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Bona men lose at VCU; UB men and women both win

St. Bonaventure, playing without center Osun Osunniyi, was no match for VCU on Saturday afternoon, losing to the Rams, 91-63, before a sellout crowd of 7,637 in Richmond, Va. It ended the Bonnies four-game win streak in Atlantic 10 Conference play.

Osunniyi, the Bonnies’ 6-foot-10 sophomore center, missed the game “due to concussion symptoms” according to the Bona Twitter page.

Meanwhile, in Mount Pleasant, Mich. the University at Buffalo men’s team blew out Central Michigan in the second half for an 86-67 victory. The Bulls (12-6), improved their record to 3-2 in the Mid-American Conference after an 0-2 start.

Osunniyi’s absence was missed by the Bonnies. He missed all but a few minutes of the opening game with a right knee injury as his team went 1-5. With Osunniyi in the lineup, coach Mark Schmidt’s team was 11-1.

VCU (13-5, 3-2 A-10) took a 29-8 lead with the help of an 18-0 run to rout the Bonnies in the first half, which ended with the Rams in front by 28 points, 52-24. VCU shot 58% in the opening hat led by Nah’Shon Hyland’s 17 points. Hyland finished with 21 points, Center Marcus Santos-Silva had 17 points and 11 rebounds.

“We got off to a tough start,” Schmidt said in a massive understatement. “Early on we missed a lot of layups, open jump shots and it just snowballed on us. Going into the game we thought Silva was the key and we didn’t do a good job on them. They took us off the bounce and were going downhill. The game was over at halftime. Give our guys credit; we fought.”

Freshman Justin Winston had 17 points for Bona. Sophomore Jaren English had 15 points. The Bonnies made only three of their 18 3-point attempts.

UB handed Central Michigan its first home loss of the season, turning in a strong defensive effort. The Chippewas were held to 34.2% shooting, 5 of 22 from 3-point range. UB outrebounded CMU, 45-41 and helped create 16 turnovers.

UB led by only eight, 38-30, at the half. A 12-0 run by the Bulls took it from 55-47 to 67-47 with 7:02 left to play.

The Bulls shot 45.2 percent (33 of 73) and 40 percent (10 of 25) from 3-point range. They were led by Jeenathan Williams’ 18 points. Jayvon Graves (14), Davonta Jordan (13), Antwain Johnson (10) and Ronaldo Segu (10) also scored in double figures. Josh Mballa got into early foul trouble and played only 11 minutes, scoring four points and taking down six rebounds. Johnson was high rebounder in the game with nine.

UB women win at home

Freshman Dyaisha Fair scored 22 points in 31 minutes as the UB women won their second straight in the MAC, 66-63, over Eastern Michigan, after losses to Toledo on the road and Ohio U at home.

The Bulls never trailed in the game, owning a double-digit lead most of the way at Alumni Arena before a crowd of 1,207. The visiting Eagles outscored UB, 9-1 over the last 28 seconds to make the score as close as it turned out. The final three-point margin was the closest EMU was the entire second half.

Jai Moore, a 5-9 senior from Brooklyn, had career highs with 32 points and 13 baskets in Niagara’s 73-70 women’s basketball win over Monmouth in West Long Branch, N.J. It was the first victory for the Purple Eagles at OceanFirst Bank Center since 2015.

Moore’s previous career high was 31 in a home game against Colgate last season. The 32 points were the most for a Niagara player since Victoria Rampado scored 41 against Siena in 2018.

Niagara (5-10, 3-3 MAAC) took a 37-36 lead on a layup by Emerald Ekpiteta in the third quarter and stayed in front the rest of the way. Maggie McIntyre made two free throws with 25 second left for a 71-67 lead. After Sierra Green hit a 3-pointer for the Hawks with 14 seconds left Moore got a last basket with three seconds to play to ice it.

Canisius (2-13, 1-5 MAAC) threw a scare into heavily favored Quinnipiac (7-8, 4-2 MAAC) before falling to the Bobcats, 74-71, at People’s United Center in Hamden, Conn.

The Golden Griffins had a 66-64 lead with 5:43 to play after a 3-pointer by A.J. Timbers but were outscored 10-4 the rest of the way. D’Jhai Patterson-Ricks led the Griffs with 23 points. Timbers finished with 15, all on 3-point baskets. Shaunae Brown, a freshman from Toronto, had a career-high 11 points for the Griffs. Canisius made 10 of 20 3-point tries. What doomed the Griffs was a 6-point third quarter after taking a 38-29 lead into halftime.

Canisius has never beaten Quinnipiac in women’s basketball in 15 attempts. They lost by 17 and 13 points in last season’s meetings.

“I loved how the team competed today against a perennial MAAC powerhouse like Quinnipiac,” Canisius coach Scott Hemer said. “We are improving on both sides of the floor which is a great sign, and the team is not settling for anything especially following a loss.

“We are getting closer and I am proud of their resilience.”

Sunday’s games

The Canisius and Niagara men’s teams will look to complete a home sweep of their weekend Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference games today.

The Golden Griffins (7-10, 2-4 MAAC), 73-63 winners over Siena on Friday, will face Rider (9-7, 3-3 MAAC) at 2 p.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center. The Siena win was the second in a row for Canisius after six straight losses, four of them on the road.

Siena (7-8, 3-3 MAAC) moves on to Lewiston to take on Niagara (5-11, 3-2 MAAC) at 1 p.m. in the Gallagher Center. The game will be the Coaches vs. Cancer Sits and Sneakers game.

Niagara also has won its last two under first-year coach Greg Paulus.

Sophomore Marcus Hammond, who hit a baseline jumper as time expired to defeat Rider, 70-68, on Friday, leads the Purple Eagles in scoring with a 13.2 average. He had 36 points in Niagara’s last loss, 67-56, at Quinnipiac. NU has defeated Iona on the road and Rider at home since then.

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