Matt Mobley scored his only basket of the game, a three-point shot with 1 second left to give St. Bonaventure an 81-79 victory over Vermont Saturday before 5,828 at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.
Bona (8-2) won its fifth in a row, but had to survive a nip-and-tuck struggle against the Catamounts of the America East Conference in what was both a triumphant and disappointing homecoming for UVM forward Anthony Lamb.
The sophomore from Greece-Athena High where he was twice named Greater Rochester Player of the Year scored 27 points, including 13 of 14 at the free-throw line. He also had eight rebounds.
Mobley, a senior guard from Worcester, Mass., played 34 minutes but attempted only two shots, none from beyond the arc before he took a pass on the right wing from Jaylen Adams and scored . Adams had dribbled across midcourt before finding Motley on his right. Mobley came into the game averaging 19.6 points a game. His game-winner came after senior Peyton Henson of the Catamounts had tipped in a missed shot by Trae Bell-Haynes. Henson, a senior transfer from Tulane, had only seven points in the game but was nearly the hero.
Adams led six double-figure scorers for Bona. The list included some unsung heroes who kept the Bonnies in the game down the stretch. Adams had 17 points. Courtney Stockard, who had several key baskets in the second half had 14. His three-point play gave the Bonnies a 78-75 lead with 2:08 left.
Freshman Izaiah Brockington had 13 points as did Amadi Ikpeze. LeDarien Griffin had 11 and assisted on three-point baskets by Stockard and Adams that came in succession to lift Bona from a 69-66 deficit to a 72-69 lead with 4:30 to go. Stockard's trey ended a stretch of 3:40 during which Bona went without a field goal.
The Bonnies led, 39-35, at the half. Their largest lead in the first minutes was six points. Vermont had a five-point lead, 55-50, early in the second half, and then the game got close again. Stockard hit two shots in a row to give Bona a 62-60 lead but neither side could take control until Mobley's clutch three.
Vermont, which played Kentucky to a three-point game on the road last month, fell to 7-5.
Niagara (5-8) won at Norfolk State (1-10) in Virginia in just as dramatic fashion when Matt Scott hit a three-pointer with 0:01 left to climax the second of two second-half comebacks by the Purple Eagles.
Norfolk State took its largest lead of the game, 18 points (65-47) with 13:40 to go after a 9-0 run. Niagara went on a 16-0 run of its own to close to 65-63. Niagara finally tied at 71-all but fell behind 80-76 with 1:56 to go. Kahlil Dukes, who assisted on the winning basket made a three to tie the game at 82-all with 48 seconds left. A Norfolk turnover with 5 seconds to go gave Niagara the opportunity for Scott's basket.
Scott had 20 points for Niagara.
Canisius (4-7) had its own shot at a dramatic victory by Isaiah Reese's three-point try with 2 seconds left that would tied the game, was off target and the Golden Griffins fell to Albany, 68-65, at SEFCU Arena in Albany.
The Griffs rallied from nine points down (66-57), Albany's largest lead of the game with 37 seconds to play, and nearly pulled off the improbable comeback. A three by Reese, a steal and a layup by Malik Johnson and another three by Reese with 0:05 left cut the margin to 67-65. David Nichols made the second of two foul shots with 4 seconds left before Reese's last attempt.
Reese finished with 19 points, 10 coming in the last 3:43. Jermaine Crumpton had 16. Travis Charles, a 6-6 graduate student, led the Great Danes with 24 points. Albany, 11-2 with losses only to Monmouth and Memphis, made 14 of 20 free throws to only 3 of 7 for Canisius.
Morehead State (Ky.) rolled over Canisius, 76-52, in a women's nonconference game at the Koessler Center. It was the sixth straight loss for the Golden Griffins (2-7) and the last four have been by 24 points or more.
The visiting Eagles made only 2 of 14 from three-point range but shot 44.1 percent overall to 37.7 for Canisius.
Sara Hinriksdottir of Canisius was high scorer in the game with 16 points. Canisius had 31 turnovers to 17 for its opponent from the Ohio Valley Conference.