The Mid-American conference season begins tonight for the University at Buffalo women as the Bulls host Northern Illinois at 7 p.m. in Alumni Arena.

The Bulls finished their non-conference season at 2-11, closing out with a 70-43 loss at Cornell on Saturday.

Redshirt junior Cherridy Thornton has made a big impact since she entered the Bulls’ lineup Dec. 21. The midseason transfer sat out the fall semester due to NCAA rules. In her three games off the bench, Thornton is averaging a team-high 12.7 points. Freshman Rachael Gregory is averaging 11.3 points while sophomore Christa Baccas is pulling in 7.5 rebounds.

Northern Illinois, picked to finish fourth the MAC West, is 5-8 overall.

Both Niagara and Canisius hit the road for Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference games. The Purple Eagles play at Saint Peter’s at 7 tonight while Canisius is part of Rider’s Kids’ Day event at noon.

The Golden Griffins are coming off a 1-1 opening weekend in MAAC play after a dramatic, buzzer-beating, half-court shot against Siena during Kids’ Day at the Koessler Center. Canisius (4-9) then lost to Iona, which is tied for first place in the league with Marist.

Senior Ashley Durham won MAAC Player of the Week honors — her first and the first for a Canisius player since 2009. She averaged 18.5 points and 5.0 rebounds last week.

Rider (6-7) also split its opening MAAC games with a loss to Marist and win over Manhattan.

Niagara (6-7) heads to winless Saint Peter’s (0-13, 0-2 MAAC) with a 1-1 conference mark after coming back to defeat Siena in overtime following a loss to Iona. Lauren Gatto leads the Purple Eagles, averaging 13.7 points a game.