Niagara rallies late to knock off Monroe

Niagara rallies late to knock off Monroe

ROCHESTER - Niagara County Community College came through with some big shots down the stretch to earn a 79-74 victory over Monroe Community College in a Western New York Athletic Conference men's basketball contest Saturday afternoon.

The loss was the first conference defeat of the season for the Tribunes (6-1, 13-4). The ThunderWolves move to 3-4 in the WNYAC and 13-8 overall.

Monroe led by as many as 13 in the second half when Niagara began to chip away. The lead see-sawed back and forth before Najee Scott connected on a 3 to give the Wolves a 70-67 edge with 2:12 remaining.

After a pair of missed MCC free throws, Donel Cathcart scored two of his game-high 22 to push the lead to five. Majesty Brandon got Monroe back into it, converting a pair of acrobatic layups to cut the deficit to one at 72-71.

But another missed free throw led to a Laterrance Reed 3-pointer to restore a four-point Niagara lead. Scott followed with a pair of free throws to make it 77-71.

Ryan Beckles gave Monroe one last hope as he connected on one of his six 3-pointers to cut the lead back to three with five seconds left. But Scott sank two more from the charity stripe on the ensuing possession to ice the game.

Beckles finished with a team-high 18 for MCC. Mike Kelly Jr. had 16 points and 12 boards, and Brandon also chipped in with 16. Gilberto Cue added 14.