Big 4 men rivals get down to business early
The Big 4 men’s basketball season will open with rivalry games on back-to-back days in November.
Niagara visits St. Bonaventure at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10. Canisius College visits the University at Buffalo for a 2 p.m. game Saturday, Nov. 11, at Alumni Arena.
The Big 4 meetings for the 2017-18 season were announced by the four schools Monday. As expected, there is no Big 4 doubleheader, as there was last season. The other games: UB visits Niagara on Nov. 29 and plays host to St. Bonaventure on Dec. 2, a Saturday game. Start times have yet to be determined.
Canisius plays host to St. Bonaventure at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Koessler Athletic Center.
Canisius and Niagara meet twice, as usual, in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Those dates have yet to be set.
It will be the first time Niagara and St. Bonaventure faced in a season opener since 1933. Bona went 20-12 last season and returns four starters. Niagara went 10-23 and returns all five starters. The game is part of a doubleheader. The Niagara and Bona women tip off at 5:30 p.m. in their season openers at the Reilly Center.
It’s the first time UB and Canisius have opened against each other since 2006. UB went 17-15 and lost two starters. Canisius went 18-16 and lost three starters.
It marks the third meeting between the Bulls and Golden Griffins inside Alumni Arena since 2011-12. UB won the last meeting at UB two seasons ago, 98-96, in overtime. The Griffs won last season’s meeting in overtime, 94-87, at the KeyBank Center. contract to play in Latvia.
UB announced the 6-foot-6 California native will play for BK Ventspils, which competes in the Latvian league, the Baltic Basketball League and the European Champions League.
Hamilton’sstandingasaUBall-timegreat was secured when he sank the last-second shot to send UB to the NCAA Tournament in 2016. He was named second-team All-MidAmerican Conference last season after leading UB in scoring (17.5) and assists (4.5). He became the 19th UB player to surpass 1,000 careerpoints,eventhoughheplayedonlytwo seasons for the Bulls after transferring from junior college. Hamilton ranked sixth in the MAC in scoring, 14th in rebounding and fifth in assists as a senior.
Ventspils won the Latvian league nine times, most recently in 2014. Former Syracuse star Gerry McNamara is a former Ventspils player. Ventspils is a city of 39,000 located on the Baltic Sea.