RIVERDALE, N.Y. – (Niagara Press Release) The Niagara Purple Eagles fell at the Manhattan Jaspers, 90-72, on Sunday.
“Manhattan is a very good team and a well-coached team,” head coach Chris Casey said. “I thought we had some opportunities early in the game to make open shots and finish around the basket. I thought early in the second half, we had the same opportunities. They did a good job around the basket; points in the paint speak for themselves.”
Three Purple Eagles (19-6, 12-4 MAAC) were in double figures scoring, led by Marcus Ware who followed his second career double-double in Niagara’s previous game with 19 points and four rebounds. Antoine Mason, the nation’s leading scorer, netted 17 points and Tahjere McCall added 16 points and a game-high three steals.
A slow offensive start by the Purple Eagles saw them fall behind early. Niagara, which only shot 25 percent in the half, trailed 31-15 with six minutes left. Niagara cut the lead to under double-digits, 37-29, with a minute on the clock after scoring five straight points, but went into the half down 41-30.
In the second half, Niagara was more efficient on the offensive end. NU shot 62 percent from the field and went 14-for-19 (27-for-34 in the game) at the free-throw line, but was unable to stop the Jaspers (19-6, 12-4 MAAC) who shot 58 percent from the field in both halves. The Purple Eagles cut the lead to nine points twice early in the second half before Manhattan pulled away for the win.
Niagara will wrap up its home schedule beginning with a two-game homestand on Thursday, Feb. 20 against Fairfield at 7 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN 1520 AM and on Purple Eagles All-Access.