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College roundup: UB women clinch first division title

Senior center Cassie Oursler continued her strong play in recent games for the University at Buffalo women's basketball team.

The senior center from Grand Island turned in her fourth double-double in her last five games, in leading the Bulls to an 88-67 Mid-American Conference road win at Bowling Green Wednesday night in the Stroh Center, Bowling Green, Ohio.

The victory clinched the MAC East champion for coach Felisha Legette-Jack's team, the first division championship for UB since it joined the conference.

Oursler had 20 points and 12 rebounds as 13 Bulls joined in the scoring against the last-place Falcons (10-13, 2-13 MAC).

Sophomore Summer Hemphill (Cardinal O'Hara) had 12 points in the victory. Cierra Dillard had 10 points and seven assists for UB.

The Bulls will play Ohio U. at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader with the men's team at Alumni Arena.

St. Bonaventure 77, Rhode Island 72: The Bonnies, who trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, rallied to end their eight-game losing streak. Bona went ahead, 54-51, on a three by Mariah Ruff with 9:05 left. Ruff had 20 points for Bona. Nicole Jorgensen scored 27 for the Rams. Bona's last win as over Rhode Island on Jan. 17.

Penn State-Behrend 63, Medaille 57: Dani Reinwald, the Mavericks’ leading scorer and rebounder, had 18 points and 11 rebounds, but played only 23 minutes because of foul trouble in the loss at Sullivan Center. The defeated eliminated Medaille from the AMCC playoffs which will continue Saturday at Hilbert.

Jamestown CC 73, Niagara CCC 53: The visiting NCCC Thunderwolves shot only 13 percent in the first and fell behind, 36-13. JCC (18-5, 10-3 WNY) locked up the No. 2 seed and NCCC will be No. 3 in the Region III NJCAA playoffs. Maddie Sullivan (Southwestern) had 18 points and five st eals and Deja Johnston scored 12 off the bench for NCCC.

Men's basketball

Hilbert 77, Penn State-Altoona 72: The Hawks rallied from 10 points down in the second half for the victory which moved them on to face No. 1 seed LaRoche in the AMCC playoffs at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Pittsburgh.

Hilbert trailed 70-60 with 5:25 to play before they went on a 15-0 run to win it. They took the lead on two free throws by Masia Phillips with 1:31 left. Phillips scored Hilbert's last 10 points including 8 for 8 on free throws.

Medaille 78, Mount Aloysius 58: The Mavericks (17-9)advanced to the semifinals of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conferece playoffs with the winat the Sullivan Center, their third over Mount Aloysius (6-20) this season. Jonathan Smith led the victory with 21 points, Kirk hawkinsd had 13 and Mike Hollenbeck 10. Medaille will face Penn State-Behrend in a semi-final at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at LaRoche College in Pittsburgh.

Niagara CCC 100, Jamestown CC 81: The Thunderwolves made 14 of 28 shots from beyond the arc to win 18th game of the season. Donel Cathcard had 20 points for the winners while Najee Scott hit for 19 and LaTerrance Reed had 16.  Terrance Cosby led the Jayhawks with 25.

Swimming and diving

MAC Championships: After concluding its the first unbeaten dual meet regular season, the University at Buffalo women's team  (8-0, 4-0 MAC) will look to carry the momentum over to the conference meet in Athens, Ohio. The MAC Championships got under way Wednesday night and continues to Saturday. UB started the meet with a third-place finish in the 200 medley relay.

Last season, the Bulls were third, their best team finish ever in the MAC meet and Megan Burns was Most Outstanding Swimmer after winning the 500, 100 and 200 freestyle events.

Burns will once again be the favorite in the 50 and 100 and enters with the second-best time in the 200 behind Akron's Sadie Fazekas. Fellow senior Hannah Miller is the favorite with the best times this season in the 500 freestyle and the 1,650 freestyle.

SUNYAC Championships:  Buffalo State opened the meet Wednesday night at the Flicking Center, breaking an 18-year-old school record in the men's 800 freetstyle relay and getting a record 200 split by Connor Mergler (Williamsville North) in the process. Mergler led off the 800 with a 1:37.52 split, a SUNYAC record and topping the Buffalo State record which had stood for 24 years. Zach Jones (Cleveland Hill, Shane Breen and Cody Wittmeyer (Hamburg) were the other swimmers on the relay which finished fourth in 7:02.70. Justin Moser (Kenmore East) finished third in the 3-meter diving with a score of 415.20.

Track and field

Buffalo State's men are expected to dominate the sprints at the SUNYAC Indoor Track & Field Championships this weekend at Brockport.

Bengals senior Robert Liebel (Tonawanda) is the defending champion in the 60- and 200-meter dashes. Liebel was the Outstanding Track Athlete of the Year last year. He has the top 200 time this season and ranks third in the 60 and fourth in the 400.

Cody Sikora (North Toanwanda) the runner-up last year is expected to score points in the 400. Other Bengals runners with impressive times are Blaime Billings (200), Eric Vassell (60 and 200) and Elijah Lawal (60 and high jump). Robert Alexis is among the favorites in the triple jump.

In the SUNYAC women's meet, Ronni Kordrupel (Iroquois) comes in ranked first in the conference in the 800-meter run (2:22.07) and second in the mile (5:10.32). The Bengals also will look to score in the throwing events with Tianna Gillenwater in the shot put and Cheila Diao in the weight throw.

Newcomer Jheon Webb (Mt. Vernon/Woodlands) will also be among the favorites to score points in the 60-meter hurdles.

The meet will begin at 3 p.m; on Friday and resumes at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Women's hockey

Buffalo State, the No. 2 seed, will face No. 3 Oswego in the first-ever Northeast Women's Hockey League semifinals at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Bengals Ice Arena.

The Bengals finished the regular season 13-10-2 overall and 9-6-1 in the new NEWHL.  They won three of four games against Oswego.

Senior Erin Gehen (West Seneca West) leads Buffalo State in scoring with 12 goals and 18 points, She is the all-time Buffalo State scoring lead with 54 goals, 41 assists for 95 points in 10 career games. Senior Rachel Lenard (Orchard Park) is second with eight goals and 17 points this season.

The other NEWHL semifinal pits No. 1 Plattsburgh against No. 4 Potsdam. The winners will faceoff in the title game on March 3 at the highest remaining seed.

Baseball

Junior shortstop Conner Morro and senior pitcher Charlie Sobieraski of Canisius were named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Baseball Player and Pitcher of the Week for their performances against Ohio State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee last weekend in Fort Myers, Fla.

Morro batted .467 with seven hits in 15 at-bats and handled 16 chances at shortstop without an error.

Sobieraski, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound right-hander from Lockport who transferred after the UB dropped baseball, pitched seven strong innings with two strikeouts and no walks in a win over Milwaukee.

 

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