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Big 4

UB women suffer fourth straight loss

Western Michigan outscored the University at Buffalo, 16-2, over a stretch of nearly 8 minutes in the first half Wednesday and went on to a 74-62 Mid-American Conference women’s basketball victory over the Bulls at Read Fieldhouse in Kalamazoo, Mich.

It was the fourth straight loss for UB (13-9), it’s longest in women’s basketball since the 2015-16 team dropped five straight, all in MAC play, from Jan. 13-30 in 2016.

Two free throws by Theresa Onwuka gave UB its largest lead of the game, 14-8, with 3:15 left in the opening quarter. The Bulls did not score another basketball until freshman Loren Christie scored 4 minutes and 35 seconds into the second quarter.

Jordan Walker, who led WMU with 18 points, scored eight of her points during her team’s 16-2 run. The Broncos built their lead to 39-27 at halftime, and took a 21-point advantage, 63-42, into the fourth quarter.

Western ended a three-game losing streak of its own. Breanna Mobley, a preseason All-MAC Western Division selection who is averaging a double-double for the season, had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.

Onwuka, a senior from Nigeria, led UB with 17 points, Sophomore Adebola Adeyeye had 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

UB freshman Dyaisha Fair, who went into the week as the fifth-leading scorer in the nation with a 22.4 average, was limited to nine points in 31 minutes. She made 3 of 14 field goal attempts, 1 of 7 from 3-point range and had five of UB’s 15 turnovers.

Those 15 turnovers, leading to 19 Western points, was the prime reason for the decisive loss, which kept UB alone in third place in the East Division of the MAC with a 4-7 conference record behind Ohio (8-3) and Kent State (6-5).

UB’s next game will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday against Ball State (8-3), the second place team behind Central Michigan in the MAC West Division. Ball State defeated Toledo, 60-58, Wednesday night in Muncie, Ind. The Cardinals defeated UB, 69-65, at Muncie on Jan. 22.

Women’s teams travel
Canisius, Niagara and St. Bonaventure women’s basketball teams all will be on the road on Thursday for conference games. The Golden Griffins and Bona face tall tasks.

Last-place Canisius (3-18, 2-10 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) will face first place Marist (18-4, 11-2) in Poughkeepsie. The Golden Griffins have defeated Marist only once in the last 23 meetings and that was in the 2015-16 season. The Griffs have lost 10 straight to Marist in the McCann Arena in Poughkeepsie. Their last win there was in the
2008-09 season.

Marist won 11 straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season championships (2004-2014) and 10 of 11 MAAC tournament titles in the span. The exception was in 2005 when the Foxes lost 60-59 to Canisius in the championship game. Marist routed the Griffs, 90-59, at the Koessler Athletic Center in their first meeting this season.

The Bonnies (7-17, 4-10 Atlantic 10 Conference) will meet VCU (13-10, 8-2 A-10) at 6 p.m. in Richmond, Va. VCU is an opponent Bona has not defeated in eight tries since VCU joined the Atlantic 10. It’s the only scheduled meeting of the teams this season.

Niagara (7-15, 5-8) plays a struggling Saint Peter’s team (6-15, 3-9) at the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City, N.J. NU defeated the Peahens, 97-89, last month in Lewiston. Before Marist’s reign over MAAC basketball came, Saint Peter’s dominated the conference in basketball. Saint Peter’s won 10 MAAC regular season championships between 1982 and 1997 and nine MAAC Tournament championships between 1981 and 2002, making seven NCAA tournament appearances.

Saint Peter’s has not defeated Niagara at the Yanitelli Center since Dec. 30, 2016.

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