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UB and Niagara women open conference play with wins

The University at Buffalo and Niagara each got their women's basketball conference play off to impressive starts Saturday afternoon.

UB (10-2, 1-0 Mid-American Conference) took charge in the first quarter, outscoring the home team, 23-7, in an 89-66 victory over Akron before 522 at the James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio.

Niagara (4-8, 1-0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference), on the other hand, rallied in the fourth quarter for a 73-59 victory over Iona (0-12, 0-1 MAAC) before 335 at the Taps Gallagher Center in Lewiston.

Cassie Oursler (Grand Island) and Autumn Jones, with 18 points each, led four double-figure scorers in the UB victory at Akron.

Katherine Ups (12) and Stephanie Reid (11) were the other high scorers for UB. Reid also had 10 assists.

UB's 23-point final margin came mostly in the first quarter as the teams played nearly even the rest of the way. Katherine Up scored on a layup from Jones with 4 seconds left in UB's 6-0 run to end the opening quarter.

UB's conference home opener will ber on Wednesday agaisnt Western Michigan.

Niagara got a career-high 28 points from senior forward Victoria Rampado and needed them in the comeback win over the visiting Gaels.

After leading by as many as 21 points, Iona took a 17-points lead, 46-29, into the halftime break. The Gaels were held to just 13 points in the second half, four in the fourth quarter. In the second half, Iona had 14 turnovers to only two for Niagara and made only 5 of 21 field goal tries (23.7 percent) to Niagara's 11 of 26 for 28.6 percent.

The Purple Eagles outshot Iona, by 17 points at the free-throw line in the last two quarters making 20 of 24 to the visitors 3 of 4.

Rampado, the MAAC women's scoring leader, increased her average to 20.4 Jamie Sherburne, who is second in the conference in assists, had eight to increase her average to 4.5.

The Canisius and Niagara men will be home against MAAC opposition today while the St. Bonaventure women will open their Atlantic 10 Conference schedule at Saint Louis.

Canisius (7-0, 1-0 MAAC) will face defending conference champion Iona (7-6, 1-0) at 1 p.m. in he Koessler Center. The Griffs edged Rider, 77-76, on Friday night while Iona was winning in overtime at Niagara, 98-93, ending the Purple Eagles' three-game win streak.

Niagara (7-0, 0-1 MAAC) got 20 points each from guards Matt Scott and Kahlil Dukes against Iona on Friday night. The Purple Eagles were outscored 11-2 at the foul line in the overtime.

The Bona women (5-8), hurt by injuries all season, will try to end their losing streak at three against the Billikens (6-7), who swept last year's season series between the teams.

Freshman Abigail Johnson and sophomore Jalisha Terry moved into the starting lineup in recent games because of injuries to Bree Paulson and junior Mckenna Maycock (Randolph), the team's scoring leader who has missed the last two games.

WRESTLING:  UB's Bryan Lantry at 133 pounds advanced to Saturday's championship match  inhis weight class in the Midlands Championships hosted by Northwestern University at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Lantry decisioned No. 2 seed Scott Delvecchio of Rutgers, 4-3,  in his semifinal match after winning three matches on Friday and faced Seth Gross of South Dakota in the championship match.

Jake Gunning won by decision over  Zack Parker of Ohio State in his first consolation bracket match on Saturday, then was eliminated by Amar Dheli of Oregon State, 5-2. Gunning withdrew at 5:00 of his  seventh-place match against Shawn Streck of Purdue because of injury.





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