Daemen women fall in Elite Eight

Daemen College women’s basketball saw its postseason run end in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight with a 66-49 loss Tuesday evening to unbeaten top-seed Lubbock Christian in Columbus, Ohio.

The Wildcats (14-3), led by former Grand Island varsity coach Jenepher Banker, trailed by seven at halftime before Lubbock (21-0), the 2019 national champion, pulled away with a 21-12 third quarter.

Caroline White, who earned All-American honorable mention status earlier in the day, led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds. Mickayla Ivy added 10 points, while Katie Titus, another All-American HM, had nine points and seven boards.

Lubbock dominated the turnover battle, 15-6, coming up with 13 steals.

The Daemen men (10-5) take their shot at the Final Four at 3:45 p.m. today. Like the women, they’ll have to go through the No. 1 seed, West Texas A&M (17-2).

UB women picked for Battle 4 Atlantis

The University at Buffalo women’s basketball team has been selected to participate in the first-ever Women’s Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament, taking place Nov. 20-22 at Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas.

The 12-game, three-day tournament is regarded as one of the most challenging early-season tournaments. The field — UB, UConn, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Florida and Syracuse — has a total of 12 national championships, 28 Final Four appearances and 43 conference championships.

“I am so excited to be a part of this prestigious tournament,” UB head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said in a statement. “The competition will challenge our toughness, focus and discipline. I have so much respect for each of my colleagues at all of these great schools. We look forward to the challenge.”

NCCC women drop a thriller

Niagara County Community College came out on the losing end of a wild, 119-111 overtime decision against visiting Jamestown CC on Monday night.

The Thunderwolves (2-4, 1-1 Region III) trailed 51-35 at halftime before rallying with a 30-18 third quarter. Freshman Olivia Smith (Dunkirk) completed the comeback with a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left to tie things at 96 after the fourth.

NCCC was led by its freshmen class. Gabrielle McDuffie (Olmsted), had a monster game, putting up 26 points, 17 rebounds, five steals and four assists; Aichata Ballo added 19 points, 11 boards, nine assists and five steals. Kiya Marquez (15 points) and Lancaster’s Alissa Backert (11) also scored in double figures.

Nadara O’Dell scored a game-high 33 points for JCC (2-4, 1-1), which finished 32 of 49 from the free-throw line.

The NCCC women, along with the men, play JCC — the only other Region III program playing this season due to the pandemic — again on the road tonight. The women open at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men at 7:30.

BASEBALL

Thunderwolvesopen 3-1

NCCC baseball opened its spring season winning 3 of 4 non-conference road games this weekend.

The T-wolves split a series Saturday at SUNY Adirondack before sweeping Cayuga CC on Sunday.

NCCC lost its first game, 4-2. Freshman Chad Gartland’s solid outing on the mount (4 2/3 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8 Ks) wasn’t enough as the offense notched just five hits.

The offense wasn’t necessarily better in game two, but the pitching was nearly perfect. Sophomore Ryan Peterson (Nichols) three a one-hitter, striking out seven. Cal Brazier had an RBI double and fellow freshman Andrew Fairbrother (Williamsville North) knocked in the other run.

The bats awoke Sunday, as NCCC totaled 20 runs. Fairbrother went 3 for 4 with a double, triple and RBI in the opener, a 7-6 victory. Zach Evans had two hits, Chris Tani hit a two-run single and Cole Laskowski (St. Mary’s) added a sacrifice fly. Sophomore Mat Carden (Lewiston-Porter) got the win out of the pen, allowing one hit in three innings.

David Stirpe hit the Thunderwolves’ first homer of the year in the 13-0, five-inning nightcap, a three-run shot, and Matt Ferris followed with a two-run bomb. Howard Stuckey added a two-run triple and Connor Schermerhorn (West Seneca West) pitched all five innings, striking out five.

NCCC plays its home-opener today during a doubleheader against Monroe College. First pitch of the opener is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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