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Niagara rally falls short; Bona women top Detroit

No miracle comebacks for Niagara’s men’s basketball team Tuesday night. The Purple Eagles tried though.

Coach Chris Casey’s team couldn’t quite come all the way back from a 21-point second-half deficit and lost to the University of Hartford Hawks, 77-73, before 772 at the Chase Arena in West Hartford, Conn. Two days before the Purple Eagles had wiped out a six-point deficit in the last 35 seconds to defeat North Carolina A&T, 73-72. They couldn’t quite repeat that.

Hartford (3-2) built a 39-27 halftime lead and bumped the advantage to 53-32 just 4:46 into the second half. Then Niagara dug in. A 14-4 run wiped out a double-digit deficit and brought the Purple Eagles to within four points, 69-65, with 3:15 left. Matt Scott and Emile Blackman contributed one three-pointer and five points each during the run while Marvin Prochet and Chris Barton had two points each.

Niagara was not able to close the gap entirely, although Hartford was not home safe until Jack Hobbs made a pair of free throws with four seconds left for a four-point margin.

Scott finished with 23 points and seven rebounds for Niagara (2-4) while Blackman tallied 19 and Prochet had 17 points and eight boards. Together they accounted for all but 14 of the Purple Eagles’ points.

Freshman George Blagojevic led Hartford with 18 points in his first start. John Carroll had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Hobbs finished with 13.

In women’s basketball, Nyla Rueter scored the first five points of the game and St. Bonaventure led all the way in an 84-73 victory over Detroit (0-4) at the Reilly Center. Rueter finished with 21 points, including 3 of 9 from three-point range.

Katie Healy (Lancaster) had 19 points and seven rebounds for the Bonnies and Mariah Ruff had 12 points and four boards. Bona led, 26-12, after one quarter and 53-36 at halftime in bringing its record to 2-2.

Two Detroit players played the full 40 minutes and each had a double-double. Rosanna Reynolds had 19 points and 13 rebounds while Haleigh Ristovski had 10 points and 11 boards.

Wednesday’s games

The University at Buffalo women put their 3-0 record on the line against Cornell (3-1) in a 2 p.m. game at Alumni Arena.

Junior Joanna Smith leads UB in scoring (15.0 ppg). Senior Maddie Campbell had 13 points and 10 rebounds in Cornell’s 70-62 victory over Bryant.

Canisius (1-2) will face Binghamton (2-2) at 7 p.m. in the Koessler Center. Margaret Halfdanardottir is averaging a team-best 12.0 points for Canisius. Two sophomores, Alyssa James (15.0 ppg) and Imani Watkins (13.3) lead the visiting Bearcats, who are coming off a 74-18 rout of Cedar Crest (Pa.) on Saturday.