Friday, January 8, 2010

Interesting Historical Note from Niagara

Here's an interesting post on the Niagara University's athletic website, part of a regular feature highlighting events in the school's sports history:

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - On this day in Niagara history, Purple Eagle guard Gary Bossert (1983-87) set the NCAA record for consecutive 3-pointers made in a single game with 11 against Siena on Jan. 7, 1987. The shooting guard connected on his final 11 attempts from behind the arc in the 97-88 victory.

Overall on the afternoon, Bossert shot 12-for-14 from 3-point range, totaling a career-high 37 points. Bossert still holds the Niagara record for 3-point percentage in a career with .448.

The 2009-10 Purple Eagles travel back to the scene of the record for a first-place showdown against Siena on Saturday with a 1 p.m. tip.

The item stirred a personal memory since your humble blogger was a newspaper reporter at the time and covered the game for an upstate New York newspaper.

The memory bank recalls that the game was played in the first season that the rule for the 3-point shot was in effect (1986-87), that Bossert was a physical specimen who looked more likely to be part of the school's debate team than a basketball player (he was about 5-foot-9, 160 pounds), and that Siena acted as if it had no idea Bossert could shoot from long range.

But, shoot he did, and very much from long range. At least two of his shots, according to not only my published account of the game but others, too, refer to Bossert pulling up and making 3-pointers from a minimum of 28 feet out.

Niagara won the game by nine points, 97-88, so Bossert's long-range shooting did pretty much decide things.

One corrective note about the Niagara release about Bossert's big night. It refers to Saturday's 1 p.m. contest between the two programs as a return to the "scene of the record."

In truth, the game will be a return to the region, but not the "scene."

The "Bossert Game" was played in Siena's on-campus Alumni Recreation Center gymnasium. These days, Siena plays its home schedule at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.

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