Niagara 59, Rider 54
How Niagara Won: The Purple Eagles led by 17 early in the second half then held on for dear life down the stretch as Rider's press did its job. Free throw shooting was huge. Niagara went 17 of 19 for the game and 15 of 16 in the second half.
Player of the Game: Sophomore Meghan McGuinness scored 15 points, grabbed nine rebounds (both team highs) and went 6 of 6 from the line over the final 2:10.
Best Supporting Role: All-conference selection Lauren Gatto was limited to just 24 minutes because of fouls but scored 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
Best Performance (Losing Effort): Rider's MyNeshia McKenzie is relentless. She scored 22 points and brought down 13 rebounds.
Stat Check: Niagara got just eight points from its bench but it made a difference. Rider managed a scant two.
Stat Check II: Only once in the last 10 games has Niagara's second-half free throw percentage dipped below 75.
In the House: Attendance for the session totaled 1,855.
Next Up: A semifinal meeting with Marist, which hasn't lost a MAAC tournament game since 2005.
They Said It
Niagara assistant coach Corinne Jones on leading at the half with Gatto playing just 7 minutes: "I think that's a tribute to our team. Players step up. They did their job. They were ready to go. We had some bench players, Jessica Flamm and San Lapszynski, who just did what they were supposed to do. They were solid."
-- Bob DiCesare
taggedCollege basketball | Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference | NCAA