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Big 4 Hoops: Bona runs past Dukes; UB women struggle

St. Bonaventure found itself in its usual struggle against old rival Duquesne Wednesday night at the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh. Then the Bonnies pulled away with a 10-1 run late in the game for a 71-64 victory over the Dukes in their Atlantic 10 Conference men's basketball game.

Bona led only 60-58 with 4:23 to play after a pair of free throws by the Dukes' Rene Castro. A basket by Idris Taqqee gave the Bonnies a little breathing room and they completed a 10-1 run with eight made free throws to finally put away the home team.

Matt Mobley led Bona with 22 points. Jaylen Adams had 16 and Taqqee finished with 12.

Duquesne was led by freshman Mike Lewis II, who had 20 points. Isiaha Mike, the Dukes' other freshman star, failed to score a point after earning A-10 Rookie of the Week honors for the third time this season last week.

The Dukes stayed with the Bonnies through the first half, taking a 34-33 lead into the break.  A layup by Mobley to start the second half ignited a 10-0 run by the Bonnies and the stayed in front the rest of the way to run their record to 14-7 overall, 6-3 in the Conference. Duquesne is 9-14 and 2-8 in the A-10.

Savage Arena at the University of Toledo has not been a very hospitable place for University at Buffalo teams this season. The UB men's team lost by 32 points there last month.
The UB women lost to the Rockets by 22 Wednesday night, a 85-63 defeat that dropped the Bulls to 5-5 in Mid-American Conference play. UB coach Felisha Legette-Jack drew her second technical foul and was disqualified with 30 seconds left in the game.

The Bulls struggled to compete after the opening quarter on a night when two of its key offensive players had off nights.  Leading scorer JoAnna Smith had only six points, making only 1 of 17 shots 0 for 10 from three-point range. It was perhaps Smith's worst performance in a UB uniform.

Point guard, Stephanie Reid, one of the leading assist-makers in the nation,  became more of a shooter in the loss. Reid had six assists and 24 points, but she needed to attempt 18 field goals attempts. She made 8 of 18 and was 1 for 5 from three-point range.

Overall, UB (15-6, 5-5) shot 31.4 percent (22-of 70), and 16.7 (4 of 24) three-point tries.

Senior Janice Monakana led Toledo (14-6, 5-4) with 29 points as the Rockets repeated their 73-64 victory over the Bulls at Alumni Arena three weeks ago.

Two UB players, freshman Summer Hemphill (Cardinal O'Hara) and Mariah Suchan fouled out. Hemphill had one points and six rebounds in 16 minutes as a starter. Suchan had six rebounds and nine points in 29 minutes.

Toledo led 39-23 at the half. UB started the third quarter with an 8-0 run but when the period was over the Bulls had gained only two points on the Rockets.

Thursday's games

With three wins in its last four games and the one defeat was a one-point game decided on a buzzer beater, the Niagara men's team will continue its push to finish in the upper half of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings when it faces Fairfield Thursday night at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn.

Coach Chris Casey's Purple Eagles had two prized victories last week, an upset of rival Canisius and a win over Rider. Niagara (8-15, 5-7) stands in a tie for eighth place in the MAAC standings but are only one game out of a tie for fifth place. Fairfield (10-10, 5-6) is a half-game in front of the Purple Eagles in the standings.

This if the first meeting between the teams this season. The second will end be Niagara's home regular season finale on Feb. 26.

Curtis Cobb, a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard, set a Fairfield single game scoring mark when he scored 46 points at Manhattan last month. He had 22 at home against the Jaspers in Fairfield's most recent game, a 78-49 rout, and is averaging 14.7 points per game. Cobb is not the team's leading scorer,  however. Tyler Nelson a 6-3 junior, is averaging 19.2. The Stags are 5-4 at Webster Bank Arena this season but own impressive wins over Rider and Iona there. One of the home losses was to Canisius.

Both the Niagara and Canisius women's team  will be home for MAAC games.

Manhattan (7-14, 3-9 MAAC) will visit the Griffs (6-15, 5-7) at Koessler Athletics Center. Recently the visiting Jaspers have been led by 6-2 junior Kayla Grimme who scored a career-high 27 points in a victory over Saint Peter's.

Niagara (5-16, 2-10) will face Iona (13-8, 8-4) at the Gallagher Center.  Iona,  the defending MAAC champion stands in third place in the conference standings behind Quinnipiac and Rider, but is making a late season push with four straight  wins since a home loss to Marist. Most recently the Gaels romped past first place Quinnipiac on Saturday. Niagara will be attempting to end a four-game losing streak since a 62-59 win at Manhattan on



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