March 2, 2013 - 3:03 PM
February 28, 2013 - 10:33 PM
Rider 68, Niagara 59
How Rider Won: Very rarely will you see a team come into the Gallagher Center and better Niagara's toughness. The Broncs did it. They challenged everything on the defensive end, and the physical style made it a miserable night for Niagara scoring leader Antoine Mason (7 points, 1 of 12 from the field). Rider also got big threes from Tommy Pereira and Jonathon Thompson during a 13-0 second-half run that settled the issue.
Player of the Game: Thompson, a senior who averages 12.5 points, was sensational. He killed Niagara off the drive, buried three treys and got to the foul line nine times while scoring 25 points. That's one shy of his career high.
Best Supporting Role: Junior forward Daniel Stewart owned the inside and scored 14 points to go with 14 rebounds.
Best Player (Losing Effort): Juan'ya Green did everything to keep Niagara close, scoring 27 points. No one else reached double figures.
Stat Check: Points in the paint favored Rider, 34-22.
Stat Check II: Only four of Niagara's 20 field goals were assisted.
Stat Check III: Niagara's comeback effort was undermined by its free throw shooting -- 10 of 19 in the second half.
What It Means: Niagara remains in first place, a half-game ahead of Loyola, but will need a Loyola loss this weekend to have a chance at the title. Rider remains tied with Canisius for third, a half-game behind Loyola.
In the House: There were 1,948 at the Taps.
They Said It
Juan'ya Green on Niagara's frustration: "We shouldn't have got that way. We started talking to each other and started getting frustrated at each other. It shouldn't have got that way. We should have just came together and played through it."
Mihalich: "I'm not going to publicly call anybody out but our interior defense was . . . Stewart did whatever he wanted. I mean, Stewart just did whatever he wanted."
Rider coach Kevin Baggett: "I'd say we match up well with those guys. We have a number of guys that can sit down and play defense and match up, and we do a good job preparing for this group. When it comes down to conference play everybody kind of knows what different teams are going to run, it just comes down to executing and we've done a better job in terms of trying to stop them being able to get to where they need to get to on the court and what they're looking to get out of their offense as well."
Next Up: Niagara finishes out the regular season hosting Saint Peter's at 3 p.m. Saturday. Rider moves on to Canisius for a 2 p.m. game. The winner of that one finishes no worse than third in the final standing.
-- Bob DiCesare
February 13, 2013 - 3:10 PM
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:
-- Bob DiCesare
February 10, 2013 - 7:17 PM
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.
February 2, 2013 - 9:21 PM
Loyola (Md) 89, Niagara 87 (2OT)
How Loyola Won: Give the Greyhounds a ton of credit for this one. They were down three after their leading scorer and emotional leader (Robert Olson, 23 points) fouled out with 7:27 remaining. How'd they rebound and persevere? By putting six players in double figures and producing textbook execution of a long inbounds play with 2.9 seconds left in the second OT. The results have shown the MAAC's top four of five teams are evenly matched. It should make for an interesting conference tournament.
Player of the Game: Loyola's Anthony Winbush (13 points, game-high 13 rebounds) made two clutch free throws near the end of regulation and was dead-on target with the long inbounds pass to Erik Etherly that set up the decisive Julius Brooks basket.
February 1, 2013 - 12:25 AM
Niagara 93, Iona 90 (OT)
How Niagara Won: 'Twas magic is what it was. Down 15 midway through the second half and down seven with 45 seconds left in regulation, the Purple Eagles tied it on a Juan'ya Green three and won it in OT on another trey by Green. Stunning. Iona appeared to have secured the victory that would tie it for first place in the conference but the Purple Eagles, as is so often the case and particularly on their home floor, just wouldn't go away. They came up with key steals down the stretch. They went on a rampage on the offensive glass. And when Iona failed to make the free throws that would have locked things up Niagara barged through the door and shouted, "Here we are."
Players of the Game: Green and Antoine Mason combined to rip the Gaels' hearts out. Time and again in the final 10 minutes they drove into the paint and either scored or went to the line. Mason had a career-high 30 points, 17 of them after intermission. Grey scored 26 to go with eight assists against just one turnover. They outplayed Iona's heralded backcourt combination of Momo Jones (23 points) and Sean Armand (11).
January 31, 2013 - 6:34 PM
Canisius guard Isaac Sosa has been named to the Academic All-District 1 team, the only player in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference so honored. Sosa has a 3.48 gpa in finance and is the first Griff on the District team since Darren Fenn in 2000-01.
UB has put two players on the Academic All-Mid-American Conference team. They are receiver Alex Neutz, who has a 3.59 in management, and defensive end Colby Way, a 3.49 in computer engineering. Three Bulls -- receiver Rudy Johnson, tight end Matt Weiser and QB Alex Zordich, achieved honorable mention status.
-- Bob DiCesare
January 31, 2013 - 4:25 PM
January 31, 2013 - 4:23 PM
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About Campus Watch
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.
Rodney McKissic began his journalism career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for The Buffalo News since 2001. A proud father of four children, he enjoys reading in his spare time.
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.
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