Immediate reactions: St. Bonaventure 74, Niagara 59 — Big 4 Doubleheader 11/29/14

By Nick Veronica

Niagara 25 34 – 59
St. Bona 35 39 – 74 

How it happened: Niagara just couldn’t hang with St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies’ lead was 10 at halftime and surged to 20 points with 9 minutes to go. Youssou Ndoye led all players with 23 points, Andell Cumberbatch had 16 and Dion Wright added 14. Bonaventure shot 46.4 percent from the field (26-56). Rebounds were 37-35 Bona.

What it means: St. Bonaventure goes to 4-1 and has a chance to sweep Big 4 opponents on Wednesday when it hosts UB. The Bonnies last swept Canisius, UB and Niagara in 2011-12.

St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt has now beaten Niagara four times in a row after losing to them in his first four tries. Second-year Niagara coach Chris Casey is 1-3 against Big 4 opponents. Niagara goes to 1-3 overall.

[Postgame video: St. Bonaventure 74, Niagara 59]

It was over when: Niagara’s three-pointer at the end of the first half was waved off. St. Bonaventure led most of the first half and was up by 10 as the final seconds ticked down. Karonn Davis came down and hit a three that would’ve given Niagara some much-needed momentum into the locker room, but after looking at replays, refs waved off the basket.

Game ball: Youssou Ndoye. The Big 4 Preseason Player of the Year was the best player on the court – by a lot – and didn’t even look like he struggled to drop 23 points and 11 rebounds on the Purple Eagles. He also had five emphatic blocked shots.

Niagara player of the game: Ramone Snowden led the team with 13 points and seven rebounds. Davis also had 13.

Bad stat of the day: Niagara guard Matt Scott had seven turnovers in 17 minutes off the bench. It’s almost impressive how bad that is. Emile Blackman had six turnovers in 24 minutes.

Wild card: Niagara’s poor dance team. Only four members showed up to the game on Thanksgiving break. Then, when they got out on the floor for their routine in the first half, First Niagara Center played the wrong song, so the dance team just stood on the middle of the court.

Next game: Niagara goes to St. John’s on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Bonaventure host UB at 7 p.m. on Dec. 3.

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