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UB hosts another rival when Niagara visits

Another Big 4 men’s basketball game is slated for Saturday as the University at Buffalo hosts Niagara at Alumni Arena for a 2 p.m. tipoff.

The Bulls and Purple Eagles haven’t played each other since Nov. 29, 2017, a 106-87 UB triumph. Buffalo (7-4) downed Canisius, 82-73, on Wednesday while Niagara (2-7) fell to St. Bonaventure, 87-70.

Davonta Jordan set a personal best with 26 points for the Bulls against Canisius. He’s averaging 17.3 points per game over the last three contests.

Niagara’s Marcus Hammond also set a career-high against the Bonnies with 21 points. James Towns also notched his third game this season with at least 20 points.

After Wednesday’s game, UB is now second in the nation in offensive rebounds at 15.3 per game. Josh Mballa leads the team averaging 4.2 offensive boards per game.

St. Bonaventure hits road

St. Bonaventure’s men’s team will be in the Volunteer State on Saturday for a 3 p.m. game with Middle Tennessee State at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

It’ll be the first meeting between the Bonnies and Blue Raiders since Dec. 30, 1993, when St. Bonaventure won, 83-69.

The Bonnies (7-4) are on a six-game winning streak, buoyed by the return of star sophomore Osun Osunniyi from injury.

Since his return, St. Bonaventure is allowing just 56.8 points per game and opponents to shoot a 37% from the field.

Keep an eye on fellow Bona sophomore Kyle Lofton. By dishing out 11 assists against Niagara on Wednesday, he became the first Bonnies player with double-digit assists in three straight games since Marques Green in 2003.

Middle Tennessee is on a two-game slide, dropping contests to Ole Miss and Murray State.

C.J. Jones is a standout guard on the Blue Raiders’ roster. He’s ranked 18th nationally with 10 blocks this season while averaging 20 points and three rebounds per game.

St. Bona women rally to win

St. Bonaventure’s women’s team opened the UCF Holiday Tournament on Friday with a 57-56 come-from-behind victory over Wright State at UCF’s Addition Arena in Orlando.

Asianae Johnson drained two free throws with 55 seconds left to play to give the Bonnies the win. She finished with 13 points.

Jurnee President got the Bonnies within a point earlier in the fourth quarter with a big corner 3. She led St. Bonaventure with 15 points.

The Bonnies trailed at halftime, 31-25, but outscored the Raiders 20-16 in the third period and only allowed nine points in the final period.

The tournament continues Saturday. St. Bonaventure will play St. Mary’s at 11 a.m. before heading back home.

Canisius falls in tournament

Canisius concluded its appearance at the 32nd annual Hatter Classic women’s tournament with a 74-57 loss to Appalachian State at the Edmunds Center in DeLand, Fla.

D’Jhai Patterson-Ricks led the Golden Griffins (1-7) with 21 points while Tiana Pugh had 12. No other Canisius player had double-digit points.

The team struggled again from the field, making only 37 percent of its shots in the paint one day after the Griffs sank just 26.8 percent against Stetson.

Ashley Polacek led Appalachian State with 20 points. Brooke Bigott and Haile McDonald had 12 points each off the bench for the Mountaineers.

Canisius will be off for the holidays before traveling to Toledo on Dec. 29 for a game with the Rockets.

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