After Austin Cooley scored five points in a row to tie the game at 53, Canisius went on a 9-1 run capped by Coles’ spinning layup with four minutes left.
Niagara never trailed in a free-flowing first half, but led just 34-32 at the break after being up by as many as eight points.
“Wow, what a ballgame,” Mihalich said. “It stings to come out on the short end. Two good teams going at it. One team is in a little bit of a hot stretch right now. We’re not. But it was a great college basketball game. Great rivalry game. Every play counted.”
Not as much it will count five weeks from today when the MAAC quarterfinals are played.
“We can’t just wait for those three days in March,” Mihalich said. “The clock’s ticking.”
Contact reporter Jonah Bronstein at 282-2311, ext. 2258.