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Iona-St. Bonaventure game analysis

Game analysis: Iona put on quite a 3-point shooting clinic on Monday afternoon, while the Bonnies couldn't find an offensive pulse in a 93-74 loss to the Gaels.

How St. Bonaventure lost: The Gaels came out firing in the second half, draining 10 of 16 while finishing 13 of 27 overall from long range. During one stretch, Iona was a blistering 8 of 10 from 3-point range. Demitrius Conger was the only St. Bonaventure player in double figures with 26, one point off his career high.

Turning Point: Iona led 40-31 by halftime but the Bonnies cut the lead to 42-40 when the Gaels outscored them, 36-18 over the next 10 minutes to build a 20-point advantage.

Player of the Game: Sean Armand scored a game-high 27 points and was 7 of 14 from long range.

Key stat: The Bonnies grabbed 17 offensive boards led by Conger who had four.

What It Means: Granted Bona played without starting guard Matthew Wright and leading scorer Chris Johnson is nursing a sore back (3-12, nine points), the Bonnies defensive effort has to raise some red flags. Iona shot 64.3 percent overall in the second half and 63.5 from beyond the arc.

In the House: 3,472 at the Reilly Center.

He said it: "They played their A game and we played our C game and that's what happens." - St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt.

Up next: The Bonnies play at Colorado State on Saturday before opening conference play at George Washington Jan. 9.

---Rodney McKissic

WBB: Pitt at Buffalo

Notre Dame College-UB game analysis

Game analysis: Division II Notre Dame College - not to be confused with school from South Bend, Ind. - was no match for the University at Buffalo who used the game as nothing more than a tuneup just before the heart of the Mid-American Conference schedule kicks in. The Bulls never trailed and led by as many as 28 points in their 84-64 romp.

How UB won: Showing up was the key, although Notre Dame did give Cleveland State a scare and actually led by two points in the second half before losing, 77-66.

Turning Point: A little more than five minutes after the ball was tipped, the Bulls led 17-2. It was pretty much downhill from there.

Player of the Game: Big man Cameron Downing missed twice in eight tries and finished with a career best 16 points in 17 minutes.

Cam Connection: Notre Dame's Cam Carlin had 18 points and was 5 of 6 from the field so - combined with Downing - the two Cam's were 11 of 14 overall for 34 points!

Key stat: UB hit 12 of 24 shots from 3-point range. They were also outscored 2-zip on fastbreak points but I'm sure Reggie Witherspoon isn't going to be too concerned.

What It Means: Not much to glean from this one although Witherspoon was able to get some bench players some good minutes.

In the House: 2,162.

He Said It: "For most of the game we got some pretty good shots off some pretty good movement. This is a team that wanted to come in and pressure us and get us to turn the ball over and they did that for the most part against Cleveland State. ... We wanted to be able to handle their pressure and I thought we did a good job at that." - UB coach Reggie Witherspoon.

Up next: The Bulls travel to play Tulsa on Jan. 2 in what will be a homecoming for Downing.

---Rodney McKissic

Alcorn-Canisius game analysis

Game analysis: A sore heel kept Harold Washington scoreless probably for the first time since he was a toddler, but Canisius managed to pick up the slack as four players finished in double figures as the Golden Griffins downed Alcorn State, 87-74

How Canisius won: Isaac Sosa picked up the slack for Washington with 21 points of 8 of 12 shooting and 5 of 9 from long range. They also went to the line 33 times, making 24, while outrebounding the Braves, 41-25.

Turning Point: There's something about Billy Baron where his intensity increases whenever Canisius is on the verge of trouble. Alcorn State cut the lead down to 65-53 with 8:31 left when Baron connected on a trey then fed Reggie Groves for another on the Griffs next possession. The 12-point advantage was up to 26 by the 4:33 mark which was started by the play of Baron.

Player of the Game: Sosa rarely fires up questionable shots, kind of like a hitter who never swings at bad pitches.

Welcome back: In the three games since returning from a foot injury, Alcorn's Marquiz Baker has scored 23 points against Santa Clara, 24 against SMU and now 30 against Canisius.

Family affair: Jimmy Baron, who played for his father at Rhode Island, is home for the holidays and is playing well in Russia. It was the first time Jimmy watched his brother, Billy, in person.

Key stat: Canisius grabbed 16 offensive rebounds which led to 26 second-chance points.

What It Means: This is the longest Canisius has gone without losing back-to-back games since the 1997-98 season.

In the House: 1,388

He Said It: "He knows how to make players better, he's not afraid to do that and I think he's getting better and better as the year goes on." - Jim Baron on his son Billy.

Up next: Canisius plays at 3 p.m. Sunday at Detroit.

---Rodney McKissic

VIDEO: Interview with Niagara hockey coach Dave Burkholder

On this week's Bucky & Sully show News Sports Columnist Bucky Gleason talked to Niagara hockey coach Dave Burkholder:

WBB: Niagara at Buffalo

Bona-The Citadel Game Wrap

St. Bonaventure 97, The Citadel 57

How Bona Won: By getting the Bulldogs on the schedule. The dominance was absurd. Bona shot 56.5 percent from the field, 55.6 percent from three and 81 percent from the line. They had 26 assists on 35 baskets and turned it over just 11 times. And 10 players saw at least 11 minutes.

Turning Point: It was over after Bona's 13-2 run to open the game. The Citadel never drew closer than seven.

Player of the Game: Senior forward Marquise Simmons produced 15 points and nine rebounds, went 7 of 9 from the field and had an emphatic three-point play near the end of the first half to put Bona up 14.

Best Supporting Role: Eric Mosley came off the bench to score 15 points with a career-high seven assists against zero turnovers. And he played only 21 minutes.

Stat Check: Bona's won consecutive games by more than 30 points for the first time since the 1970 Final Four team.

Stat Check II: Mosley and Jordan Gathers combined for 13 assists and no turnovers.

Stat Check III: Bona scored 30 points off 20 Bulldog turnovers.

What It Means: Bona (7-3) has won 16 of its last 18 at the Reilly Center. Three non-conference games (two on the road) remain before the A-10 opener.

Did You Know: The Citadel has won four true road games in the last three-plus seasons. The Bulldogs are coached by Chuck Driesell, Lefty's son. He's in his third year following six seasons at Loyola Marymount.

In the House: The announced crowd was 3,286 but it wasn't near that with the students on break.

Next Up: Bona's at No. 25 North Carolina State Saturday afternoon.

They Said It

Bona coach Mark Schmidt on what lies ahead: "My thing is let's go and test ourselves. That's why our guys came to Bonaventure, not to play Citadel but to play the Atlantic 10-caliber teams and N.C. State is a nationally ranked team. We got nothing to lose. Let's go up there and let's play."

Simmons on the game: "We had a couple letdowns which allowed them to get back within eight. Coach was just telling us to keep the pressure up, keep the defense up. We just sat down and guarded and got the lead back (up) and just rolled from there."

-- Bob DiCesare

Mississauga SF verbals to Canisius

---Canisius College on Wednesday picked up a 2014 verbal committment from 6-7 small forward Cassidy Ryan of Mt. Carmel High School in Mississauga, Ont. The earilest Ryan can sign with Canisius is Nov. 2013 and a lot can happen until then but the Griffs may have landed a steal if they can sign Ryan.

The video above shows how athletic he is and at least one publication lists Ryan as one of the top 75 players available from the '14 class. Here's what wrote about Ryan after the first day of Hoop Group Elite Camp Session II in Reading, Pa in July:

"With a college-ready body and the ability to score in a variety of ways due to his athleticism and strength, it is surprising that Ryan is not fielding much college interest at the moment. While a move to the United States could be a possibility this fall, college coaches need to put the rising junior on their radar." 

---Rodney McKissic

WNY College Sports Chat - 3 p.m.

UB Loses Oldham 8-10 Weeks

UB junior point guard Jarod Oldham could be lost for the season after suffering a wrist injury that will require surgery during practice this week. Oldham is scheduled to undergo surgery next week and the 8-10 week recovery time takes him right up to the Mid-American Conference Tournament in early March.

Oldham's averaged 10.1 points in his role as the Bulls' floor leader. He was coming off an 18-point, 7-assist game against Niagara and signs pointed toward UB's offense beginning to flourish after its early-season struggles.

Without Oldham the point likely falls primarily to Jarryn Skeete, a 6-3 freshman out of Brampton, Ont. He's appeared in 10 of 11 games, averaging 12 minutes, although his playing time has increased of late.

Depth becomes a major concern. Senior Tony Watson is the only other guard with some experience at the point but using him there deprives the Bulls of their best shooter on the wing. And the numbers at guard were already down as freshman shooting guard Stan Weir recovers from an offseason procedure on his knees. It was looking certain that Weir would redshirt this season but the dwindling depth at the position could have the team reconsidering.

We'll have coach Reggie Witherspoon's take later today.

-- 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 |