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College Power 10: Villa Maria makes Don Silveri's 600th win a memorable one

The Villa Maria College Vikings gave head coach Don Silveri a win to remember Saturday.

They rallied from five points down in the final 1:38 to upset the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades in Media, Pa. What’s more: The victory was the 600th of Silveri’s 38-year career in coaching. Here’s this week’s College Power 10:

1. Villa Maria men’s basketball. Silveri was hired in February 2015 to build the Villa Maria athletics program and has the Vikings winning in just his second season as basketball coach. Villa Maria (9-7) scored a 69-66 win over Williamson (14-3), the No. 3 Division II team in the 53-member, small-school alliance known as the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association.

Baskets in the final two minutes by Gerald Bibbs (Oracle Charter) and DeJuan Owens (Tapestry Charter) pulled Villa within one, then Eric Waters (Oracle Charter) converted a three-point play with 30 seconds left to give the Vikings the lead for good. Bibbs led Villa with 23 points.

“It's not about 600, it's about these kids and them believing they could come back and win this game even when things weren't going our way,” Silveri said after the game. “I'm so proud of them. This win can hopefully propel us to bigger things season.”

Silveri, who won the bulk of his games during a 25-year career at Daemen, was elected to the New York State Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in October. He's 600-416. Villa went 7-24 in its inaugural season last year. Twelve of the Vikings’ 16 players are from Buffalo.

2. Daemen's Natalie Galus. The senior women's basketball player was named one of 20 national semifinalists for the Wooden Citizenship Cup Award, which recognizes the student-athlete who best exemplifies character, teamwork and citizenship. A Frontier High graduate, Galus ranks fifth in Daemen history in blocked shots and ninth in three-pointers. She has averaged 9.4 points and 6.3 rebounds over 86 career starts.

She has volunteered for People Inc., the Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped, Gliding Stars and Challenger Basketball. She did a summer internship with the Family Justice Center of WNY, which aids victims of domestic violence.

3. UB wrestling. Wrestling fans get a chance to see a U.S. Olympian when the Bulls host seventh-ranked Missouri at 7 p.m. Thursday. Missouri 197-pound senior J’Den Cox won a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics and is a two-time NCAA champion. Cox is 15-0 this season. Missouri has three other wrestlers in the top 10 in their weight classes. The Bulls are 6-3 in dual matches after two easy weekend wins.

4. St. Bona men’s basketball. The Bonnies (10-5) rank 86th in the nation in the Pomeroy analytics standing and fifth in the Atlantic 10 Conference. They play Tuesday at Richmond (9-6), which stands 116th.

5. Daemen men’s basketball. The Wildcats scored their first-ever win over a nationally ranked Division II foe with a 67-64 upset of St. Thomas Aquinas. Daemen (9-5) avenged its loss in last year’s East Coast Conference title game. St. Thomas Aquinas (11-4) was ranked No. 23. Supreme Hannah scored 13 of his 15 points in the final 15 minutes, and Deion Hamilton also had 15 for the Wildcats.

6. Buffalo State men’s basketball. The Bengals are playing well entering a key week in which they play conference rivals Geneseo at home (5:30 p.m. Tuesday) and Brockport on the road (5:30 p.m. Friday). Guard Lovell Smith combined for 41 points in routs of Potsdam and Plattsburgh. The senior from McKinley became the 22nd player in Bengals history to cross the 1,000-point mark.

7. Buffalo State men’s hockey. The 10th-ranked Bengals won the Boston Landing Collegiate Invitational by beating Becker (6-2) and Nichols (3-0). Mike DeLaVergne made 28 saves and got his third shutout of the season in the title-game win. Jake Rosen (Williamsville North) scored his fifth goal to get the Nichols win started. Zach Remers (Canisius) also has five goals for the Bengals.

8. Medaille men’s basketball. The Mavericks scored a 74-68 win over Penn State-Behrend, the preseason favorite in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. Senior Johnathan Belton (Amherst) went 14 for 14 at the free-throw line and scored 25 points to key the win for Medaille (8-5), which also routed Mount Aloysius. Medaille is 5-1 in the AMCC, Behrend 4-2.

9. Fredonia State basketball. The Blue Devils women (11-1) stayed unbeaten in conference  with road routs of Potsdam and Plattsburgh. The Fredonia men also beat those two, marking the first-ever road sweep for the Blue Devil teams at the two North Country schools, dating to 1982-83.

10. Niagara CCC basketball. The NCCC women improved to 13-1 with an 86-55 rout of Columbia-Greene CC. Alliyah Gillespie scored 23. The NCCC men (13-2) stretched their win streak to 10 with wins over Mercer County CC and Howard CC.


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