Welcome to the Koessler Athletic Center and opening day of the women's college basketball season. We open today with a Big 4 matchup between the University at Buffalo and Canisius. The Bulls have won the last two meetings between the schools while Canisius holds an overall 27-8 lead in the series.
- The MAAC announced its preseason coaches poll just before the game. The Niagara women were picked to finish second behind Marist and Canisius was picked fourth. It's the higest pick for the Golden Griffins since the 2009-10 season when they were picked third.
- Canisius announced a "3 for a Cure" campaign for the season to raise awarness for neurofibromatosis and to fundraise for research. They developed the campaign after adopting North Tonawanda resident Leah Manth for the season after she attended the teams' girls basketball camp in August. Manth was diagnosed with the disease in July 2007. It is a rare genetic condition that affects the nervous system. Canisius is asking fans to make a donation based on the number of 3-pointers the Griffs make during the season. More information is available at gogriffs.com or on Facebook at Facebook.com/3ForACure.
- Tonight will be the debut of Buffalo head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. Today's little known fact: The Syracuse native actually played for former Canisius basketball coach (and current Griffs softball coach) Mike Rappl during the Empire State Games one summer.
15:24 left. Canisius leads, 6-5. Both teams are getting out the jitters. Buffalo went up 5-0 and had plenty of good scoring opportunities but failed to finish. The Griffs have scored on 3-pointers -- one from Kayla Hoohuli and one from Jen Morabito. The Bulls have been impressive on the boards in the first four minutes.
11:53 left. Canisius, 15-7. UB calls timeout. Griffs went on an 11-0 run to take the lead. Bulls look to have lost an edge on defense as Griffs are getting, and knocking down, open shots.
11:14 left. Canisius, 15-9. Valerie Majewski hits a baseline runner out of the timeout for UB. Canisius is moving the ball well on offense and stepping in to take good shots.
10:09 left. Canisius, 15-13. Canisiuis calls timeout after an ill-advised deep three-point attempt whie the Bulls are on a 6-0 run and right back in the game.
7:55 left. Canisius, 17-16. Kirsten Sharkey nails a three-pointer off an offensive rebound to bring the Bulls within one.
3:32 left. Canisius, 25-21. Sharkey wil go to the line to attempt to complete a three-point play out of the official timeout. The Griffs are shooting well from the perimeter and the Bulls defense needs to do a better job of contesting shots. What the Bulls have going for them is some gritty play in the low post.
Canisius 31, Buffalo 24. Griffs use a 6-2 spurt to close out the half and put some distance on the scoreboard.
The Griffs are shooting better from three-point range (6-14, 42.9 percent) then they are overall from the field (12 of 32, 37.5 percent). The Bulls are winning the low post battle, holding a 25-21 rebounding advantage and scoring 10 second chance points and 10 point sin the paint.
Canisius, however, has nine points off 10 UB turnovers.
15:50 left. Canisius leads, 37-33. The Bulls have taken to driving the baseline this half and have drawn five fouls in the process. Nytor Longar will shoot two out of the timeout.
13:22 left. Canisius, 41-36. The Griffs have gotten slightly better on the boards in this stretch and have made some offensive plays. But the Bulls are't going away. They're showing more energy and grit under their new coach which is a sign of good things to come.
11:23 left. Canisius 43-37. Welcome to the ugly portion of the game where shots clank and loose balls aren't quite gathered with authority. The Griffs have led since early in the first half, but can't pull away.
9:27 left. Canisius 50-42. The Bulls had cut it to 44-42, but missed a box out on a rebound off a missed free throw and Allison Braun nailed the 15-foot jumper. After a UB tunrover, Ashley Wilkes nailed a three-pointer for a 6-point Griffs swing.
3:15 left. Canisius leads, 66-49. That 6-point swing proved the pivotal series as the Griffs ran away with the game from there. It's all over but the shouting now.
Final: Canisius 73, Buffalo 57.