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Big 4: Kyle Lofton leads Bona in big win at Duquesne

Kyle Lofton of St. Bonaventure seems to know when his team needs his scoring.

Lofton, who scored only five points in Wednesday night’s rout of George Washington at home, came up big with 21 points on Saturday in an 83-80 road win against Duquesne in Moon Township, Pa., outside Pittsburgh.

The Bonnies (16-8, 8-3) never trailed by more than two points against their long-time rival and never were behind at all in the second half but they had to work hard all the way.

The game was tied at 77-77 with 1:36 left after a two-point basket by Sincere Carry of the Dukes. Lofton quickly gave Bona the lead with his 3-pointer with 1:14 to play. Dominick Welch hit a jump with 21 seconds left and made one of two free throws with 8 seconds to play to ice it before a Duquesne 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

Lofton made 7 of 11 field goal attempts, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Jaren English had 15 points, Welch had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Osun Osunniyi 12 to go with nine rebounds and two blocked shots.

Tavian Dunn-Marshall led the Dukes with 25 points.

Duquesne (17-6, 7-4 A-10) fell a game behind the Bonnies in the Atlantic 10 Conference standings. Bona is alone in third place behind Dayton (10-0) and Rhode Island (10-1) with a road game at Saint Joseph’s (0-9) coming up Tuesday before three straight conference home games.

UB women lose
Hot-shooting Toledo seized the lead on a 3-pointers by Mariella Santucci in the last minute of the first quarter and didn’t let up the rest of the way in humbling the University at Buffalo women, 78-62, before a stunned crowd of 1,864 at Alumni Arena.

A 3-pointer at the buzzer from halfcourt gave the Rockets a 35-27 lead and they poured it on from there. Toledo owned a double-digit lead late in the third quarter. The Rockets shot 66.7%, 42.9%, 58.8% and 55.6% across the board quarter-by-quarter in handing UB its third straight loss.

UB has not lost three in a row since the 2016-17 season when it fell to Ohio, Central Michigan and Toledo in succession. This losing streak has been to Central Michigan by five points in overtime, Northern Illinois by one point and Toledo.

Nakiah Black led Toledo with 21 points and Santucci had 13. Both were in the game right to the finish even though the Rockets enjoyed an 18-point lead.

The outcome could have been a lot worse if Toledo had not turned the ball over 21 times to eight for the Bulls.
Dyaisha Fair led UB with 20 points, but needed 25 shots (8 for 25) to get it.

Canisius (3-18, 2-10 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) put on a show for returning women’s basketball alumni and the All-Sesquicentennial team by ending a nine-game losing streak by upsetting Fairfield (11-9, 8-3 MAAC), 70-63, on Saturday at the Koessler Athletic Center.

The Golden Griffins were led by junior Danielle Sanderlin, who scored 20 points on 9-for-16 shooting and collected seven rebounds. Senior D’Jhai Patterson-Ricks hit 4 of 7 from 3-pointers in her 19-point output and AJ Timbers added 17 and senior Shannon Conely, who recorded 10 points off the bench.

The Griffs led 29-25 at halftime after trailing, 17-9, at the quarter.

Canisius led by as many as 12 points, 56-44, in the second half.

Coach Scott Hemer of the Griffs was pleased with the progress his team showed. He said:

“For us, it is trying at this point to get them to buy into what we are trying to do on both ends of the floor and do it consistently, and most importantly to do it together and they are starting to do that, the last two games they’ve done that.

“We have talked all season long, to not measure your progress by the scoreboard, and at this point, I am happy for them, because, today they can walk in the locker room and feel good about the scoreboard.”

Playing without senior guard Jai Moore, its leading scorer, the Niagara women fell to Iona, 70-58, at the Gallagher Center.

Niagara closed to 61-58 with just under two minutes to play when Maggie McIntyre was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws. Iona, however, went from there to close out the victory.

Junior Emerald Ekpiteta led Niagara with 12 points, McIntyre had 10.

Sunday’s game
After a 77-59 loss at Manhattan on Friday, the Niagara men’s team (7-15, 5-5 MAAC) will face Rider (13-9, 7-5) at 2 p.m. in Lawrenceville, N.J.

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