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Griff rally comes up short by 2

Canisius staged a furious last-minute comeback but it fell short in a 78-76 loss to Quinnipiac Saturday night at the Koessler Center.

The Griffs (3-4, 1-1 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) trailed, 78-67 after Giovanni McLean of the Bobcats made one of two free throws with 50 seconds left. In the frantic action that followed Canisius scored nine points in a row, the last a layup by Jamel Reynolds with 10 seconds left.

When Quinnipiac (3-4, 1-1 MAAC) turned it over 9 seconds left, the Griffs had two chances to win or tie. Chris Atkinson missed a three-point try and Reynolds’ attempt at a put-back with 4 seconds left didn’t fall.

Canisius had double-digit leads much of the first half but went into the intermission trailing, 35-33. The game was tied at 53 before a 7-0 run by the visitors, who never trailed after that.

Phil Valenti led Canisius with 25 points and eight rebounds. Reynolds had 10 boards to go with 11 points and Kassius Robertson had 15 points. Malcolm McMillan was held to nine points while Jermaine Crumpton fouled out after only 15 minutes of action. The Griffs were out-rebounded badly, 40-29.

Donovan Smith, a 6-foot-9 junior college transfer from Chicago, led Quinnipiac with 14 points and seven boards. James Ford had 13 points and McLean had 12.

In Olean, St. Bonaventure took the lead with a 10-0 run in the second half and posted an impressive 81-68 win over Ohio University in a late afternoon game before 3,565 in the Reilly Center. The Bonnies (5-2) trailed, 45-40, before their rally.

Sophomore Jaylen Adams led Bona with 22 points. Marcus Posley had 19 and Dion Wright had 14 in a week where coach Mark Schmidt’s team posted wins over two Mid-American Conference opponents. Wright had 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.

The Bonnies made 6 of 11 threes in the second half as the lead grew to as much as 16 points. Bona led, 37-35, at the half.

“In the second half we got off to a rocky start but I thought the guys recovered when we went to the 2-3 zone,” Schmidt said.

Sunday afternoon, Niagara (3-5, 1-0 MAAC, which opened its 27th season in the conference on Friday, with a 76-72 victory over Quinnipiac will take on Monmouth in another conference game at 2 p.m. in the Gallagher Center.

Emile Blackman and Matt Scott had 20 points each in the victory on Friday. Monmouth (4-3, 0-1 MAAC) dropped its conference opener on Friday at Canisius, 96-86.

Healy out, but Bona wins

St. Bonaventure’s women’s team won its fourth in a row, defeating Georgetown, 69-54, Saturday afternoon in the Reilly Center.

Nyla Rueter, Gabby Richmond and Miranda Drummond combined for 49 points as the Bonnies improved their record to 5-2. Georgetown is 5-2.

Richmond was making her first start in place of leading scorer Katie Healy (Lancaster), who missed the game with an injury. Richmond had 17 points, the same as Drummond. Rueter had 15 points, all on three-pointers, and led the team with seven rebounds.

The University at Buffalo, Canisius and Niagara women’s teams will all be in action on Sunday.

UB (6-1) will be at home against Duquesne (6-1) in a 2 p.m. game in Alumni Arena.

The Bulls suffered their first loss of the season on Thursday at Hofstra. Duquesne’s only loss was to No. 25 ranked Princeton. The Dukes’ record includes victories over Saint Peter’s New Mexico and at Central Michigan. Senior guard April Robinson (16.3 ppg) leads the visitors.

Canisius (4-2, 1-0 MAAC) will look to win its second straight MAAC game when it faces Rider (2-4, 0-1) in Lawrenceville, N.J., at 2 p.m. Rider lost to Iona, 59-46, in its conference opener on Friday while Canisius was winning at Saint Peter’s, 60-53.

Niagara (1-5, 0-1 MAAC) will face Monmouth (1-4, 0-1 MAAC) in West Long Branch, N.J. The Hawks lost to Siena on Friday, 69-63, while Niagara fell at Manhattan, 80-62.