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Live: Buffalo State at NCAA Division III Sweet 16

ROCHESTER -- It's the first time in 15 years for Buffalo State in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament and the Bengals are set to tip off against St. Mary's College at 5:30 p.m. on the campus of host University of Rochester.

The Benglas are 23-6 overall and on a 13-game winning streak advancing thanks to winning the SUNYAC championship with four of the five starters averaging double figures, led by Jake Simmons (19.6 ppg).

St. Mary's, from St. Mary's City, Md., is 24-5 and won the Capital Athletic Conference. This is the third straight trip to the Sweet 16 for the Seahawks, matching the farthest they've advanced in NCAA play.

Check back for updates throughout the game.

Final: St. Mary's wins, 85-74. Buffalo State ends its season, 23-7.

Second half: 

16:37 left: St. Mary's leads, 45-40. Lots of fouls and stoppages to start the half. Buffalo State has tried to run to cut into the lead.

14:41 left: Momentum seems to be going St. Mary's way. The Seahawks took a 50-40 lead though a nice jumper from Justin Mitchell cut the lead and Glenroy Carr will be at the free throw line out of a Buffalo State time out. St. Mary's leads, 50-42.

12:10 left: St. Mary's now has a commanding 61-46 lead.

10:52 left: And we're back to single digits. Buffalo State comes out of a timeout on fire. St. Mary's lead cut to 63-55.

6:25 left: Buffalo State makes a run, trails, 69-64.

5:56 left: Make that 69-66, St. Mary's after a bucket by Nico Mclean.

2:28 left: Buffalo State failed to capitalize on some opportunities are now playing the foul game. St. Mary's up, 77-68.

Halftime: St. Mary's leads, 40-32. The Seahawks went on a 9-0 run to close out the half and take the lead at the break. Buffalo State is effective when it can run and press, but it can't do either without getting stops or rebounds and scoring.

The Bengals shot just 38.2 percent in the first half (13 of 34) with Justin Mitchell notching 13 points and eight rebounds. St. Mary's shot 51.7 percent with 14 points for Christian MacAuley. The first half featured 11 lead changes and five ties.

First half

17:30 left: Buffalo State calls time out as St. Mary's takes a 7-4 lead. The Bengals had back-to-back turnovers and Glenroy Carr was called for a charge -- his second foul of the game already.

15:04 left: St. Mary's goes on a 10-0 run to take a 13-4 lead. a jumper from Norman Simmons ends the run as Buff State trails, 13-6.

12:00 left: St. Mary's leads, 18-14. The Benglas are having trouble with 6-8 freshman forward Christian MacAuley who has 10 points, including several off offensive rebounds. But better full-court defense and two three-pointers from Jake Simmons has brought Buffalo State back within four.

9:33 left: A pair of free throws from Anthony Hamer ties the game for Buffalo State, 18-18.

5:43 left: The Bengals have started running. Taking off after a missed shot, Justin Mitchell put in a rebound with a thunderous dunk on the fast break for a 27-23 lead. The Bengals full-court defense is starting to wear on St. Mary's.

--- Amy Moritz

Buffalo State gets historic win

With a 55-50 win over Brockport in the Sports Arena Tuesday night, the Buffalo State women's basketball recorded its 600th program win.

The women's basketball program began in 1965 at Buffalo State and the Bengals (formerly Lady Bengals) have won more than 60 percent of their games.

Barb Kiliszek (Lancaster) led Buffalo State with 14 points, adding six rebounds and four steals as the Bengals improved to 9-6 overall, 4-5 in State University of New York Athletic Conference Play.

In other local college news from Tuesday, Medaille junior Nick Johnson (Canisius) was named the national player of the week by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Johnsonled the Mavericks to a 5-0 start to the season with 89 kills while hitting .394. Medaille is ranked 15th in the nation and hosts Nazareth at 7 on Thursday.

National rankings continue to be the norm for Erie Community College as the Kats' men's basketball team continued to be No. 3 in the NJCAA Division II poll. The Kats improved to 16-1 overall with a 96-58 win over Alfred State Tuesday night. God's GIft Achiuwa, the Region III Athlete of the Week, had 22 points and 11 rebounds.

The ECC men's hockey team is ranked fourth in the latest NJCAA poll andhosts No. 2 Hudson Valley Community College at 3:15, Satuarday, at the Cheektowaga Recreation Center Ice Rink.

-- Amy Moritz

It's a good fall for local women's sports

Canisius and Niagara are at the top of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in volleyball and soccer.

Buffalo State's volleyball and soccer programs secured their own berths in the State University of New York Athletic Conference playoffs.

And D'Youville soccer set a program record for consecuative wins.

Those are just some of the highlights of a solid fall campaign for area women's college programs.

VOLLEYBALL: With a sweep of Saint Peter's, the Niagara women's volleyball team extended its program-best win streak to 10 matches.

Though the Purple Eagles, who sit in first place in the MAAC at 11-1, earned its ninth sweep in the 10-match streak, caoch Susan Clements wasn't entirely pleased with the play.

"We did not have a well executed match," Clements said. "However, at this point in the season we will take wins any way we can."

Hannah Hedrick had her eighth double-double of the season with 10 kills and 11 digs while Michelle James had 41 assists. Sam Morgan had a team-high 16 digs to extend her double-digit digs streak to 86 matches.

Meanwhile Canisius (8-4) stayed in third place in the MAAC standings with a four-game win over Manhattan, rebounding from a mid-week loss at Niagara.

"We had a tough match on Wednesday and with the quick turnaround there was no time to feel sorry for ourselves," Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. "It's good to bounce back and get a win at home in front of a good crowd."

The Golden Griffins' middle hitters combined for 28 kills and eight blocks while hitting nearly .500 on the day. Samantha Good had 15 kills with three blocks while Layne Adams had 12 kills and five blocks.

The teams switch oppnents today, with Niagara hosting Manhattan and Canisius hosting Saint Peter's. Both matches are at 2 p.m.

Buffalo State secured a spot in the SUNYAC playoffs for the first time since 2002 after defeating Geneseo, Saturday. The Bengals are 13-17 overall and finished 4-4 in conference play to earn the third seed in the West Division. Buffalo State will face East No. 2 New Palts in the quarterfinals on Nov. 4 at Fredonia.

SOCCER: Both Canisius and Niagara are tied for second in the MAAC at 4-2 entering road contests today. The Purple Eagles are at Fairfield (1 p.m.) while the Griffs are at Iona (noon).

The teams are chasing Marist, which improved to 6-1 with a 2-1 win over Siena Saturday. Siena and Loyola are both trailing the Purple Eagles and Griffs with 4-3 marks.

D'Youville set a program record with its fifth-straight win -- a 3-1 win over Franciscan on Saturday. Stephanie Lozzi (Lew-Port) had a goal and an assist for the Lady Spartans, who improved to 11-5 overall, 5-3 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.

Buffalo State had its best finish in school history as it finished the regular season 6-3-1 in SUNYAC play to earn the third seed in the conference playoffs. The Bengals earned a 1-0 overtime win over Brockport to improve to 10-5-2 overall. They will host No. 6 New Paltz in the SUNYAC quarterfinals at 1 p.m., Saturday.

 --- Amy Moritz

Buffalo State football live blog

Buffalo State and The College of New Jersey will kicking off in about 20 minute at Coyer Field. The Bengals, at 1-5, are looking for their first home win of the season while TCNJ is 2-4 and coming off a 30-6 win at Morrisville.

While the Lions have won the last three meetings between the two schools, the Bengals have played better as of late. They set numerous school records two weeks ago in a 71-3 win at Western Connecticut State and played well in a 35-20 loss at Montclair State -- the undefeated leader of the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

Check back for updates throughout the game.

Pregame: Today marks the beginning of inauguration week at Buffalo State as the eighth president of the college, Dr. Aaron Podolefsky, will be officially installed this week. To celebrate, admission to today's game is free.

First quarter

9:56 TCNJ drove 63 yards but a stance by the Bengals defense inside the 10 held the Lions to a field goal. Tyler Olsson hit a 22-yarder for a 3-0 lead. Buffalo State's run defense needs to get bette quickly -- Joe Flaco ran for 55 yards in that opening drive.

6:40 The Lions turned an interception into points when James Donoghue hit a wide open William Friedrich for a 49-yard TD pass play. With the extra point, TCNJ jumps out to a 10-0 lead.

4:35 And the Bengals strike back. With a short field thanks to a penalty on the kickoff, Buffalo State drove 50 yards, capping the drive with a 10-yard TD pass from Ryan Lehotsky to Rob Smith. Key play in the drive: a 24-yard pass play between Lehotsky and Jarrett Smith to put the Bengals on the 10. A successful two-point conversion makes the score 10-8.

End of the first quarter: TCNJ leads, 10-8. Buffalo State is driving and will start the second with a first down on the Lions' 25-yard line. The Bengals passing game is starting to connect.

Second quarter

13:14 A 2-yard touchdown run by Greg Spears and a point-after kick by Nick Debbins gives the Bengals a 15-10 lead. Lehotsky has 89 yards passing already, completing 8 of his 11 passes while Spears has 33 yards on the ground.

4:34 TCNJ drove down the field with ease -- until they got to the red zone. Buffalo State again held the Lions to a field goal with Olsson hitting a 26-yarder to cut the Bengals lead to 15-13.

3:38 A miscue on the kickoff by the Bengals gave them the ball at the TCNJ 2-yard line. With three downs of no gain, Buffalo State had to punt giving the Lions the ball on the Bengals 25-yard line.

0:31 And the original fielding error comes back to haunt the Bengals. Quarterback James Donoghue rushed 10 yards for a TD. The point after gives the Lions a 20-15 lead. 

Halftime TCNJ leads, 20-15. Enter the red zone, come away with points. The Lions are 3-for-3 in the red zone while the Bengals are 2-2. TCNJ has a huge advantage in time of possession -- 19:38 to 10:22 -- keeping the Buffalo State defense on the field.

To get the win, Buffalo State needs to limit mental mistakes which have given the Lions short fields to work with.

Third quarter

11:20 Cue the rain at Coyer Field. Bengals driving. This may affect their passing game.

4:58 Another miscue on a kick and more points for TCNJ. The Lions were punting and Jarrett Smith was back deep to receive. He muffled the catch and the ball rolled backward into the endzone. Patrick Chirchirillo recovered the ball in the endzone for a TD. With the extra point, TCNJ extends its lead to 27-15.

Fourth quarter

14:52 An interception of Lehotsky by Gregory Burns on the first play of the quarter gives TCNJ the ball on Buffalo State's 18-yard line.

13:48 Three plays laster the Lions score on a 5-yard run by Falco. The lead grows to 34-15.

13:37 This time, the big play off the kick off went to Buffalo State. Mike Doherty returned the kickoff 85-yards for a TD. The point after kick was good and the Bengals stay in the game, trailing 34-22.

10:24 TCNJ responds. A 44-yard run by Falco and the PAT makes it 41-22.

9:20 Things continue to go south for the Bengals -- another interception thrown by Lehotsky.

1:16 Falco fumbles on 3rd-and-goal, but recovers his own drop in the end zone. Another score for the Lions, up 48-22. And so continues the dismal fourth quarter for the Bengals.

0:14 Bengals add a final score for good measure -- a run by Spears. The PAT is good for a 48-29 score.

Final: TCNJ 48, Buffalo State 29

It was another case of Buffalo State beating itself. The Bengals had too many miscues, particularly on kickoffs, which gave The College of New Jersey plenty of opportunities. Credit the Lions for taking advantage of them. The Bengals did good things but again lacked consistency and focus.

Buffalo State falls to 1-6 while TCNJ improves to 3-4.

See Sunday's edition of The Buffalo News for more details.

--- Amy Moritz

Busy day for local schools

Western New York colleges had a full day of athletic activity, offering impressive performances and big wins.

Ongoing highlights from Saturday:

Bogdanets lowers D'Youville record:  Anya Bogdanets (Kenmore West) lowered her own D'Youville cross country record for a 5K course with a time of 19:06.93 at the Carnegie-Mellon Invitational. Bogdanets placed sixth in the 260-runner field while the Spartans were 17th out of 24 teams.

Bengals push streak to nine: A goal off a free kick by Tina Boberskyj in overtime to gave Buffalo State a 2-1 win over Cortland. With the win, the Bengals improved to 8-3-2 overall, 4-0-1 in SUNYAC play and stretched their school-record unbeaten streak to nine games.
    Jessica Andres opened the scoring with a 30-yard strike in the first half. Cortland evened the game in the 75th minute as goalkeeper Virginia Porten rcorded four saves.

ECC men win again:  The Erie Community College men's soccer team won its ninth game of the season when Pablo Ordonez (Cheektowaga) scored the game-winner with eight minutes remaining for a 3-2 decision over Mercyhurst North East. Ordonez scored twice for ECC while Craig Raines netted the first goal in the 25th minute.
    The Kats improved to 9-3 overall. The last the time the program had nine wins was in 2006.

Buffalo State and ECC get football wins: The Bengals (1-4) set several school records in a 71-3 win at Western Connecticut State while Erie Community College (2-4) upset Lackawanna, which had been receiving votes in the NJCAA poll, 39-32. Details in Sunday's edition of The Buffalo News.

Niagara and Canisius tie for first in MAAC volleyball: Showdown weekend started with wins for Canisius and Niagara over Fairfield and Iona, respectively. The two teams are now tied for first in the MAAC with 6-1 marks. They switch opponnets for 2 p.m. matches on Sunday.

Niagara women's hockey picks up shoot-out win: It took the sixth player in a shootout for Niagara to pick up its first win of the season at Minnesota State. Freshman Chelsea Witwicke scored then Jenni Bauer made the final stop to give the Purple Eagles (1-3-0) the win after the teams played to a 0-0 tie. Bauer recorded 33 saves as Minnesota State held a 33-19 advantage in shots.

Buffalo ends losing skid: They went to five sets but the University at Buffalo women's volleyball team finally ended it's four-match losing streak with a win over Ball State. Kristin Bignell and Marisa Hornbaker each had 10 kills for the Bulls (14-8, 2-4 Mid-American Conference) while Heather Pyle had 24 digs.
    The teams traded the first four sets before the Bulls pulled out the fifth, 15-13.

Niagara upends Canisius in women's soccer: In the first meeting of the rivals in the "Battle of the Bridge" competition, Niagara earned a 2-1 win thanks to a goal by Erin Baker in the 77th minute. It was the first MAAC win for Niagara (1-2) and first MAAC loss for Canisius (2-1) but Griffs coach Jim Wendling remains pleased with his team.
    "I thought it was our best effort all season," Wendling said. "We controlled play and were very aggressive offensivly. It's obviously not the result we wanted but we are very excited about our performance moving forward."

--- Amy Moritz

From Coyer Field: Buffalo State vs. Kean

About 30 minutes from kickoff, it's a cloudy, windy day at Coyer Field in Buffalo as Buffalo State prepare to take on Kean in an NJCA football matchup.

The Bengals are 0-2 and have not had success with the run game -- either generating it or defending it. The Bengals have been outgained, 373-69, in their first two losses.

Kean is 1-1 after winning at Morrisville State last week. The Cougars have won three of the last four meetings between the teams.

Check back for updates throughout the game.

First quarter: It's been a turnover filled start to the game, with Buffalo State getting a great chance on a recovered fumble inside the 10 only to turn the ball back over with an interception. Kean is marching down the field.

Kean takes a 3-0 lead on a 21-yard field goal by Billy Daniels. All 11 plays of the drive went to senior running back Jason Gwaltney which went a total of 60 yards. 

Another Buffalo State miscue turns into points for Kean. An interception return by Jamahl Williams, followed by a personal foul on the Bengals, but Kean on the 5-yard-line. A run by Gwaltney on the next play and a good PAT put the Cougars up, 10-0 with eight seconds left in the quarter.

Second quarter: Working with a short field, Kean, drove 38 yards for another TD, with quarterback Anthony Giordano connecting with Matt Puorro for a 21-yard score. The extra point attempt failed. Kean leads, 16-0, with 10:36 until halftime.

Kean is making moving the ball look easy. Mixing up its offensive play calling, the Cougars score another TD, this time on a 5-yard run by Gwaltney. Kick is good making it 23-0 Kean with 6:16 until halftime.

After recovering a fumbled punt, the Begals earned their first first down of the game to get inside the 10 yard line, but now have taken back-to-back false start penalties. They now have first-and-goal from the 18 yard line.

The Bengals failed to get into the endzone on that series and a 22-yard field goal attempt by Nick Debbins was no good. Buffalo State is still looking for its first points of the game.

Halftime: Kean 23, Buffalo State 0

The Bengals are having difficulty moving the ball -- the same story as their first two games. The team has just 78 total yards and two first downs. Gibran Johnson has 50 yards on the ground while Cam Jones has completed three of his five passes for 33 yards.

Kean meanwhile has 191 yards and is 3 for 3 in the red zone. Jason Gwaltney has 94 yards rushing, 24 receiving and two touchdowns.

Third quarter: Thanks to an unsportsmanlike penalty on Kean, a Buffalo State drive was kept alive. A 13-yard TD run by Johnson and a good PAT puts the Bengals on the board, trailing, 23-7.

The Bengals defense came up with a stop on 3-and-1 forcing Kean to kick a 32-yard field goal. The Cougars lead grew to 26-7 with seven minutes left in the quarter.

The quarter ends with Buffalo State starting to move the ball. They will start the fourth with a second down at the Kean 28.

Fourth quarter: The drive ends quickly for the Bengals as a sack and fumble give Kean the ball back at its own 29. 

A fumble by Kean gave the Bengals the ball back and on the first play of the drive Ryan Lehotsky thew a 46-yard TD pass to Rob Smith. Buffalo State inches back trailing 26-14 with 12:33 to play.

Buffalo State's not done yet. A 43-yard pass play from Lehotsky to Smith set the Bengals up deep in Kean territory. Greg Spears finished the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. The Bengals trail, 26-21, with 9:37 left in the game.

The Bengals take the lead, 29-26. Buffalo State took over on the Kean 15 yard line after tackling the punter on fourth down. Four plays later, Spears had a 1-yard TD run. Lehotsky then ran in the two-point conversion. 

That was short-lived. Justin McLendon returned the kickoff 85 yards, putting Kean back on top, 33-29, with 5:36 left to play.

Final: Kean 33, Buffalo State 29. It was a valiant effort by the Bengals, who finally got their act together in the second half but by that time it was too late and the team seemed to get caught up in the excitement of the comeback, costing dearly on the blown kickoff return coverage.

Buffalo State falls to 0-3 and hosts Rowan at noon next Saturday.

Check Sunday's edition of The Buffalo News for more coverage.

--- Amy Moritz

Check out our college football preview section


The Buffalo News' college football preview section is included in today's newspaper, and if you live in the area I hope you get a chance to pick up a copy. There are some great graphics and layouts of the stories, and only seeing them on the web doesn't do the section justice. Here are the stories available on the web:

---Jeff Quinn, pictured above, goes all in at UB.

---Quinn has a difficult task of following "The Man."

---Davonte Shannon set to join exclusive club.

---Alabama's talent pool is deep enough to repeat.

---Five things to look for in college football this season.

---Temple has all the goods for a Golden season in the MAC.

---ECC's Larry Whitner is on the fast track.

---Jerry Boyes wants Buffalo State to stop thinking and start playing.

---Curtis Underwood's time has finally come.

---Walk-ons earn scholarships at UB.

---Adam Rosner helps Syracuse get in line. 

---Rodney McKissic


Backup QBs could have expanded roles at UB


---The starting quarterback for UB's opener Sept. 2 against Rhode Island likely will be sophomore Jerry Davis, pictured above, with redshirt freshman Alex Dennison as the No. 2. The third-stringer will be one of three true freshmen: Alex Zordich, Tyler Warden and Rudy Johnson. Don't be surprised of one of them takes snaps in a game this season or even starts.

---MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher believes believes there is only one way for member schools to solve attendance woes in football: Win. Sorry, Jon, but MAC schools need more than that like a more aggressive marketing plan from the league office.

---There's no debate: SEC football is the best in the country.

---Here's a list of coaches on the hot seat and coaches who will struggle this season, as well as a list of six coaches who have little time to rebuild.

---Is this the year a defensive player wins the Heisman Trophy?

---Notre Dame's Nate Montana, son of you know who, brushes off expectations and comparisons to his Hall of Fame father.

---Bobby Bowden sounds bitter about his divorce from Florida State.

---In college basketball, new Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard is quite a change from Buffalo State grad Bobby Gonzalez.

---Just when you thought he was long gone, Sonny Vaccaro is plotting his return.

---The Big East overruled its coaches and will continue to have a 16-team conference tournament.

---Rodney McKissic


Gonzalez arrested for shoplifting

It's been a rough off-season, to say the least, for former Seton Hall coach and Buffalo State grad Bobby Gonzalez. He's suing Seton Hall for wrongful termination and now Gonzalez has been arrested for shoplifting at a New Jersey mall.

---Rodney McKissic


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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 |