St. Bonaventure was at its best down the stretch Friday night. Canisius was dead meat pretty much from the start.
The Bonnies scored 15 of the final 17 points en route to a 61-50 victory over Loyola Marymount in the first game of the BTI Invitational at Albuquerque, N.M.
Canisius, meanwhile, surrendered 13 three-pointers and scored only 16 points in the second half of a 93-40 road loss to Penn State.
After Loyola's Marko Deric nailed a jumper with 6:06 remaining to give his Lions a 50-48 lead, it became the Zarryon Fereti and Michael Lee show.
That senior duo combined for 40 points for the Bonnies, who won despite shooting just 36.5 percent from the field.
Fereti scored six of his 18 points down the stretch, and also added nine rebounds for the game. Lee led the way with 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Bonnies (2-1), who face the host New Mexico Lobos tonight in the second of three contests in the round-robin event. Tim Diederichs led Loyola (0-3) with 14 points.
Canisius (0-2) shot just 4 of 29 from three-point range against Penn State (2-0), which came within five of the school's largest margin of victory ever, a 105-47 thumping of Ithaca College on Jan. 17, 1953.
Geary Claxton had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Nittany Lions and Danny Morrissey scored 17 points, including five three-pointers. Freshman forward Elton Frazier scored 13 points to lead the Golden Griffins, who shot only 26.3 percent from the field.
UB advances to final
Dan Stevens scored from 25 yards away with just 2:04 remaining to send the University at Buffalo past Hartwick, 1-0, and into Sunday's Mid-American Conference men's soccer championship game at Akron, Ohio.
Stevens' goal was his third of the season for UB (10-6-2), which will be playing in its second MAC final in the past three seasons. The Bulls lost to Akron on penalty kicks in 2005. Robert Shuttleworth (Nichols) made four saves in compiling his fourth shutout of the year.
Third-seeded Hartwick (5-6-7) had defeated the second-seeded Bulls, 2-1, on Nov. 3 in the regular season. The Bulls will face top-seeded Akron at 2 p.m. Sunday in the final. The Zips (14-3-2) defeated Northern Illinois, 2-1, in double overtime Friday.
Today, it's Canisius' turn in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference semifinals against top-seeded Loyola of Maryland (16-3) in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The fourth-seeded Golden Griffins (8-11) have already set a school record for wins in a season. Loyola, which has 10 shutout wins in its last 11 games behind sophomore goalkeeper Milos Kocic, beat the Griffs, 3-0, during the regular season.
The Niagara, UB and St. Bonaventure women's basketball teams all hit the court on the road today.
Niagara is at Maryland-Eastern Shore at 2 p.m., UB plays at South Carolina at 3 p.m. and Bona opposes Binghamton at the First Arena in Elmira at 4 p.m.
Niagara coach Kendra Faustin is 2-0 in her first season with both wins at least by 10 points. Her team has an average winning margin of 25 points. Maryland-Eastern Shore (1-1) has dropped all three previous matchups against the Purple Eagles.
UB coach Linda Hill-MacDonald was an assistant with the Gamecocks before coming to the Bulls. The Bulls (2-0) are coming off a 76-68 win at Presbyterian (S.C.) College on Thursday. The Gamecocks are 3-0 for the first time since 2002-03, when they made it to the NCAA Tournament.
Bona has opened 3-0 for the seventh time in school history after Tuesday's 64-62 triumph over Albany. The Bearcats dropped their opener, 62-60, at Portland State. The game is a homecoming for Bonnies junior Erica Schiefen, an Elmira Heights native who averages 10.7 points per game.