For one half, in front of an ESPNU audience Friday, the Canisius women's basketball team stayed within striking range of an upset at the Koessler Athletic Center. The Golden Griffins trailed by only three points to Manhattan.
But quickly, the rout was on. A slew of turnovers and missed shots hindered Canisius the rest of the way in a 55-30 loss. In the second half, the Griffs scored a mere 10 points, while shooting 4 of 25 from the field. And for the game, Manhattan scored 21 points off 27 turnovers.
No player on Canisius (6-14, 2-7 MAAC) scored in double figures. Jamie Ruttle had eight points and nine rebounds. Manhattan (14-6, 6-3) was led by Abby Wentworth's 14 points as Nadia Peters added 13 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and five blocks.
"We worked on the 1-3-1 this week as Manhattan provides you with a different look from other teams in our league," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "It took us a little bit of time to adjust to it in the first half. We made some shots to keep it close before halftime, but Manhattan was able to get open looks in the second half and knocked those down."
Canisius will look to rebound Sunday at home against Loyola, the team the Niagara women faced on Friday. At the Gallagher Center, the Purple Eagles fell, 55-44. Katie Gattuso scored 11 points and Meghan Waterman added 10. With the loss, NU is now 1-19 overall and still winless in the conference.
A Waterman layup with 4:22 to go in the first half cut Loyola's lead to 18-16. In the second half, the closest NU came was seven on a Liz Flooks layup with 6:46 to go. Though Niagara hung around, the losing continued. Loyola controlled the boards, outrebounding NU, 52-31.
Today, the University at Buffalo men and women host a doubleheader. The men will play Northern Illinois at noon with the women following against Ball State at 2:30 p.m. The St. Bonaventure women face Massachusetts in the Reilly Center at 1 p.m.
The UB men (12-6, 4-2 MAC) have been on a roll of late, winning four straight, including the last two on the road. At Ohio, UB overcame an 18-point deficit by shooting a sizzling 72 percent in the second half. And in Western Michigan, UB shot 71 percent in the second half. Zach Filzen and Byron Mulkey are each averaging 14 points per game.