Canisius (15-9) at Niagara (14-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 10, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gallagher Center (2,400) -- Niagara, New York. Television: TWCS. Home Record: Canisius 10-2, Niagara 9-2. Away Record: Canisius 5-7, Niagara 5-7. Neutral Record: Canisius 0-0, Niagara 0-1. Conference Record: Canisius 8-5, Niagara 10-3. Series Record: Niagara leads, 96-75.
GAME NOTES: The top team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference gets back to the hardwood on Sunday afternoon, as the Niagara Purple Eagles entertain the Canisius Golden Griffins at the Gallagher Center.
Having won 10 of the first 13 league bouts of the season, Niagara is all alone atop the MAAC standings at the moment, although the team has been slowed since the start of February with back-to-back defeats. The first loss of the month came against Loyola-Maryland in double-overtime, 89-87, and then followed that up on Thursday night with a 72-69 setback at the hands of the Rider Broncs.
As for the Golden Griffins, who are in the midst of a lengthy road trip that doesn't see them return to the Koessler Center until Feb. 28 versus Saint Peter's, they had a two-game win streak snapped three nights ago in a 67-54 decision against Manhattan in Riverdale.
The first meeting of the season was decided by just a single point last month, 66-65, as Marvin Jordan's 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds remaining was enough to get the Purple Eagles over the top. With the victory, Niagara now leads the all-time series by a count of 96-75.
Canisius looked awful in the first half against the Jaspers a few nights ago, shooting a dismal 4-of-22 from the floor, including 2-of-13 behind the 3-point line, through the first 20 minutes of action. The Griffs did show signs of life after the break with 50 percent accuracy from the floor, but by then it was too late. Alshwan Hymes tallied 16 points and Billy Baron 14 in the setback at Draddy Gym. Baron currently leads a quartet of double-digit scorers for Canisius with 16.3 ppg, accounting for a team-high 133 assists as well as he tries to kick the offense into gear. Harold Washington (12.7 ppg), Isaac Sosa (12.6 ppg) and Jordan Heath (10.l ppg) are along for the ride as the team scores 73.0 ppg.
Niagara led at the half against Rider on Thursday night, but then the visitors lost their grip and allowed the Broncs to respond and capture the three-point decision at Alumni Gym. Ameen Tanksley was responsible for 29 points, shooting 10-of-16 from the floor and 7-of-8 at the charity stripe, while Marvin Jordan accounted for 11 points, although he connected on just 4-of-12 from the field. Juan'ya Green came up very small for the visitors as he tallied just seven points on a dismal 1-of-16 showing from the floor. Antoine Mason, who is dealing with an ankle injury and is being listed as questionable for this weekend, is the leading scorer for the program with his 18.9 ppg and Green is following behind with 16.3 ppg, but as he showed against Rider, there's no guarantee that Green will even reach double figures if his shot is off.
The status of Mason could be a key factor in how this meeting turns out, but even still the Purple Eagles should be motivated to come out determined to snap this brief slide.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Niagara 68, Canisius 63
02/10 10:31:31 ET