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UB women beat Illinois State; Niagara wins home opener

Kristen Sharkey erupted for 30 points, nine rebounds and five steals as the University at Buffalo beat winless Illinois State, 68-60, at the Miami (Fla.) Thanksgiving Tournament at the Bank United Center.

Sharkey earned all-tournament team honors as she finished six points shy of her career-high. For the tournament, Sharkey averaged 21 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5 steals, while shooting 51.9 percent from the floor.

The Bulls recorded 12 steals and had a season-low 11 turnovers. Sophomore Alexus Malone recorded her second double-double in as many days with a 19-point, 11-rebound effort. Sharkey and Malone were a combined 14-of-15 from the line.

Elsewhere, guard Taylor McKay had 14 points and six assists off the bench as Niagara beat Detroit, 71-49, in its home opener at the Gallagher Center.

Val McQuade was 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, finishing with 12 points, and Victoria Rampado added 10 points.

Detroit led, 11-3, over the first three minutes, but the Purple Eagles fought back to close the half with a 30-25 lead. Niagara started the second half on a 23-5 run on its way to the win.

Niagara opens league play on Friday when it hosts Saint Peter’s at 6 p.m.

Today’s games

St. Bonaventure puts its 11-game home winning streak on the line when it hosts Binghamton today at 1 p.m. It’s the Bonnies’ (3-2) first home game since their Nov. 14 season opener against Canisius.

The Bonnies are 8-0 all-time against the Bearcats. Junior forward Katie Healy (Lancaster) averages 11.4 points and 5.6 rebounds. Gabby Richmond averages 6.2 rebounds per game. The Bonnies are shooting 37.3 percent from the floor.

Binghamton (1-4) returns one starter, senior Sherae Swinson, who is averaging 11.8 points per game with 7.3 rebounds.

Canisius (0-3) and Saint Francis (0-3) are both looking for their first win today when they meet at 2 p.m. in Loretto, Pa. It’s the first time in 10 years the teams have played.

Canisius has won the last three games in the series, including an 84-79 meeting at Saint Francis on Dec. 16, 2003.

Junior Crystal Porter has at least 12 points and eight rebounds in each of the first three games.

Canisius has shot 50 percent or better in the second half in the last two games.

Saint Francis has losses to UB, Ohio State and East Tennessee State. Guard Alexa Hayward leads the team at 27 points per game, followed by forward Shaqeia Strokes with 11.7 points and 7.3 rebounds.