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Niagara men's basketball drops opener to Loyola

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

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CHICAGO, I.L. -- The Purple Eagles gave 2018 Final Four participant Loyola Chicago a battle for 40 minutes before falling, 75-62, on Wednesday night.

Game Summary...
A second half surge by the Ramblers separated a tightly contested game. Loyola scored nine straight points as part of a 16-2 run to open the second half as the Ramblers extended their 35-29 halftime lead.

Trailing 60-38 with 9:18 left, Niagara clawed its way back into the game with a 12-0 run in a three-minute span. The Purple Eagles had points coming from James Towns, a pair of triples by Keleaf Tate, and three straight free throws by Marvin Prochet. However, Loyola halted the run with seven straight points.

The Purple Eagles jumped out to a 5-0 start to the game which included the second career 3-pointer by Dominic Robb. Niagara briefly trailed 7-5 after the Ramblers answered with seven straight points. Marvin Prochet drained a 3-pointer to put NU up 10-7 for a lead the Purple Eagles would have for nearly 10 minutes.  

Niagara received scoring contributions from the backcourt guards during the timespan. Chris Barton scored five straight points to increase the lead to 15-10, and James Towns added five straight points for Niagara's largest lead, 22-14 with 9:33 left in the half. The Ramblers reeled off a 9-0 run to go back in front, as the lead would change four times over the next two minutes. Loyola closed the half on a 9-2 run for a 35-29 halftime lead.

Eagle's Eye On…

  • James Towns set a season-high in points, scoring a game-high 19 points with 14 coming in the second half, and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds.
  • Marvin Prochet recorded his second straight double-double with 14 points and a season-high 11 rebounds.  
  • Dominic Robb added to his blocks total with a team-high four. He chipped in 10 points in 20 minutes.
  • Chris Barton netted a season-high 13 points, including going 7-for-8 at the free-throw line, and had a team-high three assists.

Inside The Numbers...

  • The Purple Eagles shot a season-high 89.5 percent (17-for-19) from the free-throw line.
  • Marvin Prochet now has 11 career double-doubles. Prochet also moved into 50th on the all-time scoring list.  
  • Dominic Robb had his 23rd 3-plus block game with four tonight.  
 
Up Next...

  • The Purple Eagles continue play in the Fort Myers Tip-Off on Friday against the Wyoming Cowboys at 9 p.m. ET/7 p.m. MT.