Cougars let lead slip away, fall to Niagara

Two straight conference wins have the Genesee Community College men’s basketball team in the hunt to host a Region III playoff game when the first round rolls around in a couple of weeks, but the Cougars hit a stumbling block on Thursday night, losing to visiting Niagara County Community College, 73-71.
Niagara grabbed an early first half lead but the Cougars put together a 12-0 run halfway through the opening period to take a 30-19 advantage. The Thunderwolves responded with three straight 3pt baskets and got back to within four later in the half. Genesee took a 36-31 lead into the break.
GCC opened up a double-digit lead early in the second half, but with ten minutes to play, NCCC regained the lead after getting hot from three-point range. Both teams went toe-to-toe during the final few minutes but Niagara took a five point, 73-68 lead with a minute to go. GCC had a chance to capitalize on two missed one-and-one NCCC free throws, but were only able to cash in a 3pt basket from Malik Brown with under a second to play. The Thunderwolves were able to run out the clock and held on for the victory.
Vaughn Boler led the way for Genesee with 18 points and nine rebounds. E.J. Blackwell finished with 14 points and 13 assists, Donte Meredith added 13 points and Joe Gray chipped in 10 points.
The Cougars fall to 14-14 on the season and 5-7 in conference play. They will travel to Alfred State College next Thursday night for a 7:30pm start.