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Canisius-Niagara Rivalry Takes National Stage

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 02/13/2014
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Canisius (16-9, 10-4 MAAC) at Niagara (6-19, 3-11 MAAC)
Date: Friday, February 14, 2014
Time: 9 p.m.
Location: Lewiston, N.Y. | Gallagher Center
Talent: Doug Sherman (p-x-p) and Mo Cassara (color)
Live Audio
: AM-1400 WWWS (Buffalo) &

Talent: Jay Moran (p-x-p) and Tom Smith (color)
Live Stats: Available through

Twitter: @Griffs_MBB | #Griffs; #BeatNiagara; #MAACHoops

The Canisius College men's basketball travels north to meet long-time rival Niagara Friday night live on ESPNU. Tipoff in the Gallagher Center is set for 9 p.m. This will mark the first time the Canisius-Niagara series is being featured as a part of ESPN's Rivalry Week.

Canisius travels north on I-190 tonight to take on long-time rival Niagara in the Gallagher Center. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU as part of “Rivalry Week”.
Tonight’s game at Niagara will be the 174th all-time meeting between these teams, but it marks just the third time the schools have played on national TV. These two programs played the MAAC’s first regular-season game on ESPNU Jan. 17, 2008.
The Golden Griffins come into tonight’s game having dropped two straight for just the second time this season. Canisius lost to Manhattan Feb. 7 and then fell to Iona by the score of 101-91 Feb. 9 at home.
The Griffs are 16-9 overall and 10-4 in MAAC play after losing to Iona Feb. 9. Canisius is currently  game behind Manhattan and Quinnipiac in the MAAC standings.

• Canisius senior Billy Baron leads Canisius and ranks fifth in the nation with his 23.6 points per game scoring average. In three career games against Niagara, he averages 24.3 points per game.
• Canisius senior Chris Perez scored a season-high 25 points in the team’s loss to Iona Feb. 9. He is averaging 13.6 points per game in the Griffs’ last five contests.
• Canisius redshirt freshman Phil Valenti made his first career start on Feb. 9 against Iona when teammate Chris Manhertz was sidelined with a broken nose. Manhertz is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game at Niagara. Valenti had 15 points and nine rebounds in his first career start last Sunday.

• Niagara enters tonight’s game with a 6-19 overall record and a 3-11 mark in MAAC play.
• The Purple Eagles have dropped four straight after losing to Manhattan 78-77 on Feb. 9 at home.
• Junior Antoine Mason leads the nation in scoring average with 26.3 points per game. He accounts for 34.3 percent of Niagara’s total offense. Mason had 29 points in the first meeting between these two schools back on Jan. 22.
• Freshman Ramone Snowden leads Niagara with his 5.4 rebounds per game. Redshirt senior Marcus Ware is chipping in 5.3 boards per contest.
• As a team, Niagara ranks 52nd nationally in scoring average at 76.7 points per game, but the team ranks 342nd in the country in points per game allowed (83.0 per contest).

• This will be the 174th all-time meeting between these two Western New York schools, with Niagara holding a 96-77 lead in the series.
• Canisius’ win over Niagara in the Koessler Athletic Center Jan. 22, gave the Griffs their first back-to-back wins over the Purple Eagles since Feb. 21 and March 3, 2001.
• Last season, each team won on their rival’s home court. Canisius’ 77-70 win in the Gallagher Center Feb. 10, 2013 snapped the Blue and Gold’s nine-game road losing streak in the series.
• Canisius has played more overtime games against Niagara (18) than any other rival. The series is knotted 9-9 when going to an extra period, with the last OT game coming Feb. 15, 2012.

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