“It was hurting throughout the game,” he said. “I just felt like I didn’t come back and take charge. ... I didn’t finish the job.”
Anthony Nelson scored 14 points, grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds and dished out five assists.
For the Golden Griffins (11-11, 6-5), the win was another step in the maturing process that they hope will culminate in a run of games at the MAAC tournament.
Elton Frazier led Canisius with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and three incredible dunks. Frank Turner notched 18 points and five assists, and Julius Coles scored 16 points.
While the Purple Eagles went on a 4:18 scoring drought in overtime, Canisius went ona 9-0 run punctuated by Frank Turner’s 25-foot 3-pointer that delighted a capacity crowd at the Koessler Center that was said to be as louder than an airport runway.
Niagara scored first on overtime, on a Rob Garrison jumper from the baseline, but didn’t hit another shot until Garrison made a step-back 3-pointer with 24 seconds left, cutting Canisius’ lead to 71-67.
After Elton Frazier made one of two free throws, Tyrone Lewis buried another 3-pointer, his first bucket since the 18:10 mark of the second half, bringing Niagara within 72-70 with 14 seconds left.
The Purple Eagles had a chance to force double overtime when Turner missed the second of two free throws with 11.6 seconds remaining. Garrison grabbed the rebound and dribbled up the court before launching a double-clutch 3 from the corner that bounced off the side of the rim.
Nelson willed Niagara back into the game late in regulation, muscling himself to the line for six points in a row and then lofting an outlet pass to Rob Garrison for a layup that was goaltended, tying the game at 62 with 2:16 left.
Neither team scored again until overtime. Benn turned it over trying thread a pass to Lewis on Niagara’s final possession. Benn atoned for his mistake on defense, switching onto Turner and forcing him into an off-balance one-handed heave from well beyond the 3-point line at the buzzer.