St. Bonaventure's Mark Schmidt gets his first taste of Western New York Little Three basketball tonight when he takes his Bonnies to the Taps Gallagher Center to face Niagara (7 p.m., WNGS-TV/RTN 11; Radio 105.1 FM).
Niagara is 2-1 and coming off a loss at Duquesne (76-65). The Bonnies are 3-3 after losing to Eastern Michigan (63-60) at home Saturday.
Schmidt, the Bonnies' first-year head coach, will be going up against the dean of Western New York Division I coaches in Joe Mihalich, who is in his 10th season.
Mihalich's teams have won their last 13 against Canisius and St. Bonaventure going back to a loss at Canisius on Nov. 30, 2002, but he cares little about the past accomplishments.
"All that means nothing for this game," said Mihalich, who wants a more sustained performance from his team than he got in the loss at Duquesne.
"We better be ready for some 1-3-1 zone defense and some other looks," Mihalich said. "After the Duquesne game I said I thought we played 35 good minutes. When we broke down the tape, though, we found we only played about 28 minutes of good basketball. You're not going to beat a good team playing just 28 minutes."
Niagara won last year's meeting, 74-69, without top scorer Charron Fisher, who was serving a suspension. Fisher leads the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 24.7 scoring average. Tyrone Lewis (18.3) and Stanley Hodge (15.7) are the other NU scoring leaders.
Senior Michael Lee is off to an impressive start for the Bonnies, leading the team with 21.2 ppg and 8.5 rpg.
Senior guard Zarryon Fereti is Bona's long-range threat. He is averaging 16.2 points, with 12 treys so far. Lee and Fereti combined for 27 points against Niagara last season.
>Irish rout Griffs
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame, ranked 22nd in the nation, overpowered an erratic Canisius women's team, 93-47, Tuesday night at the Joyce Center.
The Fighting Irish of coach Muffet McGraw led by 27 points at the half, on the way to ending the Griffs' three-game winning streak. Both losses for Canisius (3-2) have been against ranked teams from the Big East Conference. The other was at West Virginia.
The Griffs had 29 turnovers (18 in the first half) and were outrebounded, 46-28, by the Irish. Amanda Cavo and Laura Buetow each had 10 points to lead Canisius, which made only 15 of 44 shots. Notre Dame was 37 for 72.
Ashley Barlow (18) and Charel Allen (17) led five Notre Dame players in double figures. Devereaux Peters had 12 for ND.
Next for Canisius is a Saturday afternoon game against Wright State in Dayton, Ohio.
>UB women lose
WORCESTER, Mass. -- The University at Buffalo is winless in four tries against Holy Cross after a 71-57 loss to the Crusaders on Tuesday night in the Hart Center.
Holy Cross (4-3) built a seven-point halftime lead and defeated the Bulls behind a balanced offense led by Laura Aloisi (17 points) and Brianna McFadden (16).
Ashley Zuber was high scorer for UB with 14 points.
UB's next game will be at Niagara at 5 p.m. Saturday.