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Big 4 Basketball: Bonnies win at GW; Canisius, Niagara lose at home

Western New York Big 4 men's college basketball teams went 1 for 3 in conference games on Sunday. St. Bonaventure won at George Washington, 71-66, in the Atlantic 10 Conference while Canisius and Niagara lost home games in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.

Sophomore center Osun Osunniyi stayed out of foul trouble and turned in his most dominant performance of the season at the Smith Center in Washington, D.C.

After getting into early foul trouble in last week's loss to UB in Amherst, Osunniyi had 20 points, a game-high nine rebounds and five blocked shots in 36 minutes in Bona's A-10 opener.

Kyle Lofton, another sophomore, played all 40 minutes for the Bonnies and had 17 points and eight assists. Dominick Welch (Cheektowaga), also played 40 minutes for Bona but did not score. He did contribute six rebounds, including one on the offensive end that resulted in a 3-pointer by Matt Johnson for a 61-54 Bona lead.

Bona trailed by two at halftime but an 11-1 run took the game from 43-40 for the Colonials to 51-44 for Bona. GW never got closer than one down (53-52) after that.

Jamison Battle led the Colonials (6-8, 0-1 A-10) with 20 points while junior Maceo Jack (Williamsville North) had 11 points but was just 4 for 14 on his field goals and 3 for 10 from 3-point range.

Bona (9-5, 1-0 A-10) plays at George Mason Wednesday.

Canisius (5-9, 0-3 MAAC) lost its third straight in conference, falling to Fairfield, 46-42, at the Koessler Athletic Center. The Golden Griffins and the Stags put on a dismal shooting performance, going a combined 32.4% from the floor and 19.4% on 3-pointers.

The visiting Stags (5-8, 1-1) led 18-16 at the half. Their largest lead was seven points (34-27). Canisius' biggest lead was five (10-5) early on.

Scott Hitchon had 19 points, the only Griff in double figures. Landon Taliaferro led Fairfield with 11.

Niagara (3-10, 1-1 MAAC) never led in its 67-62 loss to Manhattan (6-5, 2-0) at the Gallagher Center. After falling behind, 35-23, at the half it made a game of it and got as close as 59-58 after a pair of free throws by freshman Nick MacDonald with 5:10 left. Two layups by Pauly Paulicap and four free throws enabled the Jaspers to close out the win.

Junior forward Greg Kuakumensah led Niagara with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Although losing on the court, Niagara scored an important victory away from the hardwood with the word that Tah-Jahe Hill of Hilton High in the Rochester area has become NU coach Greg Paulus' first recruiting commitment. A 6-1 guard, Hill is averaging 30.7 points per game for Hilton.

 

 

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