Sanborn, NY- In a highly anticipated matchup between Niagara County Community College (12-6) and Mercyhurst North East (13-4) the Saints were able to prevail securing an 80-71 victory Tuesday night.
The Saints broke the game open with a 3-point bucket from Xavier Sewell and layup by Justin Vaughan to take an early 5-0 lead but Niagara responded with an 13-3 run of their own to take an 13-8 lead at the 13 minute mark.
The lead would change back-and-forth having 7 different lead changes in the first half. With 4.3 seconds left on the clock, Niagara guard Mike McQuillen drove down the court banking a 3 pointer in at the buzzer to give Niagara a 34-33 lead heading into intermission.
Out of the break, the Saints hit their first 3 shots to take a 40-35 lead. The Thunderwolves would answer using a run of their own to keep it even as both teams continued changing leads.
With 3:30 left in the game and tied 63-63 Justin Vaughan hit a 3-pointer to give the Saints a late lead where they never looked back.
After hitting key free-throws down the stretch the Saints were able to get a road win and improve to 2-0 in Region 3 play.
Xavier Sewell added another double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Omar Little Jr. contributed 17 points off the bench.
Niagaras' Elijah McNeely contributed 13 points respectively.
The Saints are back in action Thursday, January 21st when they host Jamestown Community College for a 7:00 PM tip.