Niagara nips Stetson, goes 2-0 at MAAC/ASUN Challenge in Dublin

Nov. 19—Niagara forced a turnover with 0.7 seconds left to beat Stetson and leave Ireland with a pair of wins.

The Purple Eagles beat the Hatters 66-62, a day after beating Central Arkansas 73-64, in the MAAC/ASUN Challenge in Dublin. With the wins, Niagara pulls to .500 on the season after handing Stetson — which opened the year with a win over Florida State — its first loss of the year.

After going scoreless in the first half and picking up three fouls, Noah Thomasson scored 15 points on 5 of 10 shooting in the second half to help withstand an early flurry from the Hatters that included a 4-for-4 start from 3-point range.

Perhaps Thomasson's biggest play came with the shot clock winding down, finding David Mitchell for 3 to push Niagara's lead to 62-58 with 1:13 remaining. Mitchell, a transfer from Brown, scored 10 points off the bench.

With Thomasson and Sam Iorio combining for more fouls (5) than points (3) in the first half, the tandem of Aaron Gray and Bryce Moore carried the offense. The duo scored 17 points in the first half, with Gray finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds and Moore adding 14 points, the first double-digit scoring game of his college career.

Stetson (3-1) outscored Niagara 26-24 in the paint, but the Purple Eagles had a 17-2 advantage in second-chance points. They also held the Hatters to 7 of 17 shooting from beyond the arc after coming into the game averaging 11.7 made 3-pointers per game.

Stephan Swenson was the only Stetson player in double figures with 15 points.

Niagara returns to action against Division II D'Youville for its regular-season home opener at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Gallagher Center.