NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. — The Niagara University men’s basketball team went 0-2 on their weekend road trip in Connecticut. The Purple Eagles first loss came against the Fairfield Stags by a margin of 20 as the final score resulted in a 81-61 defeat.
Niagara struggled early as they turned the ball over five times through the first half giving the Stags a lead they would maintain for the rest of the game. Fairfield would convert 27 points off of Niagara’s 15 total turnovers and scored 42 of their points in the paint.
The Purple Eagles would finish the game with a 42.1 field goal percentage shooting 47.1 from beyond the arc. Matt Scott and Kahlil Dukes led the Purple Eagles in scoring with 18 and 16, respectively. However their efforts were not enough as Fairfield seemed to have an answer for their every move.
Despite another big game for Dukes and Scott, the Purple Eagles would also fall their second game of the weekend to the Quinnipiac Bobcats 89-81.
Niagara started slow and struggled heavily in the first half, shooting 9-29 from the field and 1-7 from beyond the three-point line. Quinnipiac found their way in the opening half scoring 48 points over Niagara’s 26, as they held a 22 point lead. The half ended with Dukes leading the Purple Eagles in scoring with nine points while Peter Kiss led Quinnipiac with 16.
Niagara would head into the second half with a strong push back to close the deficit. Kahlil Dukes and Matt Scott, the two leading scorers on the Purple Eagles’ season, would resiliently close the gap to as much as six points. Niagara had a 51.6 field goal percentage and shot 50 percent from the 3-point line in the second half. Dukes would spark the surge scoring 20 of his 29 points in the second half. Matt Scott would also help the push by making a barrage of shots, putting up 17 of his 20 points in the second half.
Niagara’s late surge wasn’t enough to overcome Quinnipiac as they managed to hold off the Purple Eagles late in the game. Peter Kiss would finish with 23 points and eight assists for the Bobcats and Chaise Daniels would lead the team with 24 and three blocks.
The Purple Eagles will look to get back on track with their next game on the road against conference rival Canisius on Friday Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. Their record now sits at 8-17 overall.