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For Big 4 teams, it's a lost weekend Canisius, NU, UB bow at home

It was 12 seconds into the game when Megan Lyte missed two free throws.

And so it went for the Canisius women's basketball team Sunday afternoon.

The Golden Griffins missed layups, shot airballs and generally were careless with the basketball in a 76-66 loss to Fairfield at the Koessler Center.

It capped a disappointing weekend for Big 4 women's hoops as the teams combined to go 0-6.

Three of the defeats were on Sunday, including a 72-67 overtime loss for the University at Buffalo to Massachusetts and a 65-55 loss for Niagara to Iona.

At the Koessler Center, Canisius (6-3, 0-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) shot just 25 percent in the second half, committed 19 turnovers and was outrebounded for the second straight game.

"I think we just weren't flowing very well through the basketball game," said Lyte, who led the Griffins with 17 points. "We got cold there for a while and instead of really slowing it down, using our offensive principles, we took quick shots, shots out of our rhythm."

Fairfield (5-5, 2-0 MAAC) hit its stride in the second half, using an 11-0 run to take the lead, 52-50, with 10:25 left to play. The Stags held the lead the rest of the game as Meka Werts scored a game-high 23 and Sabra Wrice continued her strong road trip with 16 points.

"Defensively we made some adjustments . . . and instead of riding their bodies when they were taking shots we were kind of backing off and we were able to grab the rebound," Fairfield coach Dianne Nolan said. "We shot 36 free throws, and I know a lot of those were at the end of the game, but we shot 81 percent [from the foul line] in the second half. We miss some of those and they hit some threes and it's a different game."

The 76 points were the most given up by the Griffins this year. Canisius also struggled from outside, hitting just 19 percent (4 of 21) from three-point range.

Abby Radunske had a career-high 12 rebounds with 15 points for the Griffs.

"You obviously don't want to drop your first two conference games of the season, but we're going to have to learn from it and get better," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "Other than on the glass at times, I don't think physically we [did what we wanted] to do. I think mentally we're not doing what we want to do."

In Alumni Arena, the Bulls (4-6) went on a late 10-0 run to erase a 13-point UMass lead. Trailing, 61-60, with one second remaining, Stephanie Bennett went to the line for a two-shot foul and a chance to win the game for UB. She missed the first free throw and made the second, prompting overtime.

The Minutewomen (8-2) controlled the overtime period early, scoring the first eight points, and held on for the win.

Rachelle Matthys had a career-high 20 points while Bennett added 18.

In the Gallagher Center, Iona went on a 13-1 run to close the first half and an 8-0 run to quell a Niagara comeback attempt in the second.

Shaunna Ambrose scored 24 points, her fourth 20-plus game of the season, but she was the only Niagara player in double figures. Iona (5-5, 2-0 MAAC), shot 50 percent from the field with four players in double figures, led by Martina Weber's 15-point, eight-rebound effort.

Michelle Manfredi had 10 rebounds for the Purple Eagles (6-4, 0-2 MAAC), who have lost three straight.

e-mail: amoritz@buffnews.com

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