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Canisius rallies for road win; Niagara lets one get away

Canisius made big plays down the stretch and pulled out a 70-66 victory over Siena in Albany, and Niagara let one get away in a big way in Saturday night Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s basketball games.

Takal Molson (23) and Isaiah Reese (20) combined for 43 points as Canisius rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit in defeating the Saints at Times Union Center. A three by Reese with 3:56 left put the Golden Griffins in front, 61-58, and they the held off the Saints by making six of seven free throws in the last 23 seconds. The last Canisius field goal was a layup by Jalanni White with 50 seconds left.

Niagara was outscored 16-2 in the final 4:05 in its 90-80 loss to Manhattan in the Purple Eagles’ conference opener at Draddy Gym in Riverdale. Niagara led, 78-74 with 4:05 left after a three pointer by Keleaf Tate and didn’t score again until James Towns hit a layup with 29 seconds to go. By then the game had gotten away. Niagara owned a 45-36 halftime advantage and led by as many as 14, 57-43, with 13:55 left in the second half.

NU had a decent shooting night (47.3 percent, including 7 of 18 3-pointers), but that was trumped by Manhattan’s 63 percent overall 34-54). The Jaspers made 13 of 22 threes for 59.1 percent.

Dillard held to 15, UB women lose to Ohio U

University at Buffalo senior star Cierra Dillard suffered through her worst shooting game of the season and scored a season-low 15 points in the Bulls’ 74-71 overtime loss to undefeated Ohio University before 2,116 at Alumni Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Dillard fouled out of the game with 9 seconds left in overtime after making 3 of 14 field-goal tries (21.4 percent). She played 39 of the 45 minutes despite missing a good chunk of the second quarter after picking up three fouls, on a technical.

Even with Dillard on the bench, UB built a 30-20 halftime lead and it looked as if the Bulls would end Ohio’s 11-game win streak.

However the Bobcats closed to within 47-42 after three quarters, and it was a close, back-and-forth battle to the end. UB’s last lead was 68-66 after two free throws by Theresa Onwuka with 3:30 left in overtime. The game was tied at 69 after Adeola Adeyeye of UB made the first of two free throws with 38 seconds left. Amani Burke scored on a layup at 0:34 and two free throws by Erica Johnson sealed it with 9 seconds to play.

Dillard led UB in scoring and had eight rebounds and seven assists. Summer Hemphill (Cardinal O’Hara) had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls and point guard Hanna Hall had 12 points, seven assists and made 4 of her 9 3-point attempts. Onwuka contributed 10 points.

Cece Hooks led Ohio with 21 points before she fouled out in overtime in a block-or-charge collision with Dillard.

Despite being one of only three undefeated NCAA Division I women’s teams, Ohio was unranked in the last AP poll. No. 3 Louisville and No. 9 North Carolina State are the other unbeatens since No. 1 Connecticut lost at Baylor on Thursday night.

Niagara women top Manhattan

Niagara (5-9) overcame a dismal second-quarter performance and rallied in the second half for a 61-51 victory over Manhattan (2-11, 0-2 MAAC) at the Gallagher Center, evening its Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference record at 1-1.

Sophomore forward Emerald Ekpiteta scored 10 of her 15 points in the second half and Jai Moore had seven of her 13 in the second half to lead the Purple Eagles. Maggie McIntyre had 11 in the victory, seven after halftime, when Niagara trailed 30-27 after being outscored 10-9 in the second quarter.

Canisius women fall to Marist

Canisius (3-10) fell to 1-1 in the MAAC with a 71-66 loss to Marist (10-4, 2-0) at the Koessler Athletic Center.

The Golden Griffins were led junior college transfer D’Jhai Patterson-Ricks's 23 points. It nearly matched her season high of 24 against St. Bonaventure. Sara Hinriksdóttir had 16 points and Andrea Ziegler (Cardinal O’Hara) had 13 for the Griffs.

Bonnies lose fifth in row

St. Bonaventure (3-11) turned in the strongest performances of its five-game losing streak but fell to Atlantic 10 Conference preseason favorite Duquesne, 60-54, at the Reilly Center. The loss in the Bonnies’ conference opener came despite a 20-point performance by Deja Francis, a freshman guard from Queens.

Bona led 32-31 at halftime, but the Dukes (7-7, 1-0 A-10) went on a 12-1 run to start the second half and led 48-38 after three quarters. The Bonnies cut into that and hung around, but could not make up all of the difference.

Mckenna Maycock (Randolph) had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Bonnies.

The Dukes have a .500 record, but they have losses to nationally ranked Texas and Syracuse and a road win at Penn State.

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