The rematch between Canisius and Niagara begins in about 15 minutes from the Koessler Athletic Center. NIagara won the first meeting, 52-49 on Feb. 3 in Lewiston.
The programs are on opposite tracks these days. Niagara is 4-1 in its last five games and at 8-6 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is enjoying its best season since 2004-05.
Canisius meanwhile has gone 1-4 in its last five and is fighting to stay out of the play-in game day at the MAAC tournament with a 5-9 conference mark.
It's Pink Zone Day at the KAC with both teams wearing pink warm up shirts and raising funds for the WBCA/Kay Yow fund.
Check back for updates throughout the game.
15:45: If you can't get up for your rivalry game, there's no point in lacing them up. Canisius started the game with high energy on both ends of the floor. A three-pointer from Brittane Russell helped the Griffs sprint to a 10-2 lead. Niagara doesn't look horrible. Canisius is just playing better defense.
11:27: A continued aggressive defensive effort has the Griffs up, 15-6. They're keeping Niagara from getting the shots it wants and getting hands on the ball to disrupt the flow.
7:48: A three-pointer from Russell put Canisius up 20-6 but the Griffs turned the ball over on its last few possessions and Niagara hit some shots, making it 20-10. The Purple Eagles seem to have some of their groove back on the offensive end.
3:44: The Purps battle back into it, thanks to better defense and making shots. Ali Morris hit a three-pointer for Niagara and Kayla Stroman knocked down two free throws to cut the Griffs lead to 22-17.
Halftime: Canisius, 26-19. The Griffs scoring cooled down significantly in the later part of the half and Niagara started to make some offensive plays to close the gap.
15:33: The Purple Eagles started the half on a 6-0 run changing the game from potential blowout to a classic punch-counterpunch Canisius-Niagara game. The Griffs hold a 31-30 lead.
11:51: Russell has 11 points in the game, including draining a three-pointer as the Griffs give themselves some breathing room with a 40-32 lead.
7:44: Canisius leads, 44-37. Freshman Whitney Ellenor has 10 points for the Griffs,tying her career high, while Russell has 11 points.
3:31: Canisius still holds a 44-41 lead, but Niagara is threatening. The Purps have trailed the entire game.
Final: Niagara, 49-46. Jaclyn Konieczka hit a three-pointer with three seconds left in regulation to give the Purple Eagles the comeback win.
--- Amy Moritz
taggedBig 4 | Canisius | College basketball | Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference | Niagara