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Healy ends her Bona career against Big 4 in top form

Katie Healy of Lancaster, playing against a Western New York Big 4 opponent for the final time, finished in style Tuesday night in the Koessler Center.

The St. Bonaventure senior registered the sixth double-double in her 12 career games against Big 4 opponents, scoring 25 points and pulling in 12 rebounds in a 59-47 victory over Canisius. It completed a Bona sweep over Canisius, Niagara and the University at Buffalo this season. It was the 11th win in 12 Big 4 games for Bona with Healy in the lineup.

The Bonnies (11-2) dominated the rebounding, 42-27, with Healy leading the way, as they won their 10th in a row. Bona led virtually all the way, taking a 29-20 halftime lead and expanding it to 46-35 after three quarters. Bona shot 41.1 percent (23 of 56) despite making only 1 of 14 tries from three-point area. Canisius (7-4) shot only 33.3 percent (18 of 54) and made 4 of 14 three-pointers).

In Fairfield, Conn., Joanna Smith continued her recent scoring binge for UB, tossing in 24 points in a 66-53 victory over Sacred Heart in a nonleague game. Smith made 5 of 7 from beyond the three-point arc and also had seven rebounds. Cassie Oursler (Grand Island) had a team-high 10 rebounds and 12 points for the Bulls (8-3).

Niagara’s women’s team (2-9) ended a six-game losing streak and captured its first road victory of the season, 53-51, over Mount St. Mary’s (2-9) in Emmitsburg, Md., on Jamie Sherburne’s basket with 2 seconds left. It was the final nonconference game of the regular season for the Purple Eagles, who jump back into Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play with a home game against Siena on Saturday afternoon.

“Grit is the word that comes to mind to describe the last two minutes of the game,” said Purple Eagles coach Jada Pierce. “This team has shown a lot of heart and lot of fight throughout the season so far, but I do feel this was a turning point for us that can help propel us into MAAC play. We stayed persistent throughout the game and maintained a confidence that we could win this game despite some of the adversity we faced.”

Sam Lapszynski led Purple Eagles with 16 points. Kaylee Stroemple had a team-high nine rebounds. Taylor McKay added 13 points and seven rebounds for Niagara. Sherburne led the team in assists with seven, a career high.

The host Mountaineers scored nine straight points to open the fourth quarter for a 43-37 lead. Mount St. Mary’s was in front, 49-39 with 4:37 left before Niagara dug in. The Purple Eagles pulled even at 51-all on a three-point basket by McKay with 38 seconds left, setting the stage for Sherburne.

Niagara men at Bona

In the final Big 4 men’s encounter of the season, Niagara (3-9) will visit the Reilly Center for the first time since 2010 to face St. Bonaventure (7-3) at 7 p.m.. Niagara’s last visit was also the its last victory (69-61)in the rivalry.

NU trails in the all-time series with Bona, 86-69, but has won the last four trips to Olean. Matt Scott leads the Purple Eagles in scoring (16.5 ppg), rebounds (7.0), assists (3.0), steals (1.8) and free throws (4.3 pg.). Lately, though, Niagara has been receiving contributions from 6-foot-8 freshman forward Dominic Robb, who is averaging 11 ppg, 4.8 rpg and shooting over 61 percent in his last four games.

Niagara has lost four in a row since a 76-72 victory over Quinnipiac on Dec. 4.

St. Bonaventure had a four-game win streak snapped at Siena, 73-70, before Christmas. Guards Marcus Posley (18.1) and Jaylen Adams (16-2) and forward Dion Wright (16.2) lead Bonnies’ scoring. A victory Wednesday night would give Bona 3-0 sweep of its Big 4 opponents for the second season in a row.