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College Power 10: Daemen men plug holes, dominate at home

The Daemen men’s basketball team has adjusted to injuries and kept its season on track in the East Coast Conference.

In what was supposed to be a “re-tooling season,” the Division II Wildcats stand fourth in the ECC and are the only team to have knocked off the conference’s top two teams. The Wildcats top this week’s College Power 10.

1. Daemen men’s basketball. Daemen had a big hole to fill with the graduation of star guard Torrance Dyck, the ECC's leading scorer. He led Daemen to within one game of the NCAA Division II Tournament last season. Then the Wildcats suffered a big blow in the first workout of preseason when starting point guard Jay Sarkis tore knee ligaments. Nick Petrucelli, likely to be the first guard off the bench, missed all last season with a knee injury and hasn’t been able to return yet.

But the Wildcats shifted senior Supreme Hannah from off-guard to the point and have kept rolling on offense. Daemen (12-6) improved to 10-1 at home Saturday with a 97-77 rout of the University of the District of Columbia, the ECC’s second-place team.

Hannah, a Rochester product, is averaging 14.1 ppg. Arif Mehmetaj, a 6-foot-7 senior from Long Island, leads at 14.6 ppg. Daemen leads the ECC in three-pointers per game (9.7) and in avoiding turnovers, averaging 12.2 a game. Daemen plays host to LIU-Post at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

2. Canisius hockey. The Golden Griffins continue to exceed expectations. They swept a weekend series with the Rochester Institute of Technology, 3-1 and 6-1. Canisius, picked for ninth in the 11-team Atlantic Hockey Conference, had a chance to move into a tie for first entering Tuesday’s game vs. Niagara.

3. UB women’s basketball. UB reasserted itself as a top contender for the Mid-American Conference title by beating Central Michigan in a rematch of last year’s MAC title game. UB is 4-3 and tied for second in the MAC East. But the Bulls have no time for a letdown. Ball State, which stands 6-1 in the MAC and was picked for second in the MAC West, visits Alumni Arena at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

4. UB’s Brian Lantry and James Benjamin. The two wrestlers rank 19th and 20th, respectively, in the nation in their respective weight classes. Lantry, a sophomore, is 13-4 after a major-decision win against Old Dominion. Benjamin, a senior, improved to 14-2. UB senior Tyler Rill scored a 13-5 upset decision over Old Dominion’s Seldon Wright, ranked 15th at 165 pounds at the time.

5. Niagara CCC men’s basketball. The Thunderwolves (16-2) are on a 12-game winning streak and rank 10th in Division II of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Their week included a 60-57 win at Genesee CC in which they rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit. Jamal Pollydore, a sophomore from Brooklyn, scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half.

6. Buffalo State men’s hockey. The Bengals (13-3-1) rank No. 9 in the D3Hockey.com poll after a 6-3 win over Lebanon Valley in Hershey, Pa. Anthony Passero of Fort Erie, Ont., had a goal and three assists. The Bengals visit Plattsburgh (9-8-1) Friday.

7. Buffalo State men’s basketball. The Bengals rank 13th in the nation in scoring with an average of 88.1 points per game. Buffalo State (12-5) has hit the 100-point mark five times this year.

8. Medaille men’s basketball. The Mavericks stand first in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference at 9-1 and are 12-5 overall. Medaille won its sixth straight, 98-73, over Pitt-Greensburg, as Johnathon Belton (Amherst) had 22 points.

9. Erie CC’s Dan Streer and Tom Kress. Streer won the all-events title at the Blue and Orange Collegiate Classic in Wappingers Falls. The Iroquois High product also won doubles (with Griffin Garcia) and was runner-up in singles with a score of 582. He was the only multiple 200-game bowler at the tournament. Kress (Cheektowaga) was just five pins off Streer’s all-events total.

10. Niagara CCC women’s basketball. They let a 19-point third-quarter lead slip away and lost, 80-75, at nationally ranked Monroe CC. But the Thunderwolves (16-2) rebounded with routs of Genesee CC and the Roberts Wesleyan JV.

Email: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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