DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Niagara men's basketball team (2-1) opened the Glenn Wilkes Classic with a victory over Howard (0-3) on Friday, 82-77. Four Purple Eagles tallied double figures in the win, and every player made at least one field goal in the first half.
Niagara scored 50 points in the first half while shooting 71.4 percent from the floor (20-for-28). The Purple Eagles, who led from start to finish, took a 50-37 lead into the break after all eight players connected on at least one shot from the floor.
Junior Anthony Nelson (Plainfield, N.J.) led the quartet of double-digit scorers with 18 points. The point guard shot 5-for-7 from the floor, inlcuding a perfect 2-for-2 from behind the arc, while adding five assists and four rebounds.
Seniors Bilal Benn (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Rob Garrison (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) each recorded 17 points on a combined 15-for-25 shooting. Benn picked up his third double-double in as many games, adding a team-best 12 rebounds and a game-high six assists. Garrison chipped in with five assists and three steals in the win.
Senior Demetrius Williamson (Chicago, Ill.) scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half while pulling in seven caroms.
Sophomores Austin Cooley (Silver Spring, Md.) and Kashief Edwards (Philadelphia, Pa.) both added seven points against the Bison. Cooley connected on a pair of triples in the first half and Edwards added a career-high four blocked shots. Freshmen Scooter Gillette (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Eric Williams (Hope, B.C.) both recorded two points off the bench on 1-for-1 shooting.
Overall for the contest, the Purple Eagles shot 57.1 percent from the floor (32-for-56) and 44.4 percent from behind the arc. (8-for-18).
Niagara returns to the Ocean Center for a contest against Central Florida on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.