Purple Eagles drop Season Opener

November 18, 2010 Updated Nov 18, 2010 at 12:15 AM EDT

By WKBW News

...

Purple Eagles drop Season Opener

November 18, 2010 Updated Nov 18, 2010 at 12:15 AM EDT

NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. (WKBW.com/Niagara) The Niagara men’s basketball team fell in its season opener versus the Wisconsin- Milwaukee Panthers, 90-73, on Wednesday night at the Gallagher Center, despite a career-high 22-point night from junior forward Kashief Edwards.



“We talked in the locker room about learning and a couple of phrases about it: learning on the job and learning the hard way, and both things happened tonight,” head coach Joe Mihalich said. “We have a very young team and we are going to be learning on the job every night.”



Niagara (0-1) started the game with a fast start and finished with a career-high night from Edwards and three freshmen scoring in double-figures. Edwards scored 16 of his career-high 22 points in the first half and had solid contribution from freshmen guards Antoine Mason, Skylar Jones and Marvin Jordan. Mason, who drained a 3-pointer in his first-ever shot to give NU a 3-0 lead, had 10 points in the first half. Jones scored 13 in the half and Jordan had three assists in the opening four minutes.



Trailing 46-37 with 3:11 left in the half, the Purple Eagles continued their hot shooting from the field and cut the lead to 47-45 after a 3-pointer by Jones. Niagara entered halftime down 48-45 and shot 53.1 (17-for-32) percent from the field.



However, UWM (2-2) started the half on a 10-0 run to push its lead to 13 points and the Purple Eagles were unable to cut the lead to under single-digits again.



Edwards finished the game with a team-high 22 points and five rebounds. Mason was second on the team in scoring with 18 points and led the game with eight free throws made. Jones had 15 points and seven rebounds and Jordan scored 10 points and had five assists.



Niagara will travel to Atlanta to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in its first game in the Legends Classic on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m.