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Big 4 roundup: Bona men continue strong start

The best start to a season for the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team under 11th-year coach Mark Schmidt continued Wednesday with an 84-65 win over Northeastern (7-5) at the Reilly Center.

Both teams came in riding a five-game winning streak. The current six-game streak is the longest for the Bonnies (9-2) since 1999-2000.

All five starters scored in double figures for Bona, which held a 44-35 lead at the half.

Matt Mobley led all scorers with 23 points, including 12 points from beyond the three-point line. Backcourt mate Jaylen Adams had 15 points.

Griffs drop eighth straight

The Canisius women’s basketball team lost its eighth game in a row Wednesday, a 55-45 final against Middle Tennessee in the UT Rio Grande Valley Holiday Classic in Texas.

Sophomore Tiana Pugh scored a career-high 19 points to lead the Golden Griffins, but the team as a whole scored below their season average of 57.2 points per game.

Canisius pulled within three with just over two minutes left after a pair of Sara Hinriksdottir (12 points) free throws, but Middle Tennessee pushed its lead back out to a comfortable margin of nine with 48 seconds to go.

The Griffs ended their nonconference slate with a 2-9 record. They’ll open up Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference play at the Koessler Center on Dec. 29 against Fairfield.

Big test for UB men

Two days after dropping a competitive 81-74 game at Syracuse, the University at Buffalo (7-4) men’s basketball team heads to Texas A&M (10-1) for a showdown with the nation’s No. 8-ranked team Thursday night at 9 p.m.

It’s the first SEC opponent UB will face since visiting No. 1 Kentucky in 2014-15. The Aggies beat the Bulls in the only prior meeting between the schools in 2013-14, when current head coach Nate Oats was an assistant during Bobby Hurley’s first year.

This game is a homecoming of sorts for Bulls star CJ Massinburg, who played scholastically at South Oak Cliff in Dallas, about a three-hour drive north of College Station. The junior guard leads the team in scoring (19.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rpg).

Senior Wes Clark scored 15 points against Syracuse in his long-awaited debut for the Bulls.

UB will be off until a Dec. 28 game against visiting NJIT at 7 p.m.

Bulls visit St. John’s

The UB women (8-2) close out their nonconference slate in New York City Thursday morning with an 11 a.m. matchup against St. John’s (7-3).

The Bulls are coming off a 75-62 upset loss at Niagara on Monday. It had won four straight since falling at Arizona State on Dec. 2.

Regardless, the Bulls checked in at No. 8 in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 poll by College Insider. The calling card has been their pesky defense, which has forced 23.2 turnovers per game so far this season. That’s good for 11th in the NCAA.

The Bulls open Mid-American Conference play at Akron on Dec. 30.

Bona women at Hofstra

St. Bonaventure also closes out the nonconference portion of its schedule Thursday. The Bonnies (5-7) head to Hofstra (5-5) for a 2 p.m. tip.

Senior Mariah Ruff and junior Mckenna Maycock (Randolph) each average 12.4 points per game to lead Bona. Maycock also leads the team rebounds per game with 7.8.

Atlantic 10 play begins for the Bonnies Dec. 31 at Saint Louis.

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