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Niagara men and women fall to MAAC foes

It was a tough day on the hardwood for Niagara’s men’s and women’s basketball teams as both dropped Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contests.

The men saw their losing streak stretch to seven games with a 69-58 loss at Monmouth while the women have now lost five of their last six after a 83-72 home loss to Iona.

In West Long Branch, N.J., the Purple Eagles had a woeful first half, shooting just 19 percent (4 of 21). Monmouth built a 40-20 halftime lead, thanks to shooting 61.1 percent, including 5 of 9 from three-point range.

The Purple Eagles had a better showing in the second half, going 10 for 23 and outscoring the Hawks, 38-29, after intermission.

Emile Blackman led Niagara with 18 points, including hitting 3 of 4 from three-point range, while Ramone Snowden had 17 with six rebounds. Dominique Reid added 12.

Monmouth improved to 11-9 overall and is now tied for first place in the MAAC with Iona. Both teams have a 7-2 mark in conference play.

Niagara plays at Iona on Sunday.

In the Gallagher Center, meanwhile, Iona put four players in double figures to improve to 10-8 overall and 7-2 in MAAC play.

Victoria Rampado’s jumper tied the game, 7-7, for Niagara, but the Gaels went on a 14-2 run to take control of the game.

Rampado and Meghan McGuinness each scored 21 points for the Purple Eagles, who fell to 8-11 overall and 4-6 in the league.

Damika Martinez and Aaliyah Robinson led the Gaels with 19 points apiece while Cassidee Ranger had 17 and Joy Adams 16.

The Purple Eagles next play Jan. 29, traveling to Jersey City, N.J., to take on Saint Peter’s.

Saturday’s games

The Canisius men take their three-game winning streak to Lawrenceville, N.J., for a 7 p.m. game with Rider.

The Golden Griffins (11-7) have won four of their last five games and are coming off a win at Fairfield. Sophomore Phil Valenti is averaging 18.3 points over the last three games.

The Griffs are tied with Rider for third place in the MAAC, both with 6-3 conference records.

Rider is coming off a 78-68 loss to league-leading Iona.

In the Mid-American Conference, the University at Buffalo is looking to get back on the winning track when it plays Ohio in Athens at 2 p.m. (Radio 1520). The Bulls (12-5, 3-2) are coming off an 84-73 loss to Central Michigan despite 26 points from Justin Moss. Moss leads the conference with 18.7 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game.

Ohio (6-10, 1-4) picked up its first conference win, an 82-73 victory over Ball State, on Wednesday.

The UB women’s team plays the only Big 4 home game on Saturday, hosting Northern Illinois at 2 p.m.

Buffalo (9-8, 2-4) lost in overtime at Toledo, 75-63, on Wednesday. Kristen Sharkey (13.2) and Mackenzie Loesing (13.1) continue to pace the Bulls’ offense. Northern Illinois comes to Alumni Arena with a 2-3 mark in the MAC and a 6-9 overall record.

St. Bonaventure is looking to end a five-game skid in Philadelphia when it faces Saint Joseph’s at 2 p.m.

The Bonnies (11-8) are 1-5 in the Atlantic 10. Katie Healy (Lancaster) leads St. Bonaventure with 13.7 points per game while Hannah Little is averaging 10.7.

The Hawks (5-12) are just 1-4 in league play and also come into the game on a four-game losing streak.