Another solid week for Big-Four Basketball

Teams combined for a 6-1 record on the week

Ryan Gates
January 30, 2018 - 2:03 pm



Big-Four basketball teams continued their solid starts to conference play combining for a 6-1 record last week. The only team to lose, Canisius, was defeated by rival Niagara in the Battle of the Bridge Saturday night.

University at Buffalo Bulls:

The Bulls (16-5, 8-0) continued their historic start as they have yet to fall in a Mid-American Conference game.

On Tuesday, the team hosted Eastern Michigan at Alumni Arena. It was a slow start for the Bulls who trailed the Eagles 13-11 with 11:30 remaining in the first half. Buffalo would score the next 26 points and went into halftime with a 39-17 lead.

In the second half, the Bulls built up a 29 point lead, but Eastern Michigan would chip away at the deficit for the rest of the game with the final score 83-69.

Jeremy Harris had a huge second half for the Bulls scoring 20 of his 22 points, and grabbing nine of his career-high 14 rebounds. C.J. Massinburg and Nick Perkins both continued their high level play adding 18 and 17 points respectively.

On Friday, the Bulls traveled to Athens, OH to take on the Ohio Bobcats. U.B. led wire-to-wire in a closer game winning 73-66 for their ninth straight victory.

It was another big game for Jeremy Harris with 17 points and 10 boards. He was voted MAC East Co-Player of the Week, the fifth straight week a Bull has earned the honor. Last week's winner of the award, Nick Perkins, added 20 points off the bench.

Now 8-0 in conference play, U.B. remains on the road for a contest with Kent State (11-1, 5-3) looking for their 10th straight win on Tuesday night.

On Friday, the Bulls return to Alumni Arena hosting Western Michigan (12-9, 4-4) at 7 p.m. for their second match-up of the year. Less than 1,400 tickets remain available for the game as the U.B. Athletic Department is running #Operation6000 to sell-out the nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network.

As always you can listen to both games on ESPN 1520.

Niagara Purple Eagles:

It was a strong bounce back week for the Purple Eagles (14-9, 7-3) after losing to Fairfield, earning a pair of victories over Manhattan and Canisius.

Matt Scott returned to form with 21 points in Niagara's 72-63 win over the Jaspers. Marvin Prochet contributed with nine points and seven boards while James Towns added 13 points off the bench.

Saturday night was The Battle of Bridge between the Purple Eagles and Golden Griffins in front of a sold-out crowd at the Koessler Athletic Center.

Niagara soared to a 105-89 win over Canisius setting season-highs in points, field goal percentage, free throws made, three-pointers made, and in three-point field goal percentage.

James Towns had an enormous performance off the bench with 31 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field including a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. Kahlil Dukes dropped a cool 28 points, and Matt Scott added a double-double with 23 points and eleven rebounds.

Winning seven of their last eight games in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Purple Eagles are tied for third with Iona at 7-3 in conference play.

Niagara hits the road for a pair of games in New Jersey this weekend. First, the team takes on last-place Saint Peters (8-13, 2-8) on Friday at 7 p.m. Full coverage of that game on WGR. On Sunday, the Purple Eagles play in the afternoon against Monmouth (7-14, 3-6) for a 2 p.m. tip. You can listen to that game on AM 1400.

Canisius Golden Griffins:

Only one game for the Griffs (13-9, 7-2) last week with their 105-89 loss to Niagara in the Battle of the Bridge Saturday night.

Jermaine Crumpton scored a game-high 32 points for Canisius with freshman Takal Molson adding 18. The reigning MAAC Player of the Week, Isaiah Reese had 14 points, but struggled shooting from three with a 2-of-9 performance from beyond the arc.

At 7-2 in conference play, the Griffs solely hold second place behind only Rider (16-7, 9-2) in the MAAC. The team will hit the road this weekend with a game against Marist (4-17, 2-7) Friday night at 7 p.m., and a matinee game at 2 p.m. with Saint Peters on Sunday afternoon.

Saint Bonaventure Bonnies:

After starting Atlantic 10 conference play at 2-4, the Bonnies (14-6, 4-4) battled back to even in conference play with a pair of victories at the Reilly Center last week.

On Wednesday, Bonas edged Saint Joseph's 70-67. It was a gritty effort with contributions from the entire team. Senior Jaylen Adams scored the go-ahead bucket with 19 seconds remaining in regulation, he had 16 points for the game with only three of those coming in the second half.

LaDarien Griffin and Courtney Stockard each provided a double-double. Griffin finished the game with 10 points and eleven boards, while Stockard had 15 and 13 for the Bonnies.

It was an early start for the team on Sunday with a noon tip-off against George Washington. With another solid defensive effort Bonas secured a 70-52 win over the Colonials.

The Bonnies struggled offensively in the first half, but managed to go into the break with a five point lead, 26-21. The team found it's offense in the second half shooting over 50% from the field. Matt Mobley was the offensive spark with 24 points, 16 of those coming in the second half.

Saint Bonaventure has a road trip with games at George Mason (9-12, 3-5) on Wednesday at p.m. and Saint Louis (11-11, 4-5) on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The Bonnies will be looking for their first road win in conference play. At 4-4, the team is tied for sixth in a very tight Atlantic 10 conference and will have to start winning on the road to climb the standings.

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