NCAA Basketball: Niagara defeats Florida A&M, advances to first round of NCAA tournament

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Clif Brown led the charge for Niagara, scoring 32 points and shooting 6-11 from behind the arc in helping the Purple Eagles defeat the Florida A&M Rattlers 77-69 on Tuesday night.

Brown, despite playing the last four minutes in danger of fouling out, shot 10-18 from the field and picked up six rebounds to lead Niagara. Charron Fisher, leading scorer for the Eagles, contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds despite being in foul trouble for much of the second half.

The Rattlers, despite outshooting the Eagles percentage-wise 46 to 40, could not catch up to the Eagles, thanks in part to a team that went 7-18 from the free throw line. Niagara, by contrast, went 21-28 from the free throw line, and also hit four more 3-pointers than the Rattlers.

It was the first opening-round experience for Niagara, who advance to play the Kansas Jayhawks on Friday in Chicago. Florida A&M had been to Dayton for the "play-in" game once before, when they defeated Lehigh in 2004.

The first round of the NCAA tournament begins on Thursday at eight regional sites, and continues on Friday at eight different sites. The second round of the tournament will be played out over the weekend, with the regional semifinals and finals next Thursday through Sunday.