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Niagara men’s basketball returns home to host regional tournament


NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- The Niagara Purple Eagles return to the Gallagher Center to host the Fort Myers Tip-Off Niagara Regional. Niagara starts the regional versus Grambling State on Friday at 4 p.m., followed by St. Francis Brooklyn against IUPUI at 7 p.m. The Purple Eagles will play on Saturday at 7 p.m. versus either St. Francis/IUPUI.
Scene Setter
•  The Purple Eagles are back in the Gallagher Center after a two-game road swing as part of the Fort Myers Tip-Off. The Purple Eagles began play in the Fort Myers Tip-Off with a defeat to 2018 Final Four participant Loyola Chicago on November 14, but bounced back with a solid performance to beat Wyoming on November 16.
•  Niagara opened the season with a victory at home as Chris Casey improved to 4-2 in home openers with victories over Buffalo (2013), Brown (2015), Alabama A&M (2017) and St. Bonaventure (2018).
•  The Purple Eagles are looking to improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 at the Gallagher Center which both would be their best start since the 2009-10 season.
Tipoff Tidbits
•  Marvin Prochet was named MAAC Player of the Week on November 19 after posting three consecutive double-doubles to open the season while averaging team-highs in points (19.0 ppg) and in rebounds (11.0 rpg).
•  Marvin Prochet is the first Purple Eagle to start the season with three straight double-doubles since Bilal Benn in the 2009-10 season. Prochet has 12 career double-doubles, including 15 career 10-rebound games.
•  Marvin Prochet is 58 points away from becoming the 47th member of the 1,000 point club.
•  Dominic Robb established a new career-high in blocks with eight, including seven in the first half, which are tied for the second most blocks in a game in program history. The eight blocks are also tied for second most in the nation this season. Robb has three of the top-8 most blocks in a game in Niagara history.
•  Dominic Robb blocked three shots at Wyoming, his 24th career 3-block game, to move into fourth on the career blocks list with 171.
•  Dominic Robb leads the MAAC in total blocks (15) and blocks per game (5.0) while ranking second in the nation in blocks per game and 10th in total blocks.
•  Keleaf Tate established a new career-high in points with 17, had a game-high three steals which are a career-high, and shared team-high marks in assists with three versus St. Bonaventure.
•  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 at Loyola Chicago.
•  Freshman Raheem Solomon scored his first career points with a 3-pointer on his way to 12 points, including a team-high 10 points in the second half, at Wyoming.
•  Niagara is eighth in the NCAA in free throw percentage (.814).
•  The Purple Eagles received four votes in this week's Mid-Major Top 25 Poll.
On The Court
Grambling State Tigers (2-2, 0-0 SWAC)
•  Grambling State was tabbed as the preseason favorites in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) after going 17-14 overall and 13-5 in conference play for its first regular season title since the 1988-89 season.
•  Ivy Smith Jr. was named to the All-SWAC Preseason First Team and forward Devante Jackson was named to the All-SWAC Preseason Second Team.
•  Grambling State arrives to Monteagle Ridge with a 2-2 record. The Tigers have wins against Jarvis Christian and Champion Christian with their two defeats coming at Wyoming and Loyola Chicago.
•  Dalla Polk-Hillard leads Grambling State in points at 16 per game and in rebounds at 7.5 per contest. Ivy Smith Jr. is second on the team in points (10.8 ppg).