Bonnies were never able to rest comfortably. Their largest lead of the game was the nine-point final margin. Richmond biggest lead was only five points just a little over five minutes into the game.
St. Bonaventure led, 27-22, at the half and gave up the lead only once, briefly, in the second half. Richmond took a 48-47 advantage before Courtney Stockard hit a pair of free throws to put Bona back in front to stay.
Like Lofton, Stockard played all 40 minutes, and had 18 points. Freshman center Osun Osunniyi had 11 points and 11 rebounds. He led the Bonnies to a 38-25 advantage in rebounding. Bona had an 11-2 advantage on the offensive glass.