It seems as if the Niagara men’s basketball team played from behind most of the season kept making late runs only to lose close games. The Purple Eagles were seldom blown out.That was the case Sunday as the Purple Eagles fought back from a 39-28 deficit early in the second half and took the lead, 47-46, with 6:43 before losing to Fairfield, 62-58, at the Gallagher Center.
Niagara (9-22, 6-14 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) is the No. 9 seed in the MAAC Tournament and will face No. 8 Quinnipiac at 5 p.m. on Thursday in a first round game at the Times Union Center in Albany. The teams split their regular season games with Niagara winning at home, 83-77, and losing on the road, 95-90.
After the Purple Eagles had rallied to take their second half lead, Fairfield responded with a 12-2 run and stayed in front the rest of the way.
Marvin Prochet of Niagara led all scorers in the game with a career-high 22 points. His previous high was 21 against Drexel on Nov. 23. Matt Scott had 15 points and a team high seven rebounds.
Jonathan Kasibabu had 16 points and Chris Cobb 15 for Fairfield (16-13, 11-9).
Maurice Taylor Jr. and Ali Tew were honors on Senior Day ceremonies before the game. Taylor and Tew were in the starting lineup for coach Chris Casey’s team.
The Niagara women’s team completed its season with a 68-62 loss to Monmouth in West Long Branch, N.J. Monmouth led 37-26 at the half and 51-43 after three quarters. Niagara got no closer than five points after that, however.
Victoria Rampado tied her career high with 27 points for Niagara. It was the 13th game this season that the junior had scored 20 or more points. Kaylee Stroemple had 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds for the Purple Eagles (8-21, 5-14). The win left Monmouth at 14-15 overall and 9-11 in the MAAC.
Kayla Shaw led Monmouth with 14 points. The Hawks avenged a 66-45 loss to Niagara on Dec. 2 at the Gallagher Center.
As the No. 9 seed Niagara will face No. 8 Canisius in the opening game of the MAAC Championships at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday at the Times Union Center in Albany. Canisius defeated Niagara twice during the regular season.