The Niagara men have proved one thing through four games. They don’t have any trouble scoring points. The Purple Eagles’ problem has been stopping the other teams from putting the ball in the basket.
Niagara dropped its second in a row at the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament at Kent State on Friday, losing to Western Carolina, 98-90, despite a career-high 35-point effort from junior Antoine Mason before 579 at the M.A.C. Center.
Mason canned 12 of 22 shots from the floor to lead a 50-percent shooting effort by the Purple Eagles (1-3). However, his big game was offset by the Catamounts’ Trey Sumler, who also had a career-high 35 points and 10 assists. He shot 10 of 20 from the floor but did most of his damage at the line, swishing 14 of 16 from the line.
NU is averaging 79.3 points per game but yielding 82.3.
Western Carolina (4-3) shot 58.9 percent, including 10 of 16 from three-point range, while NU made just 8 of 21 from downtown. WC also outscored Niagara on the fast break, 26-2.
Ramone Snowden and Marcus Ware each had 16 for NU, which plays Kent State tonight at 7:30.
Bona women win, again
Gabrielle Richmond was one of three players in double figures for the St. Bonaventure women’s team as the Bonnies beat Monmouth, 61-55, in their first game at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn.
Richmond had 15 points and nine rebounds, while Chelsea Bowker had 13 points and Nyla Rueter added 10 as the Bonnies won their fifth in a row by rallying from a 23-22 halftime deficit.
The game was tied, 43-43, when Bowker and Rueter hit back-to-back treys to give Bona (5-1) the lead for good with 6:31 left.
Hannah Little grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for the winners.
The Bonnies have a short turnaround as they return to action at 2 p.m. today in the tournament against Boston University. Bona closes the three-games-in-three-days event Sunday against the defending national champion, No. 1 Connecticut (5:30 p.m., SNY).
At the Koessler Center, Canisius dropped a 72-56 decision to Akron. Canisius (3-2) led, 30-27, at halftime and had a 42-40 edge until Rachel Tecca nailed a three-pointer with 14:09 left to give the Zips (3-2) the lead for good. Tecca finished with 24 points.
Jamie Ruttle was the only Griff in double figures, scoring 19.
Canisius visits University at Buffalo on Wednesday.
Bonnies sign guard
St. Bonaventure has signed 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard Idris Taqqee to a letter of intent. He’s the third player coach Mark Schmidt has locked in for the start of the 2014-15 season, joining forward Jordan Tyson and guard Iakeem Alston.
Taqqee, who is from Snellville, Ga., averaged 11.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists last year for Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass. He helped Cushing win the New England Prep School Athletic Conference title.
NU women home today
Someone’s going to win today. The Niagara women’s basketball team hopes it will be the one. The winless Purple Eagles (0-3) face the Binghamton Bearcats (0-3) at 2 p.m. at the Gallagher Center.
Niagara comes into the game fresh off Tuesday’s 73-57 loss at Bona, where the Purple Eagles turned the ball over 23 times which led to 22 points by the Bonnies. NU is 3-1 against Binghamton under seventh-year coach Kendra Faustin.