For today’s SCGD, we head back east, into the shadow of Niagara Falls, for an important battle at the top of the Metro Atlantic between Canisius and Niagara (2:00 PM Eastern). The Golden Griffins of Canisius enter the game at 8-5 in conference, two games behind league leader Niagara’s 10-3. However, they can trim that lead to one game and create a logjam (with both Loyola and Iona also in the mix) at the top of the standings with a win today.
In terms of RPI numbers, this game is pretty even. Canisius enters ranked 124 while Niagara is at 128. Their KenPom ratings are close as well, with Canisius at 125 and Niagara at 138. Canisius’ numbers are boosted by a good road win at Temple. Niagara, on the other hand, did not do much out of conference. They did start MAAC play at 10-1 though before dropping their last two games. That makes today’s contest even more important for the Purple Eagles to play well.
Due to their proximity, this is one of the top rivalries in the MAAC. However, it has been dominated by the Purple Eagles in recent years. Niagara has won 18 of the last 21 meetings between the two teams, including a win at Canisius earlier this season. However, Canisius head coach Jim Baron is 13-2 all time in his career against Niagara. Niagara is led by Antoine Mason who is averaging 18.9 points per game, good for 30th in the nation. Canisius is led in part by Isaac Sosa who shoots over 42% from three point land.