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Ohio-UB game analysis

Game analysis: D.J. Cooper has broken the hearts of several teams over the years and he did it again against UB on Tuesday. The Bulls cut off Cooper's drive to the basket so he sank a deep 3-pointer with 1:34 left in the game that proved to be the game winner as the Bulls fell to the Bobcats, 72-69.

How UB lost: The Bulls committed 19 turnovers and several came at critical times in the contest. They also failed to convert a field goal after Javon McCrea's basket with 3:51 left in the game.

Turning Point: After McCrea's final basket, UB went 0-4 from the floor with four turnovers.

Player of the Game: Cooper scored a game-high 24 points and was 5 of 10 from downtown.

Mr. 2,000: Cooper went over the 2,000-point mark for his career with his first basket of the night, a 3-pointer which stopped a 14-4 Bulls run.

Nice stat line: in his final game at Alumni Arena, senior guard Tony Watson had 11 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and no turnovers in 40 minutes. He was also 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.

Key stat: The Bulls outrebounded the Bulls, 43-22.

What It Means: With a game remaining at Bowling Green, the Bulls are locked in a three-way tie for the No. 4 seed in next week's MAC Tournament with Kent State and Eastern Michigan at 7-7.

In the House: 3,132 at Alumni Arena.

He said it: "We know we're getting better and we know we have the ability to beat every team in this conference. We have to take the mindset everyday that we have a challenge in front of us one game at a time and take our opponents seriously.'' - UB forward Will Regan.

Up next: at Bowling Green at 6 p.m. Friday.

---Rodney McKissic

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

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

Duquesne-St. Bonaventure game analysis

Game analysis: Playing without junior guard Matthew Wright, St. Bonaventure brought Jordan Gathers off the bench to fill the void, and the Bonnies sizzling 3-point shooting helped keep hard-charging Duquesne at bay, 68-60.

How St. Bonaventure won: Bona was on fire from downtown and connected on 12 of 22, including 5 of 10 in the second half. The Dukes were also strong from long range, hitting 11 of 24.

Turning Point: The Bonnies closed the first half on an 8-0 run, capped by Gathers 3 before the halftime buzzer.

Player of the Game: Gathers hasn't seen a lot of minutes lately but he played 30 on Saturday and didn't miss a shot. (5-for-5, 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.

Key stat: The Bonnies were all over the glass (35-24).

What It Means: Canisius moves up to 10-10 overall and 3-4 in the A-10.

In the House: 4,991 in the RC.

He said it: "It's a heck of a league and the teams that we're playing, all the way back to N.C. State and Colorado State, are top 50 teams. I was reading the other day where other than the Big 10, the Atlantic 10 has 10 teams in the Top 100 in the RPI and that tells you everything you need to know about this league." - St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt on the A-10.

Up next: The Bonnies take the road for a game against No. 9 ranked Butler for a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday.

---Rodney McKissic

Siena-Canisius game analysis

Game analysis: Billy Baron and Harold Washington combined for 14 points but it didn't matter because defense was the fuel that drove Canisius to a 76-44 victory over struggling Siena.

How Canisius won: Canisius likes to run and gun with little regard for defense so the numbers against the Saints were staggering. They held Siena to 32.7 percent shooting, forced 20 turnovers and had 13 steals and six blocks. They also pressured Siena point guard Evan Hymes into nine turnovers. The Saints 44 points scored tied a Koessler Center record for fewest points by an opponent.

Turning Point: Seriously, Siena was never in this game. After Canisius took a 7-4 lead, it outscored the Saints 35-15 by halftime.

Player of the Game: At 6-6 Chris Manhertz may be undersized but it's undervalued: 12 points, 11 boards, two blocks.

Key stat: Canisius committed just four turnovers, one in the first half.

Welcome back: Alshwan Hymes returned to the lineup after serving a suspension for a violation of team rules scored 11 points on 5 of 8 from the floor in 24 minutes. He's apparently back in the good graces of coach Jim Baron.

"He gives us high energy off the bench and that's important," Baron said. "As we move forward, everyone needs to know their role. Whenever you take over a program, it's always balancing it out and it's a team effort. Everybody wins when we win. When you play in a league like this - and I'm coming from the Atlantic 10 - you need a good amount of players. You need a bench. And the way we play uptempo, pushing the ball and attacking, we need guys off the bench to give us quality minutes and that was important today."

What It Means: Canisius moves up to 12-7 overall and 5-2 in MAAC play.

In the House: 2,001 on Hall of Fame Day.

He said it: "It was one of our best defensive efforts with guys understanding what we needed to do with post position help defense and keeping guys in front. We have to carry it over because we have two games this week that are going to be very, very challenging, one on the road at Rider and coming back with Niagara so we have to take them one game at a time." - Canisius coach Jim Baron

Up next: The Golden Griffins hit the road against Rider for a 7 p.m. game Friday.

---Rodney McKissic

Source: Baron offered Canisius job

---Former St. Bonaventure coach Jim Baron has been offered the job at Canisius multiple sources have told The News.

Baron, who was fired after 11 years at Rhode Island, is in negotiations with the school and is seeking additional funds for assistant coaches to help build a stronger infrastructure in the program.

While waiting on a commitment from Baron, Canisius AD Bill Maher is still talking to candidates in case Baron turns down the job. A source told The News that Maher on Wednesday spoke with Jayson Gee, the associate head coach at Cleveland State and former a St. Bonaventure assistant.

Baron, who coached at St. Bonaventure from 1992-01, had four consecutive 20-win seasons at Rhode Island before last season’s 7-24 finish and was fired a year after he agreed to a contract extension through the 2013-14 season. He has a career record of 390-367 (.515).

Norfolk State's Anthony Evans and Rhode Island College's Bob Walsh are also candidates, according to sources.

---Rodney McKissic

(twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Canisius coaching search update

---Canisius College placed as 4-6 week window to hire Tom Parrotta’s replacement and the process appears to be on schedule.

Canisius AD Bill Maher, with the help of Bill Carr Associates, is narrowing his list of candidates, which includes former St. Bonaventure coach Jim Baron, according to multiple sources. The list also includes Norfolk State’s Anthony Evans and Bob Walsh, the former San Diego and Iona assistant now at Division III Rhode Island College, according to sources. All have head coaching experience which Maher desires.

Baron, who coached at St. Bonaventure from 1992-01, had four consecutive 20-win seasons at Rhode Island before last season’s 7-24 finish and was fired a year after he agreed to a contract extension through the 2013-14 season. He has a career record of 390-367 (.515).

After leading Norfolk State to its first MEAC championship, Evans led the school to an upset win over Missouri in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A native of Brooklyn, Norfolk State has seven New York natives on its roster.

Walsh just completed his seventh season at RIC where he’s made seven consecutive trips to the postseason and six straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

---Rodney McKissic

(twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

"We got no pressure on us."

---The Bonnies appear loose and carefree, apparently because they've heaped all the pressure on Florida State.

“Florida State is supposed to win,’’ Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said. “They got the pressure on them. Going into the Atlantic 10 Tournament, we weren’t supposed to win that. I think when you go out there and play like it’s a pickup game, you have a better chance. You don’t have that monkey on your back. We’ve got some good players that play well together but when you play loose, you have a better chance. That’s not to say we’re going to win, but no one has expected us to be here.’’

The Bonnies are currently six-point underdogs.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Because of Nicholson, scouts will come

---NASHVILLE, Tenn. -One of the main attractions to St. Bonaventure for guard Matthew Wright, in addition being close to his home in Toronto, was the presence of Andrew Nicholson.

Guards like to play with talented big men – they free up space to shoot, make them look better on assists, clog up the middle when they get beaten defensively, etc. – and Nicholson forced NBA scouts to come to Olean to watch practice, giving his teammates exposure as well.

“As a guard, you want to affiliate yourself with a good big man and me knowing that he’s getting a lot of looks by NBA team, he draws the NBA scouts to practice,’’ Wright said. “If you practice well, they also see you.’’

Point guard Charlon Kloof said it was one of the greatest moments when coach Mark Schmidt informed the team that scouts were in attendance.

“At first you’re nervous, but then that’s why I like my seniors that much and my coaches so they’ll walk you through it,’’ Kloof said. “Once you’re comfortable, then it’s over but it’s a great experience.’’

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Atlantic 10 Championship live blog

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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 | bdicesare@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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