Rachael Gregory and Mackenzie Loesing each connected on 10 of 12 free throws and Alexis Malone snared 17 rebounds as the University at Buffalo used a big advantage at the foul line and on the boards to put away Niagara, 73-64, Saturday afternoon at Alumni Arena.
UB trailed by nine at the half and by five with 6:43 remaining as a Val McQuade jumper gave Niagara a 57-52 advantage.
UB (2-1) grabbed the lead for good at 58-57 when Loesing hit a three-pointer with 4:14 left. She was only 2 for 17 from the field before sinking the go-ahead shot. The Bulls scored their final 15 points from the foul line, from where they were 29 of 39 to Niagara’s 9 of 15.
Loesing finished with 18 points, Malone 15 and Gregory 12. Meghan McGuinness scored a game-high 22 for Niagara (0-3), playing its first game since its 24-plus hour ordeal when stranded on the Thruway returning from Monday’s game at Pitt. Sylvia Maxwell chipped in with 16 and McQuade 11.
UB had a robust 60-45 edge on the backboards.
In Detroit, redshirt sophomore Gabby Richmond scored a team-high 12 points as visiting St. Bonaventure rode a balanced attack and a 16-2 first-half burst to a 68-56 nonconference victory over Detroit.
Ashley Zahn nailed a trio of three-point shots to score 11 of Bona’s 16 points in the big run that sent the Bonnies (3-2) to their highest-scoring half (38 points) since last February. Hannah Little added 10 points and nine rebounds for Bona, which won for the first time on a four-game road trip that concludes Tuesday at Penn State.
Canisius topped Niagara in four sets in the fifth-place match at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Senior libero Emily Litwin (Sacred Heart) recorded a career-high 37 digs and set the program record with 638 digs in a season.