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Live blog: St. Bonaventure vs. NC State

Final: NC State 67, St. Bonaventure 65.

Eric Mosely hit two free throws to tie the game, 65-65, and it looked as if the teams were headed to overtime. However, the touchdown play -- a pass the length of the court from CJ Williams to CJ Leslie -- gave NC State the shot it needed to pull out the win. Officials went to the video and put 0.8 seconds back on the clock, but Bona failed to get a final play off.

While the final play was dramatic, Bona's offense in the second half faltered. The Bonneis shot just 29.2 percent (7 for 24) and Andrew Nicholson netted just six points in the second half.

Second half

3:57 left: NC State leads, 57-56. Bona had four missed shots and a shot clock violation in that last stretch. The offensive management has not been stellar, but time of possession has helped them stay in the game since the Wolfpack have rushed and missed their last two shots.

7:02 left: NC State leads, 55-54. It's a classic game of small runs. Bona has been burned in the last segement on fastbreaks off missed shots and turnovers, but continues to shoot the ball well.

11:58 left: Bona leads, 48-46. Despite a series of turnovers, the Bonnies mitigated the damage thanks to missed shots and turnovers by NC State. A three-pointer by Eric Mosely with just over 12 minutes left gave BOna back a two-point lead. For the record, Andrew Nicholson has five of Bona's nine turnovers.

14:32 left: NC State leads, 46-43. Bona has had its last few shots blocked in the low post, but officials called a foul on the last attempt, sending Charlon Kloof to the free throw line for two shots out of the timeout.

Halftime: Bona leads, 39-37. Eric Mosley hit a shot in the final seconds to give the Bonnies the halftime lead. He also had a key steal and fastbreak layup in the final two minutes. Demitrius Conger leads all players with 12 points while Andrew Nicholson has 10. NC State has a 20-15 advantage on the glass.

First half

2:51 left: NC State leads,, 34-32. Alex Johnson hit a three-pointer with about seven minutes left to give the Wolfpack its first lead. Two more threes from him helped State stretch it's lead to eight, 34-26, but the Bonnies battled back with a three from Conger and a thunderous dunk from Da'Quan Cook.

7:52 left: Bona leads, 24-23. Bona committed its first turnover at 9:20, which NC State promptly turned into a fastbreak layup. 

11:51 left: Bona leads, 16-13. NC State is getting some scoring inside and took advantage of some offensive rebounds in that segement.

13:38 left: Bona leads, 14-8. Andrew Nicholson will be shooting a free throw out of the time as he was fouled in the low post on making his first shot of the game. The Bonnies went on a 9-0 run to start the game, but the Wolfpack answered with a 6-0 ru of its own. Two three-pointers from Demitrius Conger have helped the Bonnies.

18:02 left: Bona jumps out to a 7-0 lead and NC State calls timeout. The Wolfpack missed their first three shots with no offensive rebounds.

ROCHESTER -- Welcome to the Flower City for a home away from home game for the St. Bonaventure men. In what's become a tradition, the Bonnies are playing one of their marquee opponents in Rochester's Blue Cross Arena.

It's the first meeting between the schools since they met in the Sweet 16 in 1970, a game Bona won, 80-68, en route to the school's only Final Four apperance.

The Bonnies are 5-4 overall and on a two-game winning streak while NC State (6-4) has played a nonconference schedule ranked No. 14 nationally in strength of schedule according to Collegerpi.com. The Wolfpack are coming off an 88-76 loss to No. 1 Syracuse.

--- Amy Moritz

Bona-Loyola Game Analysis

Bona 76, Loyola (Md) 55

How Bona Won: The tone was set when Andrew Nicholson absorbed a couple of bumps and dunked on Bona's first possession. The Bonnies continued to pound it on the inside, whether it was Nicholson, Demitrius Conger, Da'Quan Cook or Youssou Ndoye. The four accounted for 15 of their 22 field goals.

Player of the Game: Conger did it all, leading the Bonnies in points (20), assists (five) and minutes (38). His height and long first step make him tough to match up against on the wing. He's come a long way.

Player of the Game II: Loyola sophomore guard Justin Drummond came off the bench to score a career-high 26 points. Fellow sophomore guard Dylon Cormier leads the Greyhounds in scoring (17.9) and receives all the attention. But he was a non-factor Sunday (seven points) while Drummond single-handedly got Loyola back in the game. He's 6-4 and awfully strong off the dribble.

Stat of the Game: Bona shot 65 percent in the first half and 58 percent for the game and became the first team in four games to score at least 60 on the Greyhounds.

Stat of the Game II: The loss ended Loyola's eight-game winning streak. The Greyhounds have turned the corner. They're a little thin up front but they just might could contend for the title in the MAAC. And center Shane Walker's the only senior of note on the roster.

He Said It: Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos on Bona's Nickelson: "He's going to be a solid NBA guy that plays for like 10 years. I don't think he's going to be a star."

He Said It II: Patsos: "We walked out and we were a little surprised how big they were phyically.  That caught us."

Update: There's talk that Michael Davenport's separated shoulder could be a season-ender. Or close.

What It Means: Bona's back over .500 at 5-4.

Next Up: Both the Bonnies and Greyhounds step up in class. Bona plays North Carolina State Tuesday night in Rochester. Loyola goes to Kentucky on Thursday.

-- Bob DiCesare 

Half: Bona 43, Loyola (Md) 28

Fouls limit Andrew Nicholson to just seven first-half minutes but Bona's dominating the inside nonetheless and threatening to break Loyola's eight-game winning streak. Great half for Demitrius Conger, who has 12 points and three assists. Da'Quan Cook and Eric Mosley have added eight apiece. Bona has a 19-7 (yes, that's right, 19-7) advantage on the boards. Bonnies shot 15 of 23 in the first half to 10 of 27 for Greyhounds. Loyola ripe to be had given win streak and upcoming game at Kentucky. But I like Greyhounds better than I like Iona when Gaels came through Buffalo two weeks ago. This is a dangerous team.
-- Bob DiCesare

Live from Olean: St. Bonaventure vs. Niagara

Final: Bona 63, Niagara 49

Second half:

15:32 left: Bona leads, 41-31. The Bonnies are clearly missing Megan Van Tatenhove as Niagara holds a 20-16 advantage on the boards and Bona has zero offensive rebounds. But the Bonnies are shooing well (15 of 28 for 53.6 percent) to extend their lead to double digits for the first time this game.

10:28 left: Bona leads, 45-33.Bona's defense has picked up the pace and Niagara is just 2 for 11 from the field in the half. The Bonnies have had no turnovers this half. Better defense and valuing possessions. It's not rocket science, but it works.

7:55 left: Bona leads, 50-35. Jordan McGee has five points in the last segment to help extend the lead.

3:38 left: Bona leads, 58-40. Jessica Jenkins leads with 16 points, but didn't necessarily call bank on her last 3-point shot. Armelia Horton has a career-high 14 points. And the Bonnies have their first offesnive rebound of the game.

Halftime:

Bona leads, 37-28, thanks to a 3-pointer in the closing seconds by Chelsea Bowker. Niagara moved well on offense and hit shots but on the other side of the coin, the Bonnies played some of their worst defense in recent memory.

First half:

15:42 left: Bona leads, 7-2. Jessica Jenkins hit a three-pointer to open the scoring for the Bonnies. Niagara, meanwhile, missed its first six shots.

11:10 left: Bona leads, 13-11. Niagara hit some shots and got two blocks on Bona to get back into the game. A 3-pointer from Chanel Johnson tied the game, 11-11, but Alaina Walker hit a jumper and Bona forced a turnover just before the media timeout.

7:36 left: Bona leads, 22-17. The Bonnies took a 20-11 lead on 3-pointer from Jenkins, but back-to-back threes from Niagara (Meghan McGuinness and Val McQuade) helped Niagara cut back int othe lead. Niagara has hit 3 of 7 from three-point range.

2:55 left: Bona leads, 31-26. Bona forced a shotclock violation on Niagara's last possession but this has been a poor showing by the Bona defense. Niagara, meanwhile, is hitting shots -- 10 of 23 from the floor and 4 of 8 from 3-point range.

Pregame:

It was a press release that put some perspective on tonight's game. This afternoon, the Bona athletic department announced that in conjunction with Univeristy Ministries they would be setting up an assitance program to help freshman guard Tatiana Wilson and her family after a fire destroyed their house in Far Rockaway Queens early Tuesday morning.

According to the release:

"Wilson's mother and five younger siblings jumped from their second-story home into the arms of New York City Sanitation Department workers, who saw the flames from a distance and called 911.

"Temeka, Wilson's mother, broke her back while trying to escape, sister Amari, 12 suffered a broken leg and sister Shaina, 17, suffered third-degree burns. The family lost everything in the fire."

A list of items needed by the family is available at www.gobonnies.com. Items will be collected at Sunday's doubleheader and at the men's game Tuesday in Rochester. Donations, both monetary and other items, can be mailed to the university.

OLEAN -- The St. Bonaventure women's basketball team will look to continue it's Big 4 dominance hosting Niagara in the Reilly Center. The Bonnies (8-1) have won 14 straight games against Big 4 opponents. In those 14 wins, the Bonnies have won by an average of 18.6 points and only three of those wins were by single digits.

Bona forward Megan Van Tatenhove is doubtful today with a head injury after she knocked her head on the floor against the Univrsity at Buffalo on Saturday. Chelsea Bowker is listed in her place among the probable starters.

Niagara enters the game 3-7 , though the Purple Eagles ahve two wins in their last four games -- a 61-60 decision at Colgate and a 64-53 agianst Binghamton in the Gallagher Center.

--- Amy Moritz

Turner Gill and Liberty a match

Asked what a Texan who played at Nebraska would take the head coach job at UB, Turner Gill told me at the time that he prayed on it. A man of deep faith, Gill bounced back from two rocky years at Kansas by taking the head job at Liberty, a faith-based university with a recent history of football success.

It's a perfect fit on Gill, who from my understanding could take another job and still receive the bulk of his $6 million buyout from Kansas. Liberty went 47-20 and 26-5 in the Big South under Danny Rocco, the new coach at Richmond. So Gill's not starting from the depths, as he did at UB. It's a chance for him to reestablish his credentials and, if he does, find new opportunities.

Gill wasn't given enough time to do the job at Kansas -- not even close -- although it was alarming the degree to which the Jayhawks were routinely shallacked. All that said, Gill always struck me as someone best suited to the underlying levels of college football. He can recruit. He builds relationships with his players. He's committed to family. And, truth is, little of that matters in Automatic Qualifierville.

--Bob DiCesare

Former UB coach Gill takes job at Liberty

Former University at Buffalo and Kansas football coach Turner Gill has accepted the head coaching job at Liberty University, according to a number of media outlets. The program plays at the Football Championship Subdivision level (formerly Division I-AA).

Here is the story from the The News & Advance in Lynchburg, Va., where the school is located.

Niagara-Drexel Game Analysis

Drexel 71, Niagara 58

Game Analysis: It's tough to make a go of it against a quality foe without an inside game. Niagara looked good when its guards were on fire from afar. But when those shots stopped falling the Purple Eagles were lost. Post players Scooter Gillette and Joe Thomas combined for four shots, making three. The rest of the team was 15 for 48. Not that this is anything new. For better or worse, Niagara's always been guard-oriented under Joe Mihalich (save the Juan Mendez years).

Turning Point: Take you pick. Was it Drexel's first 13-0 run? It's second 13-0 run? Or the combined 26-1 stampede?

Player of the Game: Dragons guard Chris Fouch came off the bench in the first half, started the second half and scored 21 of his 24 points after intermission, when he was 5 of 8 from three.

Slower Starters: In the first five minutes of the first half and the first 14 minutes of the second half Niagara went a combined 2 of 21 from the field.

Stat of the Game: Fueled by Fouch, Drexel won the battle of the benches, 26-7.

They Said It: During Drexel's postgame media session attended by coach Bruiser Flint, Damion Lee and Fouch:

     Flint: "These two dudes don't play no 'D'. They just shoot. . . . Defense is not one of their priorities."

     Lee: "They didn't score for 14 minutes, did they?"

What It Means: Niagara fell to 4-7.

Next Up: The Purple Eagles are off until they face Quinnipiac on the road Dec. 22.

-- Bob DiCesare

Niagara-Drexel Live

Mack Receives SI honor

UB sophomore linebacker Khalil Mack has been named an honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated after leading the Mid-American Conference in tackles for losses and forced fumbles. He ranked among the top 10 nationally in both categories. Mack hails from Fort Pierce, Fla.

In other UB news, sophomore running back Branden Oliver (Miami) was named the team MVP in a vote among teammates. The honor was announced at UB's awards banquet Monday night. Oliver set school records for attempts (306), rushing yards (1,395), all-purpose yards (1,760). He also was honored with the first "Athlete of the Year" award  presented by the UB Sports Performance Department.

Mack and Oliver are close friends and work out together in the offseason.

-- Bob DiCesare

Bona's Davenport Sidelined

St. Bonaventure just announced via text statement that senior guard Michael Davenport is out indefinitely with a left shoulder sprain suffered against Canisius. We don't know if that means at least a week, two, three . . .

Davenport recently ceded his spot in the starting lineup to sophomore Matthew Wright. He has averaged 19.4 minutes and 5.8 points. The injury further challenges Bona's depth. The Bonnies lost forward Marquise Simmons for the year before the start of the season. On the bright side, junior guard Chris Johnson saw his first extensive action against Canisius and went off for a career-high 19 points in 25 minutes.

Bona hosts Loyola (Md), winner of eight straight, Sunday in the Reilly Center and meet North Carolina State Tuesday in Rochester.

-- 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 | bdicesare@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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