The University at Buffalo may have started the season 2-11, but as of Thursday night, the Bulls are undefeated.
The UB women used a strong finish to win their Mid-American Conference opener, 60-53, over Northern Illinois before 1,104 at Alumni Arena.
Freshman Mackenzie Loesing led UB (3-11) with 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including two three-pointers, while sophomore Kristen Sharkey had 17 points. Junior Cherridy Thornton was 1 of 10 from the field and finished with nine points.
UB took a 24-18 halftime lead on Northern Illinois (5-9), which closed to within 38-35. UB responded with a 18-6 run to go up, 56-41. NIU closed to within five with 31 seconds left but UB wrapped up the win by going 4 for 4 at the line the rest of the way.
Canisius junior Jamie Ruttle gave the Golden Griffins (5-9) the lead with two free throws, then made sure they kept it with a blocked shot in the final seconds in a 51-50 win at Rider. It was Canisius’ third victory in four games as it improved to 2-1 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
In a Kids’ Day game attended by 815 in Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrenceville, N.J., Canisius trailed, 50-49, when Ruttle was fouled in the post with 16 seconds left.
Rider (6-8, 1-2 MAAC) advanced the ball into the frontcourt and called its final timeout with 11 seconds to play. The Broncs got the ball into the lane to senior Caitlin Bopp, who backed toward the left-side of the lane, turned around and had her shot blocked by Ruttle. Canisius senior Allison Braun (five steals, eight points on 4-of-6 shooting) grabbed the ball and dribbled out the clock.
Niagara (7-7) also improved to 2-1 in MAAC play and evened its overall mark with a 54-46 victory at St. Peter’s, which remained winless (0-14, 0-3). Sophomore Meghan McGuiness had 16 points for NU, which took a 10-point lead at the half (31-21) and led by at least four the rest of the way.