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UB men, Bona women fall short in upset tries

The University at Buffalo men and St. Bonaventure women had great chances to post upset victories Thursday night but both fell short.

UB hung around all night long at Athens' Convocation Center before dropping a 67-51 Mid-American Conference game to the Ohio Bobcats.

La Salle got two free throws with three seconds left in a 68-67 win at St. Bonaventure as the Bonnies remained winless in the conference.

Andy Robinson scored the first eight points of the second half for the Bulls (9-8 overall, 1-3 in the MAC) to put UB ahead, 32-31, after the teams had gone into intermission tied at 24. But that was UB's final lead of the game as Ohio (12-5, 3-1) pulled out its 12th consecutive home victory and its 33rd in the last 36 at home.

"We weren't mentally aggressive enough to take this team out," said UB coach Reggie Witherspoon. "We're not mentally prepared to dominate yet and when you're not, you set yourself up to be dominated because an opponent can come back on you at any time."

The Bulls trailed, 56-50, when Yassin Idbihi scored on a layup with 3:27 left. But Ohio scored 11 of the game's final 12 points, the dagger being a dunk by Whitney Davis to make it 62-51 with 1:42 left after UB's Darwin Young had misfired on a three-point try.

"We were very hesitant," said Witherspoon, whose Bulls held Ohio to 40-percent shooting in the first half before the Bobcats went on to hit 52 percent in the final 20 minutes. "If you're not sure you can beat a team, you're right. If you're not sure you can make a shot, you're right."

UB continued a couple disturbing trends. The Bulls hit 34 percent from the floor, making it 16 straight games of sub-50 percent shooting.

They entered the game with only six teams in Division I committing more turnovers per game (19.8) and coughed the ball up 22 times, which led to 23 Bobcats points. UB is averaging 21 giveaways a contest during its last seven games.

Idbihi led UB with 11 points and Robinson, with 10, was the only other double-figure scorer. Greg Gamble (Niagara Falls) was high rebounder with eight. Though UB won the battle of the boards, 34-32, Ohio had 10 second-chance points to eight for the Bulls and scored 40 points in the paint -- 26 better than UB.

Crista Ricketts scored the last two of her 22 points from the line as La Salle sent Bona to a heartbreaking defeat.

After Priscilla Edwards scored on a driving layup with 30 seconds left to give St. Bonaventure just its second lead of the night, Jamie Walsh found Ricketts alone in the lane. Ricketts went for the basket, missed but was fouled. After the free throws, Bona was unable to get off a final shot attempt.

Carlene Hightower had 24 points for La Salle (15-4, 3-1). The Bonnies (10-8, 0-3) now have their first three-game losing streak of the season despite five double-digit scorers.

Dana Mitchell led the way for Bona with 18 points, Audrey Latendresse added 15, Edwards had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Erica Schiefen and Andrea Doneth each scored 10.

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