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College Power 10: Troy Keller wins NJCAA wrestling national title

The College Power 10 ranks the top performers each week in Western New York collegiate athletics.

1. Troy Keller: Etched his name into Niagara County Community College wrestling history, upsetting the top-seeded Wyatt Jordan to win an NJCAA title in the 165-pound class  in Council Bluffws, Iowa. Keller, who will wrestle for the University at Buffalo next year, is the fifth Thunderwolf to win a national championship and the first since 2000. He also set the NCCC record for all-time wins with 90, passing the previous high of 88 by Shay Shive.

2. Villa Maria men's and women's basketball: Both Vikings teams are heading to the USCAA National Tournament after winning Northeastern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference titles. Guard Jay Scarbrough (Niagara Falls) hit the game-winning basket with 2.5 seconds left to lift the men past the University of Maine-Fort Kent, 80-78. The women got 16 points and 17 rebounds from Nina Cray in a 58-43 victory against SUNY Delhi.
Both tournament games are Thursday in Uniontown, Pa., with the men playing Penn State Greater Allegheny at noon and the women facing the University of Maine-Augusta at 6 p.m.

3. Hilbert women's basketball: The Hawks won their conference title, downing Mount Aloysius, 76-52, in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship game. The AMCC crown is the latest accomplishment in a surprising season for the Hawks, who were picked seventh in the conference in the preseason poll.
Hilbert's 21 wins area the most since the school began competing as a four-year instituti0n and clinched its first ever bid to the NCAA Division III championship. The Hawks will play The College of New Jersey in the first round on Friday in Ewing, N.J., near Trenton. Game time is TBA. The winner will face RIT or the University of New England in the second round

Once a doormat, Hilbert women's basketball headed for NCAA tournament

4. Megan Burns: The University at Buffalo senior became the first swimmer in Mid-American Conference history to win both the conference's 50 and 100 freestyle titles four years in a row. Burns and the Bulls finished in third place at the MAC Championships with 573 points.

5. Canisius men's basketball: The Golden Griffins closed the regular season with a 98-74 victory against Marist, clinching a share of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference crown for the first time since 1993-94. Canisius' 21 wins matched a school record for regular-season victories. Rider earned the No. 1 seed due to tiebreakers, meaning the Griffs will face the winner of the Quinnipiac-Siena matchup in the MAAC quarterfinals on Friday.

6. Robert Liebel: The Buffalo State runner and Tonawanda graduate was named the State University of New York Athletic Conference Male Outstanding Track Athlete of the Meet at the indoor conference championships for a second straight year. He won the 200-meter dash and finished second in the 60-meter dash, earning 19 of the Bengals' 61.5 points at the event.

7. Fredonia men's hockey: The Blue Devils upset Oswego, the No. 1 seed, 3-1 in the SUNYAC Tournament, Oswego, to advance to their first conference championship game since 2001. Fredonia will play at Geneseo, which defeated Buffalo State in the other semifinal, on Saturday at 7 p.m.

8. UB men's basketball: The Bulls set a pair of records for the sport at the school,  most points in a MAC game and conference wins in a season, in their dominant 108-82 victory over Ohio U.  UB, 13-3 in the conference, can clinch the top seed in the MAC Tournament with a victory against Akron on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

9. Courtney Stockard: The St. Bonaventure forward set career highs in points (21) and rebounds (14) in the Bonnies' 68-63 victory over VCU on Saturday. The Bonnies have won ten straight heading into Tuesday's game against Davidson.

10. Niagara women's lacrosse: The Purple Eagles defeated St. Bonaventure and Duquesne to move to 3-0 for the first time since 2005. Niagara scored 17 goals against Duquesne, a high mark for MAAC teams thus far this season.

Honorable mention:

* UB women's basketball's Summer Hemphill (Cardinal O'Hara) grabbed a Division I school record 23 rebounds in the Bulls' victory against Ohio.
* Canisius men's lacrosse earned its first two victories under new coach Mark Miyashita, rallying for wins over Binghamton and Furman on Saturday. Connor Kearnan had a combined six goals and 11 assists in the games.
* Niagara women's basketball ended the regular season with an upset of Marist, ranked second in the conference standings. The Purple Eagles play the 11th-seeded Saint Peter's Peacocks on Thursday in the first round of the MAAC Tournament.
* Canisius men's hockey swept Niagara in a regular-season closing series. Canisius enters the Atlantic Hockey Tournament as the second seed, while the Purple Eagles are the ninth seed.
* Niagara CCC men's basketball's Donel Cathcart (Cardinal O'Hara) scored his 1,000th point in a win against Mercyhurst North East.
* D'Youville men's basketball's Brian Nwaekeke was named the AMCC Player of the Week after scoring 26 in each of the Spartans' games last week.

 

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