November 15, 2011

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 82, Issue 5

Basketball home opener ends in an overtime win

Niagara takes control during the second half. (photo by Katie Bayne)

Niagara takes control during the second half. (photo by Katie Bayne)

The NU Men's Basketball team opened its 2011-12 season Monday with a win over Central Connecticut.

Joseph Thomas' layup with 11:19 left in the second half gave NU its first lead of the game and capped a strident comeback. His layup with 41 seconds left in overtime sealed the Purple Eagles improbable 102-93 win over Central Connecticut.

The Blue Devils red-hot first half, in which the team shot 53 percent from the field, was not promising for the Purple Eagles. NU struggled offensively (hitting just 12 of 36 shots), and trailed by as many as 20 points.

But Malcolm Lemmons' three-point buzzer shot before halftime foreshadowed what was about to occur in the second half.

The tables turned after halftime when the Blue Devils started to struggle offensively. NU began to shoot the lights out, going 15 for 28 in the second half and five of eight in overtime.

Juan'ya Green, Ameen Tanksley, Ali Langford and Thomas made their debut as Purple Eagles. The quartet made quite a difference in overtime with Langford's three important rebounds and a three-pointer giving NU a 96-88 lead. Thomas scored more than half of his 13 points in overtime.

Green and Marvin Jordan led the Eagles with 23 points apiece, and Green had a game-high six assists. Mason grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and scored 12 points.

Kyle Vinales of Connecticut had a career high of 39 points for the Blue Devils.

The Purple Eagles will be on the road for their next five games, but will return home Friday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. for their first MAAC game of the season in the Gallagher Center.

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