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BONA MEN DROP OPENER AT IONA

The St. Bonaventure men's basketball season got off on the wrong foot with a 73-49 loss to Iona (2-1) at the Mulcahy Center in New Rochelle. The Gaels, who never trailed, opened a 37-27 halftime lead and pulled away.

Reserve swingman Wade Dunston paced St. Bonaventure with 22 points, including 15 of 16 free throws. Bona shot only 23 percent from the field.

Elsewhere, Ronald Wright scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Daemen (4-2) in an 81-76 loss to Spring Harbor in the Cornerstone Tournament in Grand Rapids, Mich. Therron Blackwell (McKinley) added 17 points. . . . Sam Gioia (West Seneca West) had 11 points for Hilbert (0-1) in a 76-46 loss to Potsdam in the North Country Classic tournament. . . . Jay Wingate and Jeremy Konst (Williamsville East) scored 12 each as host Buffalo State beat Clark, 57-51, in the Cole's Classic. . . . Nate Sanzo's 11 points led Fredonia in a 84-56 loss to Rochester.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Three Niagara players scored in double figures as the Purple Eagles opened with a 62-57 loss at Syracuse.

Eva Cunningham (Iroquois) led the Purple Eagles with 15 points and five assists, both game-highs. Jessi Tomasin came off the bench to contribute 13 points and sophomore guard Shaunna Ambrose tallied 11. Toni Smalley led the team with eight rebounds.

NU led by seven, 26-19, late in the first half before falling behind, 34-32, at intermission in a game that saw eight lead changes and the score tied eight times.

The Purple Eagles regained the lead in the second half and led by a point, 53-52, on freshman forward Sara Prybyl's jumper with 5:02 left. But Syracuse (1-0) then went on a 9-0 run to seal the victory before 478 at the Manley Field House.

"I am very proud of the way the players played," said Niagara coach Bill Agronin. "We got a lot of things out of some young kids, Sara Prybyl did a great job. I'm very proud of all the players. They showed that they could play with the Big East teams."

Elsewhere, senior forward Jillian LaPoint's game-high 24 points weren't enough to save Daemen from a 77-70 loss to Rio Grande (6-1) in the Urbana (Ohio) tournament. Joanna Daugenti had 14 points in nine rebounds and Jessica Ruddell added 12 points for the Wildcats (2-3). . . . Amanda Baker's 22 points led Medaille to a 73-59 romp over visiting Chatam in the Mavericks' season opener.

WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Sophomore forward Katie Gray scored a natural hat trick -- three goals in a row -- in the first period to lead the Niagara women's hockey team to a 6-1 romp over host Quinnipiac in a College Hockey America game.

NU trailed, 1-0, before Gray scored a power-play goal at 8:34 on an assist by Chelsea Donovan. Fifteen seconds later, she followed that with an even-strength goal, assisted by Amy Jack and Sarah Boulanger. Gray notched her third score at 19:32 on assists by Charde Hoyle-Levy and Boulanger.

The Purple Eagles pulled further ahead on second-period scores by Donovan, Candice Moxley and Shannon Moulson.

Goalie Allison Rutledge stopped 18 shots as the Purple Eagles improved to 4-6-1, 1-1-1 with their first conference victory.

MEN'S HOCKEY: Chad Berman's hat trick led Fredonia over St. Clair, 6-2. . . . Buffalo State (2-7-1) fell to host Manhattanville, 5-0.

SWIMMING: The Johnson family from Frewsburg High had a hand in four of St. Bonaventure's seven winning events in a double-dual meet with visiting Penn State at the Reilly Center Friday afternoon. The Nittany Lions won both women's (172-90) and men's (155-104) events.

Freshman Anneli Johnson won the women's 100 and 200-yard breaststroke and anchored the winning 200 medley relay team -- which included Kristy Michalek (Sacred Heart), Lauren Bull and Stephanie Belke (Sweet Home). Bull also won the 200 individual medley for the 3-3 Bonnies.

Brother Seth Johnson, a senior, won the men's 50 freestyle. Bona (3-2) teammate Matt Cormier took the 200 breaststroke and Roman Margulis finished first in the 100 free.

WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Niagara junior Micole Daluisio (Lancaster) was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's co-defensive player of the year.

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