Former Northeastern High School teammates square off in NCAA Division I basketball game
Two former Northeastern High School teammates faced off as NCAA Division I basketball foes on Tuesday.
For one day at least, Kobi Nwandu and Niagara got the better of Antonio Rizzuto and Albany.
Nwandu led the Purple Eagles to a 70-65 nonconference victory over the Great Danes in Albany, New York.
Nwandu led NU in scoring with a season-high 16 points, going 7 for 15 from the field. He also led the team with four assists, which ties his season high. He also collected five rebounds. He’s now scored in double figures in five straight game.
For the season, the 6-foot, 6-inch redshirt senior is averaging 12.2 points per game, which is second on the Niagara team. He’s also averaging 4.3 rebounds (third on the team) and a team-best 3.2 assists per game.
Nwandu has started all six games for Niagara and is averaging 33 minutes per game. He’s shooting 50% from the field, including 36% from 3-point range. He’s helped Niagara win three straight games after the team opened the season with three losses. Niagara is 2-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Nwandu is in his first season playing with Niagara and he’s seemingly enjoying his new D-I home. He transferred from Le Moyne, where he was an instrumental member of the Dolphins team that won the Northeast-10 regular-season championship in 2018-2019 and qualified for their third straight NCAA Division II Tournament. Nwandu averaged a team-high 16.6 points per game for Le Moyne, while also averaging 3.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists
Before joining Le Moyne, Nwandu played at East Stroudsburg, which is also an NCAA Division II program.
In Tuesday’s loss to Niagara, Rizzuto scored six points on 2 for 4 shooting from 3-point range over 27 minutes. Albany fell to 0-3.
For the season, the 6-3 junior is second in scoring for Albany at 10.3 points per game. He’s shooting 44% from 3-point range and averaging 25 minutes per game.
Nwandu and Rizzuto both scored more than 1,000 career points at Northeastern. In 2016, Nwandu and Rizzuto helped the Bobcats to a 21-3 record.
Reach Steve Heiser at email@example.com.