POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - A three-pointer by Juan'ya Green with 1.5 seconds to play lifted the Niagara men's basketball team to a 57-54 victory over Marist in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game on Friday at McCann Arena.
For Marist, junior center Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.) led the Red Foxes with 17 points, and he added five rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals. Junior swingman Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) had 10 points to along with team highs of seven rebounds and four assists. Junior forward Jay Bowie (Tampa, Fla.) gave the Red Foxes three double-digit scorers, as he had 10 points plus six rebounds, two steals and two assists.
Green led all scorers with 20 points for the Purple Eagles. Tajhere McCall had a game-high nine rebounds in addition to eight points.
The contest included five lead changes and seven ties. A 9-0 run gave Niagara its largest lead of the game at 19-10 with 11:07 left in the first half. However, the Red Foxes answered with an immediate 8-0 run to cut their deficit to one. The teams combined to score only nine points in the final six minutes of the first half, as Niagara took a 24-22 halftime lead.
A three-pointer by Green with 16:48 to play gave Niagara a 33-27 lead and forced Marist to call timeout. The Red Foxes tied the game just 1:18 lead on a three-point play by Kemp, followed by a three-pointer by sophomore guard T.J. Curry (Brooklyn, N.Y.). This was part of an 11-2 Marist run, which saw the Red Foxes take a three-point lead with 12:56 to go.
Then it was Niagara's turn to go on a run, as the Purple Eagles went on a 15-4 spurt to go up 50-42 with 7:09 left. Green hit two three-pointers and a pair of free throws in this span.
With 1:05 left, a layup by Curry following a steal by sophomore point guard Isaiah Morton (Vineland, N.J.) brought Marist to within 54-53 with 1:05 left. Lewis got a steal on Niagara's possession, and was then fouled. He split a pair of free throws to tie the game with 34 seconds left.
This set up Niagara's final possession, in which Green ran the clocked down, and then drained a three-pointer from the right wing for the decisive final basket. Green scored just four points on 2-for-7 shooting and was 0-for-2 from three in the first half; he hit four three-pointers and scored 16 points in the second half.
Niagara remained in first place in the MAAC at 11-4 in conference play at 15-11 overall. Marist had its two-game winning streak snapped, and fell to 7-19 overall and 4-11 in the MAAC.
Marist will return to action on Sunday at conference rival Rider. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.