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Bona-La Salle Game Wrap

La Salle 69, Bona 66 (OT)

How La Salle Won: Clinging to a one-point lead, The Explorers collapsed the lane to get a key stop on Bona's Chris Johnson with 13.2 seconds left in overtime and then survived. La Salle's hot hand from beyond the arc in the first half paved the way to a 16-point lead that forced the Bonnies to expend a ton of energy to get back in it.

Player of the Game: Tyrone Garland, a Virginia Tech transfer, came off the bench to score 16 points and make three crucial free throws in the final 14 seconds of overtime. He was 5 of 10 from the field, 2 of 4 from three-point range and handed out three assists.

Best Supporting Role: Ramon Galloway had a game-high 23 points for La Salle but disappeared down the stretch and turned it over six times while playing all 40 minutes

Player of the Game (Losing Effort): The development of Bona center Youssou Ndoye continues. He turned it over four times, twice on first-half travels. But he scored 14 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three shots. And remember, he's really still just learning the game.

Stat Check: La Salle is now 15-1 when leading at halftime.

Stat Check II: Bona went just 2 of 13 from three against the highest-ranked perimeter defense in the A-10.

Stat Check III: Mosley stepped to the line with 2.8 seconds left in OT having made 78.1 percent of his free throws. He missed the first two then made the third, which he was trying to miss.

What It Means: Bona remains in search of that signature home-court victory after another near-miss. They've lost to VCU, Xavier, Saint Louis and La Salle at home by a combined 20 points. The win was huge for La Salle, which is among those trying to gain inside position on an at-large NCAA bid.

In the House: The crowd totaled 3,521 but the student section wasn't close to filled. What gives?

Next Up: Bona heads to Richmond Saturday.

Bona coach Mark Schmidt: "I thought for the last 30 minutes from a defensive standpoint that's the best defense that we've played all year. They're a really hard team to guard. They space you out."

Demitrius Conger on his thoughts when the final shot bounded off the rim: "That's the game."

La Salle coach John Giannini: "Obviously it was an incredibly dramatic win and a tremendously hard-fought game between two good teams. We're really fortunate. Tonight one team wasn't necessarily better than the other other than making an extra play."

-- Bob DiCesare

UB-Toledo game analysis

Game analysis: UB's defense made it a tough night for Toledo's Rian Pearson, the MAC's leading scorer, who was held to 10 points on 3 of 12 shooting in the Bulls' 75-60 victory on Wednesday.

How UB won: Toledo shot just 32.4 percent for the game, including 27.8 percent in the first half while the Bulls were on fire from everywhere. UB hit 51.9 percent of its shots and was 9 of 18 from long range.

Turning Point: The Rockets got within 11 points with 13:42 remaining when the Bulls pushed the lead to 20 with a 12-3 run.

Player of the Game: Coach Reggie Witherspoon says Tony Watson plays better when his mother attends the games. If he has nights like Wednesday (career-high 24 points) perhaps she should come more often.

Unsung player of the game: Javon McCrea had a double-double by halftime and finished with 14 points and a career best 16 rebounds.

Key stat: The Bulls had 16 assists and 11 turnovers.

Key stat II: McCrea led a nice UB block party with four of the team's eight rejections.

What It Means: UB is now 10-15 overall and 5-6 in the MAC.

In the House: 2,338

He said it: "I thought overall it was one of our best team defensive effort. I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping them out of the paint. I thought we kept them from getting easy baskets for the most part." - UB coach Reggie Witherspoon.

Up next: The Bulls play at Miami (Ohio) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

---Rodney McKissic

Another Kemp With WNY Ties

Tuesday's college basketball column had an item on Adam Kemp, the Marist center who has carried the Red Foxes in a big way the last two games. It drew the following email from his mother Mary:


Hi, I saw the update today on Niagara's upcoming game at Marist this weekend..and thought I'd share abit of trivia...Adam Kemp, Center for Marist men's basketball, and my son although from Sherrill (NY) has Buffalo roots!

I'm his mom and from Alden NY, and his dad, David is from Tonawanda.  He has one living Grandmother - in Tonawanda, and various aunts/uncles/cousins all around the WNY area..

My dad, Adam's grandfather (Robert Monroe), played basketball at Kenmore HS back in the 30s, also played during WWII for the 31st Dixie Division and also played "semi-pro" basketball in Buffalo, so I was told.  Never was able to really confirm that semi-pro legend as my dad didn't like to share much..anyways, Kemp is a good WNY name, right? :-)

Go Red Foxes!!

-- Bob DiCesare

WNY College Sports Chat - 3 p.m.

Live chat at 2 p.m.: Big 4 basketball with Bob DiCesare

Canisius-Niagara game analysis

Game analysis: Billy Baron did allow a buzzer to decide his team's fate this time around. Billy the Kid had his stroke going early and often against rival Niagara to the tune of 33 points as Canisius avenged its last-second loss two weeks at home, 77-70, on Sunday.

How Canisius won: Showered with chants of, "Daddy's Boy," Baron made his father proud especially with all the pounding he took in a physical game. Baron missed out playing the full 40 minutes only because he sat out two after hurting his ankle. Niagara was able to dig out of a first-half hole but failed to come up with a key basket in the final minutes. Antoine Mason, the team's go-to scorer, sat out the game with an ankle injury.

Turning Point: Baron broke a tie at 64 with a layup and then Canisius ceased control of the game when Jordan Heath followed a Harold Washington miss with a two-handed jam.

Player of the Game: Can't say enough about Baron.

Unsung player of the game: Washington has been fighting a viral infection the last few days but came through with 18 points and four assists.

Key stat: The Griffs had 16 turnovers and just six assists.

Key stat II: Niagara shot just 12 of 23 from the charity stripe.

What It Means: Despite the loss, Niagara remains in first place in the MAAC at 10-4, while Canisius is in a three-way tie for second.

Long time coming: Canisius won at Niagara for the first time since Nov. 30, 2002.

Tough night: Marvin Jordan hit the winning shot to beat Canisius in their last matchup but was scoreless this time around.

Working overtime: Referee Jeff Anderson worked Sunday's game after officiating Saturday's five overtime marathon between Notre Dame-Louisville game in South Bend. When asked how much sleep he got Anderson said, "Four hours."

In the House: Green Bay Packers running back and Niagara Falls native James Stark and NU great Tyrone Lewis were among the capacity crowd of 2,400 at the Gallagher Center.

He said it: "He was leading the team and we followed." - Harold Washington on Billy Baron.

Up next: The Golden Griffins play at Loyola while the Purple Eagles travel to Marist, both on Thursday.

---Rodney McKissic

UB-Northern Illinois Game Wrap

UB 59, NIU 54

How UB Won: By getting to the free throw line. And that's how they almost frittered away the lead, too. The Bulls were 15 of 17 from the line before missing 5 of 6 in a stretch that began with 44.5 seconds remaining and ended when Auraum Nuiriankh made two with seven seconds left. Those misfires enabled NIU to get a shot at a tying basket inside the final 10 seconds. But it's a sign UB's running its offense with some success when free throws become part of the equation. And they were 16 of 25 to NIU's 11 of 14. There's your difference.

Player of the Game: Tony Watson hit a pair of big threes inside the final eight minutes, finished with 14 points, played 40 minutes and only turned it over once.

Best Supporting Role: Nuiriankh continues to struggle from the field (2 of 9) but his 10 rebounds were huge.

Stat Check: Javon McCrea's role in the continuity offense has him handling the ball more than most big men, which makes him prone to turnovers. He didn't have a single one Saturday. Last time that happened this season? Never.

Stat Check II: The Huskies shot 61.1 percent in the first half, the second best half of the season for a team that has five times shot under 19 percent in a half and 10 times shot 27 percent or worse.

Stat Check III: UB's bench, a strength in recent seasons, was outscored 21-4.

Snow Job: Northern Illinois had its Saturday evening flight to Chicago canceled. Instead of 90 minutes in the air they chartered a bus for the 12-hour journey back to DeKalb.

What it Means: Everyone's jockeying for position as the season moves inside the final month. The top five teams receive byes into the Cleveland portion of the MAC Tournament. The next three teams host first-round campus games against the bottom three. If the season ended now UB (9-25, 4-6) would host one of those first-round games and a tiebreaker would determine if NIU (5-17, 3-7) is on the road or at home.

In the House: Serve chicken wings and they will come. Free wings were provided as part of Saturday's promotion and the crowd of 4,136 was second to the 4,450 for the home opener against Princeton.

They Said It

NIU Coach Mark Montgomery: "Anytime you go on the road and have a shot to tie it to go overtime you have to be happy."

Montgomery: "Today we shot straight. Shooting 61 percent at halftime, I don't know if you guys followed us but a couple weeks ago we struggled putting that ball in." (The Huskies set an NCAA record with four first-half points against Eastern Michigan).

UB Coach Reggie Witherspoon on the likelihood of Jarod Oldham (wrist fracture) returning for the postseason: "After his last doctor's appointment they said 'Slim,' packed it up and went home. It was slim and none and slim left, so I think that means none."

Next Up: UB plays its final MAC crossover Wednesday night when Toledo visits Alumni Arena. The Rockets are on academic probation and ineligible for the MAC Tournament but have one of the league's more dymanic players in junior guard Rian Pearson.

-- Bob DiCesare

Video: Niagara coach Joe Mihalich interview on 'Bucky & Sully Show'

News Sports Columnists Bucky Gleason and Jerry Sullivan ask questions during their weekly "Bucky & Sully Show":

Watch this week's complete "Bucky & Sully Show" here, broken down by segment.

Video: UB football recruits

UB football head coach speaks about the recruitment of 18 players.

WNY College Sports Chat - 3 p.m.

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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 |