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WNY College Hoops: Power outage stops Bonnies, Niagara routed by Gophers

A power outage on the St. Bonaventure campus caused the cancellation of the men's basketball game against Maryland Eastern Shore at the Reilly Center Wednesday night, and the Bona women no longer own the Canisius College Koessler.

Meanwhile in Minneapolis, Niagara pushed 14th-ranked Minnesota for 30 minutes before falling to the Golden Golphers, 107-81, in Williams Arena.

The Purple Eagles, 19-point underdogs, trailed only 68-63 wih 9:53 to play before Coach Richard Pitino's Gophers went on a 16-0 run to put it safely out of reach.

Three Minnesota players -- Amir Coffey, Reggie Lynch and Jordan Murphy -- scored 18 points each.

Kahlil Dukes had 26 points for Niagara and Matt Scott 17.

The scheduled 7 p.m.start of the Bona-UMES game was delayed because  of dim lighting in the Reilly Center. Crews worked to restore full power and the start of the game was tentatively set for 8:40 p.m.  However,  power was lost again and the game was canceled because of the ongoing power issues throughout the campus in Allegany.

The Bona women had not lost to Canisius in the Koessler since Nov. 20, 1999, a  streak that included six victories by the Bonnies on the Canisius home court.

Olivia Vernon scored on a layup with 3 seconds left in overtime as the Canisius outlasted St. Bonaventure, 71-69.
The teams took turns missing clutch free throws in the closing minutes of regulation and in overtime before Vernon decided the issue with an assist from Sara Hinriksdottir.

Maria Welch led Canisius (1-1) with 18 points. Hinrikdottir had 15 while Vernon, a freshman from Gilbert, Ariz., and Margret Halfdanardottir had 12.

Mariah Ruff, the lone senior on the squad, had 23 points or St. Bonaventure (1-2). Mckenna Maycock, a junior from Randolph, had a career high 21 points for the Bonnies before she fouled out with 19 seconds left in overtime.

Both sides struggled at the free-throw line, even their best players. Ruff, Welch, Maycock and Canisius freshman Andea Zeigler all missed free throws down the closing stretch when the teams were tied of the difference was a point on either side.

It was a close game all the way. Bona led at the first quarter break, 17-15, and at halftime, 30-28. Canisius owned a 49-47 advantage entering the fourth quarter and had a 55-50 advantage once.
Overall, Canisius was 15 for 25 at the line while Bona was 12 of 17. The Griffs made 10 of 28 three-point attempts while Bona was 8 for 34. Overall, Canisius shot 36.5 percent (23 of 63) while Bona shot 35.8 (24 of 67.).

Today's game
Still looking for their first victory after losses at St. Bonaventure and at Saint Joseph's the Niagara women have a difficult task in store against defending Big 10 Tournament champion and 13th ranked Maryland at XFinity Center in College Park, Md. at 11 a.m. today.

The host Terrapins have won the last three Big 10 tournaments and last season advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament. Sophomore guard Kaila Charles leads the Terps in scoring with 22 points per game. Stephanie Jones, a 6-2 sophomore forward, is averaging leads the team with 10.5 rebounds per game.

Maryland has won all three games against Niagara women's teams, including a 96-64 triumph a year ago in College Park. The Terps defeated Albany, 91-58, and lost to No. 2 ranked South Carolina, 94-86. They have a nationally televised date (ESPN, 1:30 p.m) with No. 1 ranked Connecticut on Sunday.

Thursday's game will be the annual Field Trip Day Day at Maryland with more than 5,000 elementary and middle school students at the game.


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