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Big 4 three-pointer

*Niagara has suddenly developed crowd-control issues at the Gallagher Center this season. Fans have breached the court several times, even during play, and lax security has done little to stop them. One student foolishly stormed the floor at the end of regulation Thursday, apparently thinking Charron Fisher's tying shot against Marist was a game-winner, and the team could have easily been hit with a game-deciding technical foul. With two ESPNU telecasts coming in February, NU better take steps to prevent a major incident that embarrasses the school.

*Canisius drew 771 fans for Thursday's win over Iona even with the students back in session. It's the fourth straight time the Golden Griffins' crowd count in the Koessler Center has been under 900. So where are all the students, faculty and alums who claimed they'd come back as soon as Mike MacDonald was out as coach? New boss Tom Parrotta deserves better.

*It's tough for most teams to win on the road in the Mid-American Conference but the University at Buffalo is never going to contend on an annual basis unless it finds a way to do something outside of Alumni Arena. The Bulls are 0-9 at Ohio University after Wednesday's loss there -- and are either winless or have just one victory in eight of the MAC's other 10 venues since joining the league in 1998. They're 1-6 at Akron, where they play Sunday.

-- MIKE HARRINGTON

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