The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team, slowed by cold shooting in the second half, lost, 71-60, at Western Michigan on Saturday night.
The Bulls shot just 32 percent from the field in the second half after going into halftime tied. The Broncos also grabbed 15 offensive rebounds to hand the Bulls their third consecutive loss. Javon McCrea led Buffalo with 22 points and 10 rebounds, his fifth double-double in conference.
McCrea moved into a tie with Rodney Pierce (2007-10) for the 13th most career points in program history. His 10 rebounds also gave him exactly 600 for his career, making him just the sixth Bull ever to do so.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Meghan McGuinness hit six-consecutive free throws and Lauren Gatto had a double-double as Niagara defeated MAAC rival Rider, 64-59.
Gatto’s double-double is her second of the season, the first came coming against St. Bonaventure in the second game of the year. Against Rider she had 22 points and 11 rebounds. Kayla Stroman’s 14 points and seven rebounds were season highs.
“This is the most physical game we have ever been a part of,” head coach Kendra Faustin said. “I am proud of how we responded by staying tough and disciplined. We got stops and made free throws down the stretch.”
With nine minutes remaining and the Purple Eagles trailing the Broncs, 44-42, Gatto scored to tie the game and send NU on a 16-6 run to give them a 58-50 lead with 1:31 remaining.
The Broncs cut the lead to four with under a minute reaming, but McGuinness nailed her free throws to keep Niagara in the lead.
• The University at Buffalo was outscored, 38-23, over the final 20 minutes, as Akron prevailed, 75-57. The loss drops UB’s record to 7-14 overall, 5-3 in Mid-American Conference.
The Bulls were led by a pair of double doubles from Kristen Sharkey and sophomore Christa Baccas, the first time since December of 2011 that two UB players had double-doubles in the same game. Sharkey had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Baccas followed it up with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Cherridy Thornton finished with 13 points, but 12 of those came before the half.
The Zips got their lead up to as many as 19 late in the second half.
• Canisius concludes its two-game swing to the eastern part of the state with today’s game at Manhattan College. It’s the first meeting of the season between the teams.
Canisius saw its three-game road winning streak come to an end in Friday night’s 54-40 loss at Marist College. Canisius leads the all-time series with Manhattan, 28-22, but the Jaspers have won the last five games between the teams.
• St. Bonaventure is on the road today at Xavier at 3 p.m. St. Bonaventure (9-12, 2-4 A-10) has lost six of its last eight games, including a 64-57 decision at home against Charlotte on Wednesday. Nyla Rueter scored 15 points in the loss. SBU ranks fourth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense (55.1) and fifth in free throw percentage (.714) and defensive rebound percentage (.678).