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Where they stand: a quick look at the Big 4 women’s basketball teams

The UB women have an eye on the MAC East title with three key games remaining.

blog by Spencer Trotman  • 

2012-13 has presented choppy waters for the Big Four women’s basketball teams.

St. Bonaventure and Canisius each had disappointing seasons. The University at Buffalo’s team has 17 losses—but still could win the Mid-American Conference East Division. Niagara has been a bit steadier, floating right around the .500 mark for the year. As conference tournaments loom, let’s see where our favorite women hoopsters stand.

St Bonaventure: The St Bonaventure women’s basketball team has had a tough season. The Bonnies are coming off an eight-game losing streak, the latest being a 57-52 defeat on Sunday to Atlantic 10 tourney-bound George Washington. The team has an overall record of 9-18 and are 14th in the A-10 with two wins and 10 losses.

Despite the disappointment, preseason All-Big Four player Doris Ortega is having a great season. The starting forward leads the team in points (11.9 points per game), assists (2.5 apg) and rebounds (5.8 rpg). Freshman Katie Healy leads the Bonnies with 1.3 steals and one block per game. St Bonaventure’s women have continued their 18-game winning streak against their Big 4 rivals, a run that dates back to 2006. The Bonnies will close out their out their season against Fordham University on the road.

Canisius: The Canisius women’s basketball squad has also struggled at times through the current campaign. The Griffs are slated as the seventh seed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament, sporting a 7-9 mark in MAAC play and an overall record of 10-17. Canisus star Ashley Durham scored her 1,000 career point in a loss against Fairfield on Sunday, becoming the 20th woman in the program’s history to reach that number. Durham leads the team in scoring with 12 pgg and has collected a 59 assists on the season, second on the team to Tiahana Mills. Senior Ashley Wilkes is Canisius’ top rebounder 6.8 rpg to go along with her 19 steals.

The Griffs will finish their regular-season slate with with MAAC conference road match-ups this weekend against Niagara and Siena—wins over their archrival Purple Eagles and the Saints would boost Canisius to.500 in conference play and push their playoff seed to sixth.

University at Buffalo: The UB women’s basketball team heads into the crucial final stretch of the season in fourth place in the Mid-American Conference East Division with a 7-6 record, which stands in stark contrast to their overall mark of 9-17. At one point in the season, the Bulls moved to first place in the MAC East when they had a big 78-70 win over Miami (Ohio) on Jan. 31, but subsequently dropped four of their next six decisions.

Cherridy Thornton leads the team with 11.8 pppg while Margeaux Gupilan drops four dimes per game. Buffalo still has a chance to do some damage in the MAC East with remaining conference games against division rivals Bowling Green (8-5 in MAC play) on the road and Kent State (1-12 MAC) and first-place Akron (9-4 MAC) at Alumni Arena.

Niagara University: Hanging steady at two games over .500 (9-7) in MAAC play this season, Niagara woman’s basketball is currently in fourth place in the conference and have a 14-13 overall record. The 6’2 junior Lauren Gatto is currently recording 14 pppg along with six rebounds per contest. Kayla Stroman has clocked in with 107 assists for the Purple Eagles.

Niagara’s next two games will be against archrival Canisus and Manhattan as they gear up for the MAAC tournament. The six-year head coach, Kendra Faustin, will miss the MAAC tournament in the second weekend of March due to the birth of her second child.

Photo from buffalobulls.com.

TAGGED: canisius basketball, metro atlantic athletic conference, mid-american conference, niagara university women's basketball, st. bonaventure women's basketball, university at buffalo women's basketball

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