Good morning from Monteagle Ridge, where the Niagara Purple Eagles women's basketball team is set to host the Canisius Golden Griffins before a packed Gallagher Center gym. There's plenty on the line, as the teams enter the game tied for fifth place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The winner moves into a tie for third.
It's a special Kid's Day game, and a gallon of Red Bull wouldn't give me half the energy this crowd has right now. Should make for a fun atmosphere.
The national anthem just finished and the starters are being introduced. Check back frequently for updates on the game.
17:39 remaining: Canisius' Brittane Russell strips Niagara's Kayla Stroman and goes the other way for a fast-break layup to tie the game at 2-2. The atmosphere makes you'd think the Jonas Brothers were coming out for a performance at halftime.
15:28: A three-pointer by Niagara's Ali Morris makes it 7-6 NU.
14:02: Canisius' Ellie Radke got away with a travel underneath, then found Russell open for a three-pointer to give Canisius a 10-8 lead.
12:05: Caitlin Krull of Canisius just misses a layup, but converts both free throws for a 12-8 Canisius lead. Niagara can't get good looks to fall, and has had back-to-back turnovers.
11:46: First media timeout. According to Niagara's pregame notes, there are 2,400 kids here this morning. That looks, and sounds, about right.
10:22: The Purple Eagles have the last four points to tie the game at 12. Morris had a beautiful pass to Rachele Folino on the break for the tying bucket.
8:16: Canisius' Ashley Durham hits a three from the right wing for a 15-12 lead. The Griffs have extended their NCAA record of games with at least one three-pointer to 475.
5:38: Radke hits a free throw to break nearly a three-minute scoreless stretch. It's 16-12 Canisius.
5:03: After a Niagara layup cut the lead to 16-14, Canisius' Caitlin Krull gets good position inside for a jump hook to make it 18-14.
4:18: A three by Russell makes it 21-14 and causes NU coach Kendra Faustin to take a timeout.
2:16: Flooks converts down low and is fouled by Radke. She misses the FT, so it's 23-18.
1:08: Flooks has started become more active for Niagara, and that's a good thing. She leads thie team in scoring by a wide margin at 13.8 points per game. She hits a pair of free throws to make it 25-20.
Halftime: It's 27-20 after Mikayla Drysdale hit a tough runner in traffic from the left.
First-half notes: Niagara has got to shoot better. The Purple Eagles were just 8 of 33 in the first half, 24.2 percent. Canisius was 10 of 24 for 41.7 percent. As we mentioned above, Flooks has got to see the ball more for NU. She finally started getting good position down low, and it led to some trips to the free-throw line. Jaclyn Konieczka, who is coming off a career-high 21 points in her last game, leads NU with seven. Russell has seven for the Griffs. We're about five minutes away from the second half.
20:00: The Miley Cyrus is blasting and the lines for the bathrooms are longer than at a rock concert. Time for the second half.
19:05: Flooks gets the ball, scores and is fouled. Her free throw makes it 27-23. Why Niagara hasn't done that more often, I don't know.
17:30: Folino is left alone underneath, allowing her to grab an easy offensive rebound and score on a putback. NU has the first seven points of the half to tie the game, 27-27.
16:34: Thirty-second timeout by Niagara to save a possession. It's 29-27 Canisius after a pair of free throws by Durham.
15:15: NU pulls ahead as Morris hits 1 of 2 from the free-throw line. It's the first lead for the home team since it was 7-6.
13:18: Morris hits a three-pointer right after Meghan Waterman did the same for the Purple Eagles, pushing the lead to the largest of the day for Niagara, 36-29.
11:35: Russell to the line after being fouled from behind on a breakaway layup. Timeout. Key free throws here. If she hits them both momentum starts to change. ... Russe'l hits one of two to make it 36-32.
9:21: Probably the shot of the game so far goes to Canisius' Brianna Lucas. After Morris had given NU a 40-32 lead with a sweet layup off the glass, Lucas answers with a cold-blooded three-pointer from the left corner to make it 40-35. Timeout, Canisius.
5:51: Radke hit a big three about a minute to go to make it 40-38, but this hasn't been her best game. She's on the bench now after picking up her fourth foul.
4:36: Russell picks up her fourth foul after knocking Morris down. She's subbed out by Canisius coach Terry Zeh.
3:46: Folino hits a long jumper to push Niagara's lead to 45-38. The Purple Eagles earlier got a big three-pointer from Stroman off a nice feed from Morris.
2:22: The two best players on the floor just played a game of can you top this? Russell hit a step-back three-pointer to make it 45-41, but Flooks answered with a three of her own. It's 48-41 NU.
1:22: Things are getting interesting now. Canisius' Micayla Drysdale hits a wild layup on a drive to the basket and is fouled by Flooks in the process. Her free throw makes it 48-46.
:18.6: Stroman hits the shot of her freshman career, a contested jumper from just inside the three-point line to make it 50-46.
:1.2: We're in a timeout after Russell hit another ridiculous three-pointer to cut the lead to 50-49. Not enough time left for Canisius unless it can force a turnover.
:00.5: Crazy finish here. NU to the line with just a half-second left. The Purple Eagles will hold on for their fifth win in six tries.
Final: Stroman's free throws gives NU a 52-49 win. Off for interviews.
taggedCanisius | College basketball | Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference | Niagara