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Big 4: Niagara men start road trip with a loss; UB loses in Alaska

Niagara's men’s basketball team kicked off its four-game road trip with an 80-71 loss to North Texas Friday night in Denton, Texas.

The Purple Eagles trailed by just one at halftime, 27-26. Kahlil Dukes’ three-pointer with 22 seconds left in the opening half gave Niagara its first lead of the game, 26-25, but Derail Green’s jumper with six seconds left allowed the Mean Green to take the lead.

The back-and-forth start to the second half saw Niagara lead 36-32. But after a 39-39 tie, North Texas went on a 22-10 run to take control of the game.

Dukes and Matt Scott both scored 23 points for Niagara (1-5).

The Mean Green moved to 2-3 with J-Mychal Reese scoring 20 and AJ Lawson and Deckie Johnson both scoring 15.

In Anchorage, Alaska, UB fell to Nevada, 67-62 in a semifinal game of the Great Alaska Shootout and will play in the consolation game against either Iona or Weber State Saturday at 9:30 p.m. (Radio 1520). Blake Hamilton had 14 points to lead the Bulls.

Saturday’s Games

The University at Buffalo women’s basketball team looks to notch its fifth straight win to start the season when the Bulls host Sacred Heart at 2 p.m. Saturday in Alumni Arena.

The Bulls are 4-0 and are looking for their second 5-0 start since the 2000-01 season. Buffalo is coming off a 71-69 win against Duquesne in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. The Bulls trailed by as many as eight points in the first half, winning the game with three seconds left on a bucket from Cassie Oursler.

Alumni Arena is a more comfortable environment for the Bulls. Under coach Felisha Legette-Jack Buffalo is 29-13 at home. This year the Bulls are scoring 69.0 points per game in Alumni Arena and holding opponents to an average of 49.7. Senior guard JoAnna Smith leads Buffalo in scoring, averaging 11.8 points per game.

The Pioneers, a member of the Northeast Conference, come to Buffalo with a 2-2 mark after a 77-69 win at Binghamton on Wednesday.

Also in Big 4 women’s basketball, St. Bonaventure plays the first of two games at the UCF Thanksgiving Classic in Orlando at noon on Saturday against Austin Peay. At 4-1, Austin Peay is off to its best start since 2002.

The Bonnies are 1-3 having lost to Niagara, Canisius and Delaware with their only a victory a 70-57 decision over Colgate on Nov. 13. Bona is averaging just 52.5 points per game, giving up an average of 59.8. Mariah Ruff leads St. Bonaventure’s offense, scoring 12.8 per game.

On the men’s side, Canisius travels to Ohio to face Youngstown State at noon. The Golden Griffins are 1-4 and are coming off a loss to Tennessee State on Wednesday. The lone win for the Griffs this season came in a 78-77 decision at Duquesne on Nov. 18.

Canisius ranks last in scoring in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, averaging 67.6 points per game, but leads the league in assists with 17.8. Jermaine Crumpton leads Canisius in scoring with 15.6 points per game, and he has made 11 three-pointers in five games.

Youngstown is 3-3 and has won two straight games.


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