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Niagara Prevails Over Canisius in Down to the Wire Finish

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Buffalo: Niagara Prevails Over Canisius in Down to the Wire Finish
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Billy Baron hit two go-ahead jumpers for Canisius in the final 11 seconds, yet it still wasn't enough to propel the Griffs to victory.

Marvin Jordan's three-pointer with four seconds left proved to be the game-winner as Niagara hung on for a 66-65 win at Canisius in front of a sellout crowd from the Koessler Center.

A wild finish saw Baron give Canisius a 65-63 lead with 11 seconds left on a driving layup.
On the other end of the floor, Juan'ya Green found Jordan for the three and the Purple Eagles went ahead by one.

Baron's final try at the buzzer went in, and the Griffs celebrated in apparent victory. However, video replay showed Baron's shot didn't get off in time, and it was Niagara's turn to celebrate with its ninth straight conference win.

"I saw them going crazy, and it was kind of like - I can't explain the feeling," Baron said. "It's just a high, to the ultimate low when you see them celebrating on your home court. It takes everything out of you to tell you the truth, it really just absolutely drains you."

Jordan led all scorers with 23 points off the bench for the Purple Eagles (13-8, 9-1 MAAC).

"We just had to be tough," Jordan said. "A lot of things weren't going our way so we had to stick together and be tough, and make sure we were getting the most out of our possessions. I just knew to be shot-ready the whole time, cause you never know what can happen that late in the game. I was just shot-ready and just trusted (Green) to trust me."

"Epic battle - does that word get used too much? Just an incredible game," Niagara coach Joe Mihalich said. "Two archrival teams, sellout, but our guys right here, I don't know if I've ever been prouder. It seemed like we were dead but just wouldn't give in."

Canisius forward Chris Manhertz had a dominant effort inside with team-highs of 17 points and 15 rebounds. The Griffs (13-8, 6-4 MAAC) led by as many as 10 in the second half before Niagara rallied.

Niagara has now won 18 of the last 21 meetings between the two schools. They will face each other again in two weeks on February 10.

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