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Canisius faces test at Rider

Canisius’ men’s basketball team hopes to close out a successful Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference season with two wins, starting with a game at Rider tonight (9 p.m., ESPNU, Radio 1400 AM).

The Golden Griffins have a 13-5 conference record (19-10 overall), and have set a school record for MAAC wins in a season. They are tied for third with Manhattan, and are a game behind second-place Quinnipiac. The Griffs play at Manhattan on Sunday.

Tonight’s game marks a record fifth time this season that Canisius basketball has been shown on national television.

Billy Baron of Canisius remains third in the country in scoring. He’s averaged more than 30 points per game in his team’s last five contests.

Meanwhile, Niagara’s goal for the weekend is to stay out of the MAAC basement. The Purple Eagles (6-23, 3-15) will try to take a step toward that goal tonight with a game at Monmouth. Niagara has lost its last eight games, and needs a win to avoid going through all of February without a win.

This game marks the first time Niagara has played at Monmouth. The Purple Eagles lost, 85-74, to the Hawks at home on Jan. 10.

In women’s basketball, the University at Buffalo was just the cure for what was ailing Ohio University on Thursday night.

The Bobcats, who had lost 10 straight games, defeated the Bulls, 83-71, in Athens, Ohio. UB fell to 15-11, 8-7 in the Mid-American Conference, while the Bobcats improved to 9-17, 4-11 MAC.

Karin Moss had a career-high 19 points to lead the Bulls, while Christa Baccus added 14. Quiera Lampkins had 27 points for Ohio to lead all scorers, while Mariah Byard added 21 points and five assists.

The Bulls play their last road game of the season at Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. They have two more home games next week.

In women’s play, two local teams head into their final weekend of the regular season with a pair of home games.

Canisius hosts Fairfield at 7 p.m. at the Koessler Athletic Center tonight. These final two games will have plenty of influence on the seedings in next week’s MAAC Tournament. Canisius (11-16, 7-11) could finish anywhere from fifth to ninth in the regular-season standings. The Griffs have gone 7-7 in their last 14 games, and haven’t won or lost more than two in a row in that span. Fairfield comes into the game with a 19-9 overall record, and a 14-4 mark in the MAAC.

Meanwhile, Niagara (9-18, 7-11 MAAC) has two more chances to help itself in MAAC Tournament seedings as well. The Eagles host Rider (13-13, 9-8 MAAC). The Broncs beat NU, 82-72, on Feb. 9.