© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

St. Bona and Canisius winners in Big Four Classic

Photo by Mark Scott

More than five thousand fans turned out at the KeyBank Center Saturday for the Big Four Classic. All four of the region's Division One men's basketball teams played. St. Bonaventure beat Niagara in the opener, while Canisius topped UB in overtime in the second game.

The turnout was disappointing by historical standards. Such games at the old Aud in the 1960s attracted capacity crowds.

Still, those fans who did show up were enthusiastic.  Tom Campbell -- a Bona grad and editor-publisher of the online newspaper, WNY Labor Today -- was among them. Campbell said he hopes more people will turn out for these special games.

"This town hasn't been supportive of local college basketball in recent times. But with the resurgence of UB and St. Bonaventure playing well, it's good to see fans coming out today," Campbell said.

Some fans WBFO News talked with said if more games involving local teams were played at the KeyBank Center, perhaps interest and attendance would increase.

"Certainly the bars and restaurants would favor it," said Pete Starkey.

In the opening game of the Big Four Classic, St. Bonaventure held off a competitive Niagara team 79-69. Then, the Canisius Golden Griffins gave their coach Reggie Witherspoon a win over his old team, the University at Buffalo. The Griffs needed overtime to beat the Bulls 94 to 87.