The Niagara Purple Eagles return to the Gallagher Center after their season-long five-game road trip on Wednesday to host the Hartford Hawks at 7 p.m.
Niagara (3-6) will play its first home game in 24 days after going 1-4 during its five-game road swing where it played three 2012 NCAA Tournament participants. The sophomore triplets of Antoine Mason (19.8 ppg), Juan’ya Green (15.4 ppg) and Ameen Tanksley (10.4 ppg) averaged double figures during the five-game stretch.
NU’s last home game was a memorable one. The Purple Eagles rallied from a 22-point first half deficit to defeat New Mexico State 86-83 to finish second in the 2K Sports Classic Subregional. The Purple Eagles have won the last three encounters with Hartford (5-4) to tie the series at 5-5. NU held off a late run by the Hawks to take last season’s meeting, 79-76, at Chase Arena.
Joe Mihalich is ONE win away from 250 for his career.
Antoine Mason leads the team and is third in the conference with 18.6 points per game. Juan’ya Green is seventh with 16.6 points per game. The duo has scored in double figures in each game this season.
Green has dished out at least four assists in eight of the nine games this season.
La Salle transfer redshirt senior Devon White made his debut as a Purple Eagle at Buffalo
Green led the Purple Eagles in scoring and assists in games at Loyola and Buffalo. Green averaged 21 points per game, 4.5 assists per game, 3.0 rebounds per game, 1.5 steals per game while shooting over 51 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free-throw line
How To Tune In
NU fans can listen live to all the action from “The Voice of the Purple Eagles” Todd Callen. The matchup can be heard live on WWKB 1520 AM. Internet listeners can listen free online through Purple Eagles All-Access.
Mihalich Approaching 250 Wins
Joe Mihalich is ONE win away from reaching 250 wins for his career. Mihalich, who is in his 15th season as head coach, is the all-time winningest head coach in MAAC history. Out of the 347 Division I programs, only 30 percent (104) of the current head coaches have at least 250 wins.
Purple & WHITE Debut
Redshirt senior Devon White made his Niagara debut at Buffalo on Dec. 8. White, who transferred from La Salle after playing three seasons, missed the first eight games while recovering froman off-season injury to his Achilles. White started against the Bulls and finished with four points, five rebounds and had a team-high two blocks in 23 minutes.
‘Tis The Season For Sharing
Juan’ya Green and Tahjere McCall rank in the top eight in the MAAC in assists per game. Green is fourth with 5.0 apg and McCall is ninth with 3.3 apg.
Going The Distance
Antoine Mason has played all 40 minutes twice this season, most recently in the Big Four rivalry game at Buffalo, and is the only Purple Eagle to do it at least once this season. Mason averaged 21 points and six rebounds in the two games (Central Michigan and Buffalo).
Niagara ranks in the top 45 nationally in two statistical categories, according to KenPom.com. The Purple Eagles are 44th in the nation in turnover percentage and 30nd in steals percentage. The numbers represent the percentage of NU possessions in which those things have occurred. NU only has the ball stolen 7.7 percent and NU has a 17.8 percent in turnover percentage.
Since You’ve Been Gone
A lot occurred during NU’s five-game road trip from Nov. 24-Dec.8. The Purple Eagles began the trip with a Little 3 matchup against St. Bonaventure in Rochester, N.Y., opened MAAC play at Iona, won their sixth straight at Loyola and played local rival Buffalo. T.J. Cline was named MAAC on Nov. 26, Coach Joe Mihalich won his 249th game on Dec. 5 and Devon White made his season debut.
On The Court
Hartford Hawks (5-4, 0-0 America East)
Hartford enters Wednesday’s game with a 5-4 record and has won four of its last five games. Mark Nwakamma leads the team with 12.7 points per game and in total rebounds with 48.
Against the Hawks (Tied, 5-5)
The Purple Eagles have won the last three meetings between the Hawks. Niagara and Hartford were former ECAC foes.
Last Meeting – December 10, 2011
Niagara 79, Hartford 76
HARTFORD, Conn. – The Niagara Purple Eagles withstood a late Hartford rally to escape with a 79-76 victory on Saturday from Chase Arena.