falls at Niagara
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Despite a strong start to the second half, the St. Francis men dropped a 86-69 decision Tuesday at Niagara.
The Red Flash trailed by 21 at intermission.
After opening the second period in a zone defense and a revamped rebounding effort, the Flash appeared poised to rally, but the Purple Eagles (1-1) were able to regain control.
Niagara held a 29-11 rebound edge in the first half.
“Anytime you get out-rebounded like that in the first half, you don't give yourself a chance to win games,” said coach Rob Krimmel. “Our guys came back and played with some purpose in the second half and gave us a shot pull back into it.”
St. Francis (0-2) cut the deficit to 12, 64-52, in the second half but Juan’ya Green scored five straight points and Antoine Mason sank a jumper to seal the win.
Niagara shot 51.6 percent
(32-62) with St. Francis shooting 41.4 percent (25-58). The Eagles led 45-34 in rebounding.
Stephon Whyatt led St. Francis with 23 points and Ollie Jackson added 15.
Pitt easily defeats Lehigh
PITTSBURGH – Tray Woodall scored a season-high 23 points and Talib Zanna tied a career-high with 20 as Pittsburgh crushed Lehigh 78-53 in the NIT Season Tip-Off on Tuesday night.
Woodall added eight assists for the Panthers (3-0), who will play Michigan in the tournament semifinals next week.
Pitt kept Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum in check for most of the night. The senior preseason All-American finished with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting but was a nonfactor when Pitt broke it open.
The Mountain Hawks (1-2) hung tough during the first half but had no answer during a 21-5 burst by Pitt early in the second half.
Zanna scored seven straight points during the run while Woodall sandwiched layups around a basket by Steven Adams as Pitt turned a
35-32 lead into a comfortable
Lehigh, which upset Duke in last year’s NCAA tournament, shot just 32 percent in the second half.