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Colleges: UB men keep MAC title all to themselves; Villa Maria advances to championship

The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team recorded its fourth 100-point game of the season Friday night while locking up sole possession of the MAC’s regular-season title in a 100-70 beatdown of Bowling Green.

CJ Massinburg and Nick Perkins led five Bulls in double figures with 19 points each while Jeremy Harris scored 17.

UB never trailed, extending its lead to as many as 33 points in the second half. A loss would’ve meant Toledo could have earned a share of the conference title, though UB had already locked up the No. 1 seed.

UB guard Davonta Jordan (7.5 points per game, 4.3 assists) went down in pain with an apparent right-leg injury late in the game while the Bulls were nursing a large lead, but the team said Jordan will be fine, calling the injury a small bruise.

With the win, UB (23-8, 15-3 MAC)  became the first MAC program to reach 15 conference wins since Kent State did it in 2005-06.

Up next for UB is a quarterfinal game in the conference tournament at noon Thursday in Cleveland, against the winner of the 8 vs. 9 game.

Villa men to play for championship

Villa Maria advanced to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II national championship game by beating Warren Wilson College of North Carolina, 105-99.

Dominic Douglas led Villa with 29 points, DeJaun Owens (Tapestry) scored 28 and Justin Stokes (Middle Early College) logged seven assists in the winning effort. The Vikings trailed by as many as 15 points late in the first half before coming back to win.

Villa faces three-time defending champ Berkeley College in the final at 6 p.m. Saturday in Uniontown, Pa.

Villa, Hilbert women fall

The Villa Maria women didn’t fare as well as the men, falling to Johnson & Wales University Charlotte in the semifinals, 65-47.

Shaquana Owens (Tapestry) and Nina Cray each posted double-doubles for Villa, combining for 27 points and 28 rebounds, though they were 8 of 36 from the field. The Vikings were held to 22.1 percent shooting.

Also Friday, the Hilbert women’s team lost to The College of New Jersey in the Division III NCAA Tournament, 61-42.

The Hawks were led by 18 points from Taylor Corts but couldn’t overcome a cold-shooting night, going 27.1 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from three-point range.

Hilbert finished the year 21-7 overall.

Canisius, Niagara sweep Player of the Year honors in MAAC basketball

Saturday’s men’s games

3-Niagara vs. 6-Fairfield, 7 p.m.: The third-seeded Purple Eagles begin their MAAC title run Saturday night against Fairfield, with the winner facing the Canisius-Quinnipiac winner in Sunday’s semifinal. Niagara star Matt Scott, a second-team all-MAAC selection, has not returned to practice since spraining his ankle in a game against Iona two weeks ago but remains day-to-day. Niagara split its games with Fairfield this season, losing 104-85 on the road and winning 95-83 at home. Niagara hasn’t made the semis since 2012-13, when Joe Mihalich’s team went to the NIT. But the team got good news on the other side of the bracket Friday, when No. 1 seed Rider was upset by No. 9 Saint Peter’s, 66-55.

St. Bonaventure (23-6, 13-4 A-10) at Saint Louis (16-14, 9-8 A-10), 8 p.m.: The Bonnies can clinch the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament with a win Saturday or a Davidson loss against top-ranked Rhode Island. St. Bonaventure has won 11 straight, which is their longest win streak since stringing together 13 in a row in 1969-70. Reaching 14 conference wins would match the Bona record, set by the 2015-16 team. It will also be the first hometown game for St. Louis native Courtney Stockard, a junior forward who missed the game the last two years due to injury.

3-Daemen vs. 2-St. Thomas Aquinas, 7:30 p.m.: Mike MacDonald’s Daemen squad can advance to the East Coast Conference championship game with a win Saturday night at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester. St. Thomas Aquinas eliminated Daemen from the conference tournament in each of the past two seasons. They split their regular-season meetings this year, with each team winning on the road. The winner plays for the title at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday’s women’s games

6-Niagara vs. 3-Siena, noon: Conference MVP Victoria Rampado (20.6 ppg) and Niagara will take on Siena in the quarterfinal round of the MAAC Tournament in front of a largely pro-Siena crowd at Albany’s Times Union Center. Niagara swept Siena this season, winning 65-50 at the Gallagher Center and 73-68 on the road. Siena is led by Kollyns Scarbrough, who ranks third at 15.8 ppg. Niagara beat Saint Peter’s in Thursday’s prequarterfinal, 60-48.

UB (24-4, 15-2 MAC) vs. Bowling Green (11-17, 3-14 MAC), 2 p.m.: UB can clinch its first-ever No. 1 seed with a win in Saturday’s finale plus a Central Michigan (16-1) loss to Toledo (8-9). Stephanie Reid, Cassie Oursler, Mariah Suchan, Katherine Ups and Liisa Ups will be honored on Senior Day while the Bulls attempt to finish with an unbeaten record at home for the first time.

Rampado proves to be clutch, again, for Niagara

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