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Quinnipiac-Niagara game analysis

Game analysis: Quinnipiac's James Johnson scored 23 points and hit 7 of 11 three-pointers while Niagara's shooting and turnover woes continued in its 88-63 loss on Wednesday at the Gallagher Center.

Why Niagara lost : They shot just 4 of 25 from beyond the three-point arc and guards Anthony Nelson, Malcolm Lemmons and Marvin Jordan were a combined 10 of 34 overall and 3 of 19 from long range. The also commited 16 turnovers and were outrebounded 51-45.

Turning point: Quinnipiac raced out to a 14-4 to start the game and that lead expanded to 24-9 with 8:45 left.

Player of the game: Johnson also added three steals and four rebounds in a solid all-around game.

Stat of the game: Niagara recorded 17 offensive rebounds.

He said it: “They’re a little beat down right now, and our job is to get them feeling better about themselves and stay the course. I told them, ‘We ain’t going no where, we have to get better.’ We have to dribble better shoot better, pass better.’’ - Niagara coach Joe Mihalich.

What it means: The Purple Eagles have now lost seven of their last eight games.

In the house: 1,563 at the Gallagher Center.

Up next: at Drexel on Dec. 28. 

---Rodney McKissic


Weiser commits to UB

Matt Weiser, a 6-4, 220-pound tight end from Robesonia, Pa., today gave a verbal commitment to attend UB a source told The Buffalo News. Weiser's commitment comes a day after the school announced that juco DE/DT Wyatt Cahill signed with the Bulls.

Here's an scouting report on Weiser:

Weiser is a solid target in the passing game. He has solid height and bulk and while he still needs to add more size he should be able to fill his frame out with time in a college weight program. As a receiver he flashes good hands. You would like to see him more consistently catch the ball away from his body, but he does flash the ability to extend his arms and snatch the ball out of the air. He displays good concentration to look the ball in and catch it in a crowd. Will compete for the ball. Displays adequate straight-line speed and looks best suited for the short-to-intermediate passing game. Runs solid routes. After the catch not overly elusive, but displays good balance and can break arm tackles and does a good job of quickly getting turned up-field. Weiser can be a solid and productive target in the passing game, but will need to also be able to contribute as a blocker. He will line up in an in-line position and displays some toughness. Blocking though at this point is a bit of question. Weiser displays that he can contribute some in the passing game and could be a solid addition if he can also produce as a blocker.

Weiser also had an offer from Toledo and drew interest from Virginia and Bowling Green. With Cahill offically in the fold, the Bulls have 16 commitments from the Class of 2011.

---Rodney McKissic


Lotsa suspensions going around

---Where should we begin? Kansas State's Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly were declared ineligible by the school for receiving impermissible benefits in the purchase of clothing at a Manhattan, Kan. department store, which is a secondary violation of NCAA rules.

---Mississippi State's Renardo Sidney has been suspended one game after an outburst at practice. The school released a statement saying Sidney was suspended indefinitely, but sent another release less than an hour later changing the punishment to a one-game suspension.

---Kent State's Carlton Guyton, the Flashes' second leading scorer was suspended following an arrest for illegally taking a women's car without her permission.

---At 32, Niagara assistant Luke Dobrich is already a veteran.

---Billy Donovan is still looking for his team to step up.

---Northern Illinois quarterback DeMarcus Brady has been granted permission to join the basketball team.

---The Atlantic-10 has a tough slate of games over the holiday weekend.

---Florida International's top recruit Dominique Ferguson, who had been academically ineligible, will be able to make his debut tonight against Florida A&M.

---The Jordan Brand Classic will be relocated to Charlotte.

---Rodney McKissic


What's the hold up?

---Why hasn't Maryland officially announced the hiring of Mike Leach?

---The way coaching searches are conducted has not changed over the years, what's significantly different is the criteria schools use in identifying potential candidates.

---When Ball State's president didn't see adequate improvement, Stan Parrish was fired after compiling a 6-19 record.

---Another Brian Kelly offensive coordinator is drawing interest from a MAC school.

---Here's a list of breakout first year players, including one from the MAC.

---Only time will tell if Will Muschamp can win at Florida, but Muschamp’s former players say he will – and sooner rather than later.

---David Jones writes how coaches in waiting often leave schools holding the bag.

---Rodney McKissic


Women's hoops: Buffalo vs. Niagara

Another Big 4 clash tips off in about 15 minutes at Alumni Arena as the University at Buffalo (4-5) hosts Niagara (1-8).

The Bulls are coming off a long layoff for finals after dropping their last two games to Atlantic 10 teams -- Duquesne and St. Bonaventure. Kourtney Brown continues to be impressive for UB, ranking in the national top 25 in five different categories. She ranks fourth in the country in rebounding (12.3), ninth in field goal percentage (.602) and 14th in scoring (21.0). Her five double-doubles rank 10th in the country her 2.4 blocks ranks 25th.

Niagara will have a difficult time countering her with freshman forward Katie Gattuso sitting out tonight's game after a violation of team rules. Point guard Kayla Stroman continues to be sidelined with injury and is expected back for the beginning of MAAC season.

Check back for updates throughout the game.

First half:

15:53: Buffalo leads, 6-3. The Bulls have been off 11 days and it shows, but they seem to have found a bit of their groove. Niagara has had some open looks but missed wildly. 

11:57: The Bulls are finding room to work on offense taking a 15-7 lead. Buffalo is shooting 53.8 percent from the field (7 for 13) while Niagara is just 3 of 11 (27.3 percent). 

7:38: Liz Flooks had a pair of 3-pointers in that segment to help Niagara stay in the game, but the Bulls are still looking smooth with a 22-15 lead. Seven players are in the scoring column for the Bulls, led by Ashley Zuber's five points.

3:48: Niagara went on a 6-0 run to pull within one, 22-21. The Purple Eagles were poised to take a lead when Chanel Johnson was called for an intentional offensive foul as her elbow hit Buffalo's Brittany Hedderson and bloodied Hedderson's nose (for the second time of the game). Hedderson went to the bench for medical attention and Jessica Fortman hit both free throws for a 24-21 UB lead.

Halftime: Buffalo, 29-26. Niagara found some shooting touch and the Bulls lost a bit of theirs as the teams traded lopsided play in the half. The unusual note: Niagara was called for two intentional offensive fouls. The Bulls went 3-for-4 on the free throws but came up empty on the ensuing possessions.

Here's a stat you wouldn't expect in this game: Niagara has a 16-6 advantage in points in the paint.

Liz Flooks leads all scorers with eight points for Niagara while Shy Britton has seven. Jessica Fortman leads Buffalo with six points. Brown has four points -- only taking three shots in the half -- with nine rebounds and two blocked shots.

Second half

14:36: Buffalo leads, 31-26. Only Brown had a bucket in the first segment of the half as missed shots and turnovers were the theme out of the locker room.

11:32: And welcome Kourtney Brown to the game. A perfect lead pass from Jessica Fortman helped Brown score a traditional three-point play to give the Bulls a 10-point lead. Then, as the shot clock expired, Brown threw up a shot form outside that hit nothing but net. Brown has her 35th career double-double and the Bulls have a 38-26 lead.

11:06: Jessica Fortman hits a three-point play for a 41-26 lead. The Bulls are on a 12-0 run to start the second half. Niagara is 0-for-10 from the field in the second half.

6:56: UB leads, 47-33, getting 18 points in the paint and 11 second-chance points. Brown has 11 points and 14 rebounds while Fortman has 11 points. Niagara is shooting just 7.1 percent (1 for 14) for the half.

--- Amy Moritz

Cahill signs with UB

---Defensive end Wyatt Cahill, who gave the Bulls a verbal commitment after his official visit two weeks ago, has signed a letter of intent with the Bulls and will enroll in January. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Cahill played two seasons at Scottsdale Community College and helped the Fighting Artichokes to a 6-4 record this past season. He recorded 30 tackles, including nine tackles for loss and four sacks in eight games.

---Rodney McKissic


Maryland's move to Leach makes sense

---The stunning and seemingly sudden decision by Maryland AD Kevin Anderson to fire Ralph Friedgen as football coach makes absolute sense. After all, former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach has the potential to bring a passion to the school's football program not seen since Friedgen's first season 10 years ago.

---The reason Boise State is playing in the Maaco Bowl and and not the Rose Bowl has been whittled to its starkest plot line: a player missed the costliest of kicks.

---As the profile of many college football assistant coaches rises, so does their pay.

---Pete Lembo hopes to re-energize Ball State with an up tempo offense.

---Here's a Q&A with new Kent State coach Darrell Hazell.

---After ruling the Big East for two seasons, it was surprising how far Cincinnat fell.

---Rodney McKissic


Coach K joins Smith

Coach K ---Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, pictured left, reached 879 career victories by building a program, not just a team. Much like North Carolina's Dean Smith - whose mark Krzyzewski tied with the top-ranked Blue Devils' 98-72 victory over Elon and whose record he could surpass as quickly as Dec. 29, against UNC Greensboro, which would push Coach K to second on the men's victories list.

---This came out last week, but it's a good read on Syracuse big man Rick Jackson.

---Long Island's Julian Boyd was diagnosed with noncompaction cardiomyopathy and was told he'd never be able to play basketball again.

---Andy Glockner projects his picks for the field of 68.

---San Diego State is a top ten basketball team.

---Rodney McKissic


Niagara, Canisius fall on the road

---Niagara shot well, but still lost on the road to Central Connecticut, while Canisius lost to Northwestern State.

---The Dominican Basketball Federation is eyeing coach John Calipari as their next coach.

---Here are the best of the non-BCS-conferences.

---Rodney McKissic


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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |