The University at Buffalo nearly pulled off an improbable doubleheader sweep in Athens, Ohio, Saturday afternoon.
The day begin with the women knocking off the conference-leading Bobcats for the second time this season, 70-58.
It ended with the men dropping a 103-96 overtime game that saw Ohio shoot 49 free throws and four Bulls foul out and two others finish with four fouls.
It’s a good bet the Ohio women are hoping to avoid UB in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The Bobcats’ only two conference losses have come to UB, and in this one the Bulls rallied from a seven-point third-quarter deficit in hostile surroundings.
Sophomore guard Stephanie Reid delivered a 21-point, eight-assist, seven-rebound performance for UB (15-12, 7-9), which sits in eighth place overall heading into the final week of the regular season. Joanna Smith also had 21 points, her 14th game of 20 points or more.
The Bulls took control in the fourth quarter, outscoring Ohio, 20-12. The big difference on the day was UB overcoming 23 turnovers by shooting 44.2 percent from the field. (Ohio 22-5, 14-2) committed 19 turnovers and shot a scant 27. 8 percent from the floor.
The Niagara women head into the MAAC Tournament on the upswing following a 54-45 victory over Siena in Loudonville. Kaylee Stroemple set a career high with 24 points and matched her career high with 12 rebounds as the Purple Eagles used a 20-13 fourth-quarter bulge to improve to 7-22, 5-15. Siena is 13-17, 10-10. Niagara will play a first-round MAAC game at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Albany, probably against Canisius.
The Canisius women upset Marist two weeks ago at the Koessler Center, but couldn’t complete the sweep Saturday night at the McCann Center in Poughkeepsie.
Marist (15-15, 14-6 MAAC) defeated the Golden Griffins, 67-55, behind Tori Jarosz who had 25 points, and 15 rebounds, and Sydney Coffey who had 25 points and six assists.
Lauren D’Hont led the Griffs (13-16, 8-12 MAAC)with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Canisius led, 38-29, at the half and 45-44 before being outscored 23-10 in the fourth quarter.
The UB men (16-13, 9-7 MAC) couldn’t overcome a huge discrepancy at the charity stripe in their loss to Ohio. The Bulls were whistled for a season-high 36 fouls.
Ohio led, 51-43, early in the second half before a 14-0 run by the Bulls, capped by a three-point play by sophomore Lamonte Bearden. A layup by Bearden made it 68-58 with 11:54 left before Ohio began to cut into the advantage. A three-pointer by Treg Setty tied the game at 76-76 with just under five minutes left. The Bulls led again, 85-80, with 2:49 left, but did not score again in regulation. A three by Jordan Dartis tied it with just over a minute to play.
Another three by Dartis snapped a 93-all tie with 1:52 left in the overtime. Ohio scored the last seven points on the line.
“We hurt ourselves with foul trouble and sent them to the line too many times,” said UB coach Nate Oats.
Willie Conner led UB with a career-high 28 points. Junior Blake Hamilton added 22 points and 11 rebounds for his second career double-double. Bearden had 14 points and four assists.
The St. Bonaventure women (22-6, 11-4 Atlantic 10) will wrap up the regular season against Duquesne (25-3, 13-2) at 1 p.m. at the Reilly Center. It will be the final regular-season home game for senior starters Katie Healy and Nyla Rueter. The Bonnies are guaranteed no worse than the No. 4 tourney seed in the A-10 tournament.
In the MAAC, the Canisius and Niagara men both finish the regular season on the road. The Griffs (13-17, 8-11) play at Iona (18-10, 15-4) at 4 p.m. (Radio 1230). Niagara (7-23, 5-14) plays at Monmouth (24-6, 16-3) at 5 p.m. Monmouth already has clinched the MAAC regular season championship and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.