The Canisius women’s basketball team used a strong defensive performance and timely offense to best the Niagara Purple Eagles, 65-57 in Lewiston, N.Y. on Wednesday night. Canisius held the Purple Eagles to just 20 points in the first two quarters, and forced them to shoot just 31.4 percent for the game, as the Griffs improved to 5-13 overall and 4-5 in MAAC play. Niagara dropped to 5-13 overall and 2-7 in conference action.
The Canisius defense was locked in early, holding Niagara to just 5-of-29 through the first two quarters, and held one of the league leaders in points, Victoria Rampado, to just two free throw makes, and no buckets (0-for-7) in the first 20 minutes.
Canisius on the other hand took a nine-point advantage into the break, hitting 46 percent of its shots from the floor (12-of-26).
Sara Hinriksdottir once again paced the Canisius offense, scoring 22 points (9-of-17 from the field), while recording numbers in all categories, chipping in six rebounds and two assists to complete her stacked stat-line.
Posting a strong game running the offense was Tamara Miskovic who finishd the game with eight rebounds and and three assists for the Blue and Gold.
Rampado, who rebounded from a quiet first half to score 18 of her 20 points in the final two quarters, led Niagara on offense. Kaylee Stroemple also hit double-figures, securing 13 points and six rebounds, while Jamie Sherburne had 10 points in the losing effort.
As a team the Griffs outrebounded Niagara, 37-34, but did turn the ball over 13 times to the Purple Eagles’ nine.
Offensively the Blue and Gold was strong pushing the ball around, notching 18 assists on 22 buckets.
THOUGHTS FROM COACH ZEH
“It was another fun, Niagara vs. Canisius game,” head coach Terry Zeh said. “It’s always a battle when the two of us play. I think we did a nice job today holding the lead. I think Sara was really good for us in the middle of the zone (their zone). She got catches in there and took it to the basket in the middle of their zone. Defensively, we really concentrated on guarding harder. Their shooting percentage is indicative of two things, they didn’t shoot well, and maybe we had something do with it. There is a truth somewhere in the middle but I thought our compete level was really good.”
• With the win against Niagara Canisius is now 55-35 all-time against the Purple Eagles.
• Canisius’ win up in Lewiston is the third straight road-win against Niagara, dating back to 2015.
• Canisius now leads the Battle of the Bridge competition 9-3 after getting two points in the competition with the win.
• Canisius has won seven straight Battle of the Bridge competitions and nine times in the last 10 years.
• Sara Hinriskdottir has now scored double-figure points in 16-of-18 contests so far this year and has done it in seven straight contests.
• Canisius held the Purple Eagles to the second-lowest shooting percentage of the season on Wednesday, as the held the Purple Eagles to just 31.3 percent. St. Boneventure is the only team to shoot worse against the Griffs with a 30.1 mark.
Canisius concludes the week, hosting a Sunday matinee at the Koessler Athletic Center, as the squad takes on the Fairfield Stags. Game time is set for 2 p.m.