Niagara received a double-double from Lauren Gatto, while Meghan McGuinness scored a game-high 19 points on 70-percent shooting as the Purple Eagles won for the third time in four games, beating visiting Loyola, 58-47, Thursday in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
NU was the only Big 4 team to win on a busy Thursday as St. Bonaventure got trounced on the road, while UB and Canisius lost close ones on their home courts.
A crowd of 2,287 attended the Kids’ Day contest at the Gallagher Center in Lewiston. An estimated 2,000 students from the Niagara Falls and Lewiston-Porter school districts saw Gatto go for 16 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double in as many games. McGuinness shot 7 for 10 from the floor and NU limited the Greyhounds to 18-for-58 shooting.
The Purple Eagles’ bench scoring had a hand in the win as NU’s reserves outscored Loyola’s, 28-15. Niagara led by as many as 14 points with 12:14 left.
In Pittsburgh, St. Bonaventure dropped its fourth in a row — falling hard at Duquesne’s A.J. Palumbo Center, 61-33.
Bona committed 21 turnovers and made just 13 field goals, none from beyond the arc on nine tries, in shooting 31 percent. The Dukes improved to 18-4, 7-1 in the Atlantic 10. They used an early 23-2 run to turn a slim 5-4 lead into an overwhelming advantage.
Katie Healy (Lancaster) had 14 points and Doris Ortega added 11 for the Bonnies (9-14, 2-6).
Healy has scored in double-figures five games in a row, tying the season-high streak by a Bonnie.
At Alumni Arena, the logjam for second place in the Mid-American Conference East Division became a big tie for first with UB falling to Bowling Green (15-7, 6-3), 61-56. Mackenzie Loesing had 20 points and nine rebounds for UB (7-15, 5-4), which fell to fourth, one game behind Bowling Green, Akron and Miami.
The Falcons used a 13-5 run to start the game to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. UB pulled within three on two Loesing free throws with 6:37 left, but Jill Stein hit two layups to spark a 6-0 run by Bowling Green..
At the Koessler Center, Saint Peter’s won for just the second time in 22 games, beating Canisius, 74-65. Ashley Durham’s 16 points led the Golden Griffins (8-14, 5-6). Aziza May scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Peahens (2-20, 2-9).