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Niagara men's basketball topples St. Bonaventure in season opener

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

Bench
SCORE: Niagara Purple Eagles 80, St. Bonaventure Bonnies 72
RECORD: Niagara (1-0, 0-0 MAAC), St. Bonaventure (1-2, 0-0 A-10)
LOCATION: Frank and Barbara Layden Court at the Gallagher Center

 
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Marvin ProchetJames Townsand Keleaf Tate all scored in double figures as Niagara took down Little 3 rival St. Bonaventure, 80-72, to tip-off the 2018-19 season.  
 
Game Summary
Eyeing their second consecutive win against St. Bonaventure, the Purple Eagles found themselves trailing by as many 9 points halfway through the first half. Down 22-18 with 7:50 left in the opening half, the Purple Eagles went on a 9-0 run with five points from Keleaf Tate and four points from James Towns. A Dominik Fragala 3-pointer on his first career shot, gave Niagara a 34-28 lead with two minutes left. St. Bonaventure hit a 3-pointer of its own in the waning seconds, giving Niagara a three-point lead into halftime, 34-31.
 
In the opening five minutes of the second half, the Bonnies outscored Niagara 16-11 to take a 47-42 lead. From there, Niagara came back running on all cylinders, headlined by 13 points from Towns and 10 points from Tate in the half.. Niagara used an 8-0 run to regain the lead that the Purple Eagles kept for the remaining of the contest. The Purple Eagles led for the final 14 minutes of the game, leading by as many as 11, en route to Niagara's second consecutive win over St. Bonaventure.  

Eagle's Eye On…

  • Marvin Prochet led the team in points and rebounds, 20 and 10, respectively for his 10thcareer double-double. The game marked his 13th career 10-rebound game and fourth career 20-point game. In addition, Prochet co-led the team in assists with three.
  • Keleaf Tate established a new career-high in points with 17, surpassing his previous high of 15 vs. Quinnipiac on Feb. 8, 2018. Tate also had three assists for Niagara.
  • James Towns had 18 points for the Purple Eagles, his most points in his last six games dating back to last season.
  • Dom Robb established a new career-high in blocks with eight, including seven in the first half, to go along with his six points and five rebounds.
 
Inside The Numbers

  • Niagara earned its first consecutive season opening wins since 2007-08 (Central Michigan) and 2008-09 (Towson).
  • The win against St. Bonaventure, the team's second in as many seasons, marked the first time Niagara has consecutive wins in the head-to-head series since winning eight from 2003-2010.
  • Monday's game marked the first Niagara win in the series at the Gallagher Center since Dec. 22, 2009 (77-71).
  • Eight of the last 10 matchups in the series have now been decided by less than 10 points.
  • Coach Casey improves to 4-2 in home openers in his Niagara career.
  • Niagara improves to 52-35 all-time at home against St. Bonaventure.
 
Up Next

  • The Purple Eagles start play in the Fort Myers Classic on Nov. 14 when they travel to Chicago to battle Loyola University Chicago at 8 p.m. EST.
  • The game will air on ESPN3/+, and on the  Niagara Sports Network via LCTV, WGR 550 AM and www.PurpleEagles.com/Watch