College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 29, 2013
Antoine Mason, the nation's leading scorer, at 29.1 points pr game, scored more than half of his team's points as the Niagara Purple Eagles topped the Brown Bears, 68-65.
On the court for 36 minutes, Mason hit 11 of 25 shots, making three of five from three-point land, and hit 14 of 17 free throws for a career-high 39 points.
A see-saw battle in the opening minutes, Niagara took the lead for good on a Mason layup with 6:50 left in the first half, as part of a run of 14 straight points by the 6'3" junior from Queens, NY.
Mason also contributed heartily on the defensive end, snatching six steals and helping out with a pair of boards. Niagara led by as many as 17 points during the second half, but the Bears battled back to within three points with a minute remaining, but Mason's final jumper with 20 seconds left put the Purple eagles up by five, making Sean McGonagill's two-pointer at the buzzer inconsequential.
Niagara won for the third time in its last four games after a horrendous 1-8 start. Last season the Purple Eagles lost to Sienna in the second round of the MEAC tournament and were eliminated by Maryland, 86-70, by Maryland, in the opening round of the NIT.
The 4-9 Purple eagles are already 1-1 in conference, and begin their MEAC schedule in earnest with a pair of road games at Rider College on January 2nd. and Iona on January 4.