By Nick Veronica
Rayvon Harris scored 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting to lead Niagara past Saint Peter’s Thursday night, 61-59, in the country’s earliest conference game this season.
Saint Peter’s trailed by 12 points, 53-41, with 6:52 to go, but came back to take a 59-58 lead when Tyler Gaskins hit a three-pointer with 1:23 remaining.
Karonn Davis answered with a three for Niagara, and neither team would score the rest of the way as the Peacocks’ Chazz Patterson missed a game-tying jumper with nine seconds remaining.
Niagara, picked last in the MAAC preseason poll, now sits atop the conference standings at 1-0 and 1-1 overall. The next MAAC game isn’t until Dec. 3, when Canisius travels to Saint Peter’s.
Marvin Dominique led the Peacocks (0-3) with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Gaskins had 16 points.
Ramone Snowden added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Niagara. Wesley Myers was 1 for 7 from the field after going 2 for 8 in the opener, though he added seven rebounds and four assists Thursday.
The Purple Eagles were 5 for 14 from three-point range after going 0 for 14 against Pitt last Friday.
Starters: Niagara – Rayvon Harris, Ramone Snowden, Emile Blackman, Karonn Davis, Wesley Myers. Saint Peter’s – Marvin Dominique, Tyler Gaskins, Chazz Patterson, Trevis Wyche, Quadir Welton.
Next: Niagara returns to nonconference action with a 7 p.m. home game on Saturday against Hartford.Follow @NickVeronica