SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) Juan’ya Green had 20 points to pace five double-figure scorers for Niagara as the Purple Eagles got past Canisius 80-70 on Friday night in the opening round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.
Joseph Thomas added 15 points while Ameen Tanksley had 14 points and 10 rebounds for seventh-seeded Niagara (14-18). Malcolm Lemmons also chipped in with 12 points and Antoine Mason had 10 for the Purple Eagles, who advanced to play second-seeded Loyola, Maryland, in the MAAC tournament quarterfinals on Saturday.
Niagara trailed for most of the opening half before Green hit two 3-pointers within a two-minute span to help fuel an 11-1 run. The Purple Eagles were then up 20-15 and led the rest of the way. They took a seven-point halftime lead and outscored the Golden Griffins 47-44 in the second.
Harold Washington scored 24 points for 11th-seeded Canisius (5-25).