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Freshman iron man Lofton leads Bona victory at UMass

It seems the more short-handed the St. Bonaventure's men's basketball team gets, the better the Bonnies play.

With guards Nelson Kaputo and Jalen Poyser still out of action with concussions, Bona got another strong performance from freshman guard Kyle Lofton and rolled over Massachusetts, 65-51, Wednesday night at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.

Lofton, who played all 50 minutes of Saturday's double-overtime loss to Dayton at the Reilly Center, went the 40-minute route against UMass and scored a career-high 24 points and had only three turnovers and two assists in the victory.

He made 8 of 13 shots, 3 of 6 3-pointers. Another freshman, Dominick Welch, the former Cheektowaga star, started at guard and had 11 points. He played 39 of the 40 minutes as did senior forward Courtney Stockard, who had 12 points.

Lofton had 12 points in the first half as the Bonnies went off the floor at intermission with a 25-23 lead. They soon opened things up in the second half against UMass, which is 7-12 overall and winless in six conference games.

Bona's largest lead was 21 points, 62-41, with 1:49 left to play. The lead went from 46-38 with 7:20 to play to 64-46 with 49 seconds left.

The Bonnies started the season without Stockard, who missed seven games and  forward LaDarien Griffin, who did not play in the first 10 games. Welch was out for nine games.

UB women rout Zips

The University at Buffalo women shot nearly 50 percent from the floor and got another 20-plus points performance from senior star Cierra Dillard on Wednesday night in a 91-72 rout of Akron at Alumni Arena.

The Bulls made 33 of 67 field goal tries for 49.3 percent and outscored the Zips, 48-38, in the second half.

Dillard, who finished with 25 points, was one of five double-figure scorers for the Bulls, who won their fifth straight Mid-American Conference games after a loss at Ohio U. to open their MAC schedule.

Summer Hemphill (Cardinal O'Hara) had 10 points and 12 rebounds for UB, which had a 33-23 rebound advantage. Theresa Onwuka had 16 points, Brittany Morrison 15 and Marissa Hamilton 13 for the Bulls.

Megan Sefcik led Akron with 17 points.

Griffs host Monmouth

Coming off a successful trip to Connecticut last weekend with Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference wins over Quinnipiac and Fairfield, Canisius comes home to face a streaking Monmouth team.

The Hawks (6-14, 5-2), have won the last four in the MAAC after a double-overtime loss at Quinnipiac. Coach King Rice's team has knocked off Manhattan, Siena (OT), Fairfield and Iona. Monmouth's record is not impressive but the schedule has been tough with losses to Princeton, West Virginia, Kentucky and coach Joe Mihalich's Hofstra team that is 17-3 and receiving some top 25 votes in the AP Poll.

Canisius, Niagara women on road

In MAAC women's basketball, both Canisius and Niagara will be on the road for games Thursday night. Each is 4-2 in conference play, good for a third-place tie with Siena behind Quinnipiac and Marist.

The Golden Griffins will play at Monmouth (5-11, 1-4 MAAC) while Niagara takes on Manhattan in Riverdale in 7 p.m. games.

Canisius won over Fairfield and gave defending conference champion Quinnipiac a battle before losing 55-42 at the Koessler Center last week/
Niagara is coming off a 71-68 overtime win over Fairfield on Sunday after a 41-point loss to defending conference champion Quinnipiac.

Junior Jai Moore had 21 points in the victory over Fairfield while Emerald Ekpiteta had her fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

NCCC women top Monroe

Niagara County Community College won its 20th straight women’s basketball game Wednesday night, an 84-79 victory over defending NJCAA Division II champion Monroe CC in Sanborn.

NCCC (20-0) is ranked 18th in the nation in the latest NJCAA poll while Monroe was ranked 10th.

Coach Nate Beutel’s Thunderwolves are averaging 95.3 points a game and are led by Kenstrina Redfern (Cheektowaga), the No. 6 scorer in the nation at 23.2 ppg.

It was the Western New York Conference opener for both teams. NCCC hosts Jamestown Community College Saturday at 1 p.m.

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