Bison look to avoid fall

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BUCKNELL at Niagara 7 p.m.: This is no gimme for the Bison. Niagara, who like Bucknell appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season, has an 18 game win streak in the Gallagher Center. Granted, this is a very different Purple Eagles team, one that graduated three starters, including guard Alvin Cruz, who had 21 points against the Bison in last year's 76-74 BU win at Sojka, and forward Juan Mendez, who had 18. But forward J.R. Duffy, who had 11 points and 12 rebounds against BU last season, is back. Four of Niagara's five starters are averaging in double figures, led by swingman Charron Fisher, a 6-3 sophomore who is averaging 20 ppg while shooting 54.5 percent from three-point range. Junior guard Lorenzo Miles is close behind at 17.7 ppg. Clif Brown, a 6-7 junior is averaging 14 ppg and Duffy is chipping in 10.7 ppg. The fifth starter, 6-6 senior James Mathis, is averaging 9.7 ppg.

Depth, though, is a problem for Niagara. Only two other players have scored for the Purple Eagles and between them they are averaging about 5 combined points per game.

Turnovers have also been a concern for Niagara, Through three games they have 43 turnovers and only 27 assists. Shooting has also been a concern. The Purple Eagles are shooting only 41.6 percent as a team. Neither of those stats bode well against Bucknell's defense.

One strength for Niagara has been free throw shooting. The Purple Eagles have been to the line 23 times more than their opponents (84-61) and have been taking full advantage, shooting 81 percent from the stripe.
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