Four of the area’s top college basketball teams are in action on Wednesday. Two of them earn top billing for the night because they are playing each other.
St. Bonaventure stands in the way of the University at Buffalo’s perfect start when the women’s teams meet at noon at Alumni Arena (Radio 1520 AM). The Bulls have hopes of setting a school record for longest win streak at the start of the season as they try to move to 9-0. They are one of 11 unbeaten teams in the country, the lone mid-major program to be so ranked.
UB is coming off a nice win over Canisius. JoAnna Smith scored a season-high 23 points for the Bulls, while freshman Summer Hemphill had 13 points and 14 rebounds coming off the bench. Hemphill is averaging 7.1 rebounds per game, tops on the team.
St. Bonaventure comes into the game at 5-6 overall. The Bonnies are led by Mariah Ruff, who is leading the team in scoring (13.3 points per game) and assists (3.8 per game). Bona recently ended a three-game losing skid with a win over Albany. St. Bonaventure has won seven of the last eight meetings with the Bulls.
In men’s play, Buffalo has a chance to level its record at 6-6 as it faces Robert Morris in Pittsburgh (7 p.m., Radio 1520 AM). The Bulls have done a lot of traveling in the early going, and it may have caught up with them a bit as they have lost four of their last five. The road can’t be blamed on their latest loss, though, an overtime defeat against Canisius at the KeyBank Center on Saturday. Robert Morris is 3-9, losing its last start to Virginia on Saturday. The game will be played at PPG Paints Arena.
Niagara will play at a big-city facility as well. The Purple Eagles take on LIU Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets (7:30 p.m., Radio 550 AM). Niagara has a 3-9 record, and is on a two-game losing streak. That includes a defeat at the hands of St. Bonaventure on Saturday. Matt Scott is averaging 17 points per game for the Eagles. LIU Brooklyn is 7-5. The Blackbirds have lost four of their last five, but the win came over St. John’s.