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Robinson picks Orange

---UB heavily recruited Syracuse defensive end Nick Robinson, but he elected to stay home and attend Syracuse University. Robinson, who selected Syracuse over UB and Western Michigan, is the first lineman to be named All-Central New York Player of the Year by The Post-Standard.

UB's current recruiting class has 19 players after Monday's verbal by Ohio tailback Anthone Taylor.

--Rodney McKissic


First goals and big wins for Canisius hockey

The highlight of the night came on the last score, when the game was already decided for all intents and purposes.

With 6:08 left in the game, Canisius senior captain Phil Rauch fired a shot from the blue line that hit the post and went in the net.

The goal capped off the scoring for the Golden Griffins in their 8-3 win over AIC in Atlantic Hockey action at the Buffalo State Ice Arena Monday night.

But it also was the first career goal for the defenseman, who was playing in his 118th game. Rauch finished the game with a goal and an assist, bringing his career total to 12 points.

"What I will remember most about this game is Phil Rauch getting his first goal and the celebration after," Canisius coach Dave Smith said.

The win, which also featured the Griffs going 3 for 6 on the power play and a pair of goals for senior Cory Conacher, moves Canisius into fifth place in the Atlantic Hockey standings, setting up a key matchup next weekend when the Griffs play at No. 4 Air Force.

--- Amy Moritz

The Shot Clock: Big weekend for Starks, Canisius

Rodney McKissic and Bob DiCesare talk about Canisius' big win -- and a little bit of NFL as UB product James Starks heads to the Super Bowl -- in this week's edition of The Shot Clock:

Ohio tailback commits to UB

---Anthone Taylor, a 5-11, 195-pound tailback from Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio, has given a verbal commitment to UB according to a source, bringing the Bulls total to 19 commitments with three more scholarships to give. Taylor, who visited the UB campus this past weekend, drew interest from Miami (Ohio), Toledo and Indiana State. 

--Rodney McKissic


Coles, Canisius answer the call

---Gaby Belardo's layup gave Canisius a much-needed win over Iona.

---Niagara is left wondering what might have been against Fairfield.

---It's time to start talking about NCAA Tournament bubble teams.

---In college football, Allen Wilson writes how more and more NFL scouts are stopping by UB.

---Auburn's win in the BCS title game may be already paying dividends in the school's football recruiting.

---The past month has been a wild one for new Ball State coach Pete Lembo.

---Rodney McKissic


Niagara-Fairfield Game Analysis

Fairfield 57, Niagara 49

How Fairfield Won: Fifteen offensive rebounds will make a huge difference in a close game. Yorel Hawkins and 7-footer Ryan Olander had five apiece for Stags. Outside of the rebounding disparity the team's were almost identical statistically: FGA: 53-52 Fairfield. FGM: 18 each. Turnovers: 16-15 Fairfield. Steals: 9 apiece.

Turning Point: Derek Needham's three from the left wing salvaged an otherwise lackluster game from the standout guard and gave Fairfield a 48-42 lead with 3:18 left.

Player of the Game: Fairfield freshman Maurice Barrow had some awkward moments early and was blocked twice by Erik Williams. But he finished with 14 points -- 8.4 over his average -- along with nine boards. The six turnovers serve as a reminder that he's a rookie, but that's a pretty big effort on the road on a day when the Stags were thrown off kilter by Niagara's zone.

Stat of the Game: The teams combined to go 4 for 28 from behind the arc. Niagara was 3 of 16, validating its status as one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the land. Not that Fairfield's far behind.

Stat of the Game II: Fairfield has won four straight over Niagara for the first time in a series that dates to 1965-66 and covers 69 games.

They Said It: The sounds of silence. Niagara's Anthony Nelson and Marvin Jordan were requested in the interview room. Neither joined coach Joe Mihalich.

In the House: A scant 1,327 showed up at the Taps. Presumably the rest of Niagara Falls was watching James Starks help the Packers to the Super Bowl.

What it Means: Fairfield takes over sole possession of the MAAC lead at 8-1, while Niagara falls to 1-8.

Next Up: The Purple Eagles hope to have their top inside player, Kashief Edwards, back for Friday's nationally televised game against Canisius at the Koessler Athletic Center.

-- Bob DiCesare







Iona-Canisius game analysis

Game analysis: Canisius’ winning play was straight from a football playbook. Julius Coles (the quarterback) saw Gaby Belardo (the wide receiver) streaking down court and Iona’s Mike Glover (Leodis McKelvin) got burned in coverage in the Golden Griffins' 75-73 win over the Gaels.

How Canisius won: It can’t be undersold how alert Coles was in locating Belardo. Even Belardo said he thought Coles was going to dribble it up court and if he had waited another second, Glover would recovered in time to either foul Belardo or block the layup attempt. And Belardo isn’t exactly Stephen Curry from the free-throw line.

Turning point: Belardo’s layup proved to be the winner but Scott Machado had a shot at the horn that just missed.

Player of the game: Greg Logins was bench because he wasn’t rebounding in the Griffs lost Friday to Fairfield but he turned into Kevin Durant on Sunday with a career high 30 points. He made his first seven shots in the second half and was 6 of 7 from long range. Iona double teamed Logins each time he was on the low blocks but the senior adjusted a stepped out beyond the three-point arc for his offense.

Stat of the game: Canisius was outrebounded 36-29. Coach Tom Parrotta called the Griffs rebounding issues, “the devil,’’ and he’s apparently still hovering.

He said it: “I was just trying to go out there and give it my all. Rebound, scoring, just do it all.’’ – Canisius senior Greg Logins.

What it means: Canisius is now 3-6 in the MAAC and is tied for sixth place.

In the house: 1,075 at the Koessler Center.

Next up: vs. rival Niagara, at 7 p.m. Friday at the Koessler Center.

---Rodney McKissic


Fairfield @ Niagara -- FINAL

FINAL: Fairfield   57, Niagara  49

Looks like we'll have less than the usual near-capacity crowd in the behind-the-bench seating at Taps today. Could it be because the area's favorite son is playing in the NFC title game at 3?

Niagara again without Kashief Edwards (scope). Fairfield held Niagara to 14 first-half point in 70-48 romp in Connecticutt Jan. 3. Stags are one of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's premier defensive teams, so this is going to be a major challenge for Purple Eagles.


Fairfield 28, Niagara 23, 15:34 left: Turnovers hurting Niagara. Only basket a three by Jordan. Yorel Hawkins just threw down an alley-oop off Needham feed. Purple Eagles 1 of 4 with three giveaways. Stags have hit on 4 of 6 this half.

Fairfield 34, Niagara 27, 11:24 to go: Stags had lead up as high as nine. Fairfield doing much better job attacking Niagara's 2-3 zone with cutters through the paint. Rebounding becoming a huge problem for Niagara (Fairfield, 32-20, with 12 offensive).

Fairfield 38, Niagara 27: 7-footer Ryan Olander hits a short hook and feeds Lyndon Jordan for a layup and Stags having their way.

Fairfield 42, Niagara 35 5:55: Niagara still hanging despite just three second-half field goals.


We're 5:05 in and Niagara's still looking for first points. Senior forward Yorel Hawkins has four as Stags lead, 6-0. Purple Eagles Skylar Jones' has rimmed out a couple of threes and Erik Williams missed from close in with 7-footer Ryan Olander lurking. Niagara 0-5 FG with four turnovers.

Fairfield 10, Niagara 4, 11:11 left:: Marvin Jordan going to line for Niagara. Fairfield man-to-man and half-court traps causing Purple Eagles all kinds of grief. Niagara 2 of 10 from field, Fairfield 5 of 14. Stags own boards, 11-6, and Niagara hasn't an offensive rebound.

Niagara 14, Fairfield 10, 7:57 left: That's right. Niagara has ripped off 10 straight and is beating Stags upcourt in transition. Skylar Jones tied game with a three as shot clock expired and Javon Moore followed with a pair of fast-break layups. Run took place with Fairfield's offensive glue, Derek Needham, on bench. He's checking back in.

Niagara 21, Fairfield 18, 2:56 left: Niagara getting nice effort out of Javon Moore.

Halftime: Niagara 21, Fairfield 19: Yes, we're playing with a shot clock. Niagara 9 of 24 FG (2 of 9 from three). Fairfiled 7-27 and 0-5. Moore leads all scorers with nine followed by Jordan with eight. Needham (ave 14.1) has just one for Stags. Purple Eagles shortening game by running clock out of half-court set but they're also pushing tempo off defensive rebounds, and with pretty good success.

 -- Bob DiCesare


Fairfield-Canisius game analysis

Game analysis: A mere seven points separated Canisius from first-place Fairfield but the difference was rebounding and a lengthy scoring draught which spelled doom for the Golden Griffins in their 67-60 loss to the Stags on Friday.

How Canisius lost: The Griffs were outrebounded 45-30 overall, including 18 offensive rebounds. Factor in a nine-minute scoring draught in the second half and it adds up to the team’s 10th loss of the season.

Turning point: After Chris Manhertz scored on a layup with 11:37 left in the game, the Griffs didn’t score again until Tomas Vazquez-Simmons converted a layup with 2:26 remaining. Canisius was outscored 12-2 during the run and didn’t come any closer than five points for the rest of the game.

Player of the game: Fairfield’s Derek Needham scored 19 points and was the only Stag to make a three-pointer (4 of 6). But he also had six turnovers.

Stat of the game: Canisius finished with six blocked shots, including three by Elton Frazier.

He said it: “He looked like Pete Maravich the other night against Siena. He was ballin’. ’’ – Fairfield coach Ed Cooley on Canisius point guard Gaby Belardo.

What it means: Canisius is now 2-6 in the MAAC, in sole possession of eighth place and five games out of first.

In the house: 1,353 at the Koessler Center.

Next up: vs. second place Iona, who defeated Niagara Friday night, at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Koessler Center.

---Rodney McKissic


Niagara-Iona Game Analysis

Iona 72, Niagara 66

How Iona Won: Freshman Sean Armand came off bench to go 4 for 7 from three, score a game-high 15 points and rescue a Gaels' team that definitely looked like it was taking Niagara for granted. Armand nailed three straight threes after the game was tied at 42. Is result different if a Skylar Jones three doesn't go in and out inside 5 minutes with Purple Eagles down one?

Turning Point: Armand's barrage put Purple Eagles in a nine-point deficit midway through the second half and proved too much for a Niagara team that was crawling out of holes all night.

Player of the Game: Niagara sophoore Erik Williams brought his snarl to the court and struck for career highs of 18 points and nine rebounds. Who would have thought he'd outscore Iona's Mike Glover, who averages 20.7, by eight?

Stat of the Game: Niagara attempted just 17 threes - a welcomed decline for a team that ranks next-to-last in the nation in three-point shooting percentage. Purple Eagles made a concerted effort to get ball inside from the get-go. You don't see it from them often enough.

What It Means: Niagara falls to 4-16, 1-7. Iona's 13-6. 7-1

They Said It: "I just told the guys, I think we should have won the game. When you start talking about moral victories, getting close, all that stuff, then you're really talking like a loser. We're not going to allow that to happen." -- Niagara coach Joe Mihalich.

In the House: A crowd of 1,651 at The Taps.

Next Up: Niagara entertains Fairfield at 2 p.m. Sunday while Iona travels to Canisius.

-- Bob DiCesare







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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 |