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Niagara-Iona Game Analysis

Iona 98, Niagara 62

Game Analysis: What's to analyze? Gaels have an abundance of talent and experience and it showed in their dismantling of a young Niagara team that's going to suffer through growing pains.

Player of the Game: Michael Glover was a shell of himself when he came through Western New York last year. Not so Sunday. He scored 17 of his game-high 27 points in the first half, decimating Niagara's outsized, outclassed post players. Niagara's missing the grit of Eric Williams (knee).

Stat of the Game: Iona made good on 18 of 25 second-half field goal attempts.

He Said It: "I just have to figure out why this same group of guys, this same locker room full of guys, played inspired, competitive, emotional basketball on Friday night and clearly shoulda-woulda-coulda beat the second-best team in the league, and then come out today and . . . didn't have all those intangibles you need if you're going to be a good team." -- Niagara coach Joe Mihalich.

In the House: The Gallagher Center crowd numbered 1,337.

What It Means: Iona improved to 6-1 and 2-0 in the MAAC. Niagara's 3-5 and 0-2.

What's Next: The Purple Eagles will be challenged in the low post again when UB pays a visit Wednesday night.

-- Bob DiCesare

Live blog: Canisius vs. Fairfield men's basketball

The second of today's doubleheader at the Koessler Center features the Canisius men against Fairfield in a MAAC game. The Griffs are 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the conference after losing to Iona on Friday night. Fairfield meanwhile is 4-4 overall and 1-0 after beating Niagara on Friday. Junior guard Gaby Belardo is in uniform for today's game. Belardo missed Friday's game against Iona with a lower back injury. Listed as "day to day" by the Canisius training staff, it is unclear how much, if at all, he will play.

Check back for updates throughout the game.

Final: Fairfield 68, Canisius 59.

Second half:

3:42 left: Faifield, 60-55. The Griffs can't get over the hump. Or Fairfield can't close the deal.

7:41 left: Fairfield, 56-52. And the Griffs keep creeping in. Reggie Groves will be shooting two shots out of the break.

9:51 left: Fairfield, 56-48. The Stags rattle off five quick points in transition to quell the Griffs run as we reach the official under-12 timeout.

10:57 left: Fairfield, 51-48. The Griffs are on a 7-1 run, looking smooth and strong. Fairfield calls time out.

14:19 left: Fairfield leads, 46-39. Hymes is 3 for 9 from three-point range for the Griffs who are getting more aggressive taking the ball to the hoop.

Halftime: Fairfield leads, 34-30. Chris Manhertz leads the Griffs with 11 ponts and seven rebounds. The Stags are shooting 50 percent (14 of 28) from the field with a good distribution of offense. Rakim Sanders leads Fairfield with 11 points.

First half

3:30 left: Fairfield, 34-26. The Griffs pulled within two, 24-22, on a three-pointer from Harold Washington but the Stags went on a 10-0 run fueled by solid perimeter shooting.

7:59: Fairfield, 22-14. The Stags are on 6-2 run. There was a potential goaltending call that was not made against Fairfield which would have made the score, 18-16. Instead, the Stages scored the next four points to extend their lead.

11:55 left: Fairfield, 16-12. The Stags had taken gone on a 10-0 run for a 14-4 lead, but back-to-back three-pointers from Alshwan Hymes have brought the Griffs back to life.

15:59 left: Fairfield, 7-4. A fast start for both teams with Chris Manhertz with all of the Griffs points so far.

--- Amy Moritz

Live blog: Canisius vs. Colgate women's basketball

Canisius will look to get its first home win of the season and build some momentum as it hosts Colgate in the first half of a doubleheader at the Koessler Athletic Center. The Golden Griffins (2-3) are coming off a 55-47 win at Bucknell. Meanwhile Colgate is 0-9 after dropping a 61-60 decision at home to Niagara.

Check back for updates throughout the game.

Final: Canisius 63, Colgate 42. Freshman Kayla Hoohuli had a career-high 18 points including hitting 4 of 10 from three-point range.

Second half

3:26 left: Canisius, 57-39. Kayla Hoohuli has 16 points for the Griffs while Ashley Wilkes has 10, eight of which have come in the second half.

7:52 left: Canisius, 49-33. Back-to-back three-pointers by Allison Braun and Kayla Hoohuli helped give the Griffs back its breathing room.

11:47 left: Canisius, 41-31. Canisius coach Terry Zeh was hit with a technical foul and Colgate made both free throws to cut the Griffs lead to eight, 39-31, but Canisius made several defensive stops.

15:55 left: Canisius, 35-26. It's a sloppy all-around start to the second half, but the Griffs are showing some muscle. Ashley Wilkes ripped the ball in the low post and got an and-one. She'll be shooting the free throw out of the timeout.

Halftime: Canisius, 31-24. The Griffs had taken a 31-18 lead on two free throws from Ashley Wilkes, but Colgate made a pair of three pointers lateto cut the lead under double digits at the break.

Morabito leads all scorers with 10 points. Colgate is killing Canisius on the boards, holding a 25-19 advantage including 11 offensive rebounds. Hoohuli has nine poitns and seven rebounds for the Griffs off the bench.

First half

3:39 left: Canisius, 26-16. Freshman Kayla Hoohuli is showing why she was a PARADE All-American  in high school. In that segment, she had three three-pointers and drew a charge as the Griffs opened up a double-digit lead. But not so fast. Two straight Griffs turnovers led to fastbreaks for Colgate, which will be shooting two free throws out of the timeout.

7:48 left: Canisius, 15-12. Ashley Durham has found her groove on the break to score some points for the Griffs, but their perimeter defense on Colgate left much to be desired in that segment.

11:52 left: Tied, 7-7. Tricia Oakes showed some nice moves in the lowpost for Colgate and the Griffs missed three straight shots. There's a differnece between doing things quickly and rushing. And it shows on offense.

15:17 left: Canisius, 5-3. It took nearly three minutes for a bucket to be scored in this game, and that was a three-pointer from Colgate's Catherine Lewis. A pair of free throws and a three-pointer rom Jen Morabito gave the Griffs the lead. Plenty of missed shots in the first segement as both teams seem to be in a rush.

--- Amy Moritz

Niagara-Iona Live

Bona-UB Game Analysis

St. Bonaventure 66, UB 60

How Bona Won: The Bonnies walked a tightrope in the first half when Da'Quan Cook and Andrew Nicholson were limited by fouls. But they headed to the locker room down just two, and that set the stage for a decisive second-half blitz. Defense ((UB shot just 38 percent) enabled Bona to unleash a transition game and limit their possessions in the halfcourt set against UB's new zone.

Turning Point: That 15-0 run midway through the second half did the trick. Matthew Wright, Eric Mosley and Demitrius Conger all had threes in the splurge.

Player of the Game: This was a team victory for the Bonnies. There's no overstating the contributions of Conger, Wright, Cook, Charlon Kloof and even freshman forward Youssou Ndoye, who's settling in nicely. But Nicholson's The Man: 23 points, eight rebounds and just two misses, one from the field and one from the line.

Player of the Game II: Zach Filzen put UB on his back, tying his career high with six threes en route to a game-high 26 points. He also grabbed five rebounds.

Play of the Game: Kloof's steal and subsequent emphatic dunk over Dave Barnett.

Stat of the Game: Bona went 13 of 22 from the field in the second half. This is the same team that didn't make a field goal the last 10 minutes against Arkansas State Thursday.

What It Means: Important win for Bonnies (3-3). UB slips to 4-2.

In The House: 3,882. Strange. There weren't many empty seats.

Next Up: UB heads up to Niagara on Wednesday night while Bona plays at Illinois.

-- Bob DiCesare

Bona @ UB Live

Niagara-Fairfield game analysis

Fairfield 79, Niagara 75

How Fairfield won: By staying calm under pressure. Niagara three times cut its deficit to two points in the second half, but each time the Stags scored the next points to ensure there would be no tie. Fairfield got a huge lift off the bench from Sean Crawford, who entered averaging just 1.6 points per game and finished with a team-high 19. He knocked down two free throws with five seconds left to seal the win.

Turning point: Niagara was doomed by a seven-minute dry spell in the second half. After a long jumper by freshman Juan'ya Green pulled Niagara within three, 60-57, with 8:38 left, the Purple Eagles didn’t score from the field again until a three-pointer by Green with 1:38 to play. By that time, the Stags had rebuilt a double-digit lead, thanks to an 11-1 run.

Player of the game: Easy, even in defeat. Green. He set a freshman record with 35 points, 24 of which came after halftime. He shook off three turnovers in the first half and should be able to build off this performance.

Stat of the game: Fairfield got 27 bench points to Niagara's six.

What it means: Sure, starting 0-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference isn't what the Purple Eagles wanted. But they definitely learned they can play with the top teams in the league (Fairfield was picked to finish second in the league's preseason poll). It's up to them now to build on the positives.

They said it: "I wasn’t sure if all the guys believed in themselves, because why should they? They haven’t done anything yet. They’re freshmen. It’s new to them. You’ve got to do some things so you can get some confidence. Now, I think we believe in ourselves." -- Niagara coach Joe Mihalich

In the house: A mediocre crowd of 1,520.

Next up:The Purple Eagles stay home to meet the preseason No. 1 team in the MAAC, Iona, at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Gallagher Center.

---Jay Skurski

Niagara-Fairfield live blog

MAAC Opener: Iona at Canisius

It's the first weekend of December and you know what that means -- two early men's basketball games in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Canisius (1-3) hosts Iona (4-1) in the Koessler Center. If you're a fan of offense, this should be the game for you. The Gaels have the best scoring average in the country, netting 95.4 points a game. The Griffs are no slouches, scoring 72.2.

All those points for Iona lends to the opportunity for plenty of assists. Just ask senior point guard Scott Machado who leads the nation in assists per game, averaging 12.2. In fact, his 61 assists well surpasses the total of the entire Canisius team, which has 41 collective assists on the season.

Check back for updates throughout the game.

Final: Iona 60, Canisius 57.

Second half

15:43 left: Iona, 42-38. The Gaels have applied a press and picked up the defense forcing three straight turnoers by the Griffs. Canisius opened the half with three-pointers from Harold Washington and Alshwan Hymes before Iona's pressure kicked in.

11:54 left: Iona, 51-46. The Griffs got some points by going inside and getting to the free throw line, but Iona is starting to click on offense.

7:58 left: Iona, 57-50. The Griffs cut the lead to three, 53-50, when Kevin Bleeker made one of two free throws, but Canisius is moving too fast in transition and Iona is hitting 50 percent from the field for the half, including getting 19 points off turnovers for the game.

3:53 left: Iona, 61-52. The Gaels have their transition game working and the Griffs started throwing the ball around. Looks like Iona is going to espcae this lower-scoring affair.

Halftime: Iona, 33-32. A three-point attempt at the buzzer hit the rim for Iona. The Griffs are shooting 59.1 percent from the field (13 for 22) including hitting 5 of 7 from three-point range. The Griffs also hold a 14-13 edge on the boards. Harold Washington leads all scorers with 12 points. The first four minutes will be key to see which team dictates tempo and sets the tone for the rest of the game. Right now, it's a toss-up folks, something few outside the Canisiuis locker room anticipated before the game.

First half

15:40 left: Tied, 10-10. Reggie Groves has a pair of three-pointers for the Griffs, but Iona counters by quickly getting the ball up court and getting behind the Canisius defense before it can set up.

11:42 left: Iona, 17-16. With the shotclock set to expire Groves took a poor three-point shot from the top of the key. But Iona played it as a defensive win before securing the ball and Chris Manhertz easily collected the rebound for a put back and a foul. He will go to the line for one out of the official timeout.

7:46 left: Iona, 23-21. Jeremel Jenkins has eight points off the bench for Iona including a pair of three-pointers in that segment. The Griffs are having some trouble with control on offense. This half they've been whistled for four travels and two offensive fouls.

3:56 left: Iona, 31-28. The Griffs are liking the three-pointer as the shot clock winds down. They've done it three times -- and came away with points on all three of them. Iona is doing a great job of penetrating and kicking to the open jump shooter. That's how Kyle Smyth nailed his three-pointer to break a 28-28 tie just before this last official time out of the half.

--- Amy Moritz

Bona-Arkansas State Analysis

Arkansas State 58, St. Bonaventure 52

How Arkansas State Won: The Red Wolves came in ranked among the nation's worst shooting teams. In the first half they looked the part, making just 7 of 22 shots and turning it over nine times. But in the second half? ASU shot a blistering 61 percent. That reversal of form, coupled with Bona's failure to make a single field goal the final 10 minutes, enabled the Red Wolves to overcome a 14-point deficit and leave the Bonnies wondering what hit them.

Turning Point: ASU was feeling it when Ed Townsel's three pulled them within three with 6 1/2 minutes still to play.

Player of the Game: Red Wolves pivot Malcoln Kirkland negated Andrew Nicholson and then some, scoring a team-high 14 points, five above his average. He also matched Nicholson's nine boards.

Stat of the Game: Arkansas State starters outscored Bona starters 54-37.

What It Means: Bona falls to 2-3 and will have to do a lot to erase the blot this defeat puts on their resume.

They Said It: "                            " -- Bona players, none of whom showed up postgame.

In the House: 3,488 left the Reilly Center in disbelief.

Next Up: Bona hits Alumni Arena Saturday night to face surging UB. It'll be Nicholson last Buffalo appearance.

-- 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 |