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Redshirt junior Courtney VandeBovenkamp
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Women's Basketball Hosts Niagara On ESPN3 Friday
Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics  
Release: 02/06/2014
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Game No. 22
Canisius (8-13, 4-8 MAAC) vs. Niagara (7-14, 5-7 MAAC)
Friday, Feb. 7 - 4 p.m.
Koessler Athletic Center

TV/Webcast: ESPN3 and WatchESPN.com
     Ed Cohen (p-x-p)
     Julianne Viani (color)
Live Audio: GoGriffs.com
     Ben Wagner (p-x-p)
     Amy Audibert (color)
Twitter: @CanisiusWBB
Hashtags: #Griffs #BeatNiagara #MAACHoops

QUICK HITTERS

  • The Canisius women’s basketball team is hosting a nationally broadcasted game from the Koessler Athletic Center for the fifth consecutive season.
  • Canisius and Niagara are meeting for the second time in 10 days. Niagara defeated Canisius 69-60 in the Gallagher Center on Jan. 29.
  • It is the first time in program history that Canisius played a MAAC opponent in back-to-back games.
  • Canisius is playing its only home game in the span of 24 days.
  • Friday’s Battle of the Bridge is worth two points in the all-sports competition between the schools separated by fewer than 30 miles. Entering the week, Canisius holds an 8-7 lead and has won the Canal Cup each of the last three years.
  • Canisius owns a 48-35 lead in the all-time series. The Griffs have won nine of the last 14 meetings but have lost the last two meetings in Buffalo.
  • The 2013-14 season is the 25th year that the Golden Griffins have played in the MAAC.

NOTING THE GRIFFS

  • Canisius has shot 40 percent or better in 10 games after shooting 40 percent or better five times in 31 games during the entire 2012-13 season.
  • In the Dec. 29 game at Manhattan, senior Jamie Ruttle became the 21st player in program history to score 1,000 career points. Ruttle has scored in double figures a team-best 11 times this season and 54 times in her career.
  • Senior Jen Morabito ranks fourth in program history in career 3-pointers (194) and second in 3-point field goal percentage (37.5).
  • Senior Jen Lennox is third in the program’s Division I history with 96 blocks.
  • Since entering the starting lineup on Jan. 12, redshirt junior Courtney VandeBovenkamp is avearging 7.8 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 55.9 percent in 25.5 minutes per game.
  • Junior Kayla Hoohuli is the only player in the MAAC to make a 3-pointer in 20 or more games.
  • Under Terry Zeh, Canisius is 46-31 in overtime games or games decided by five points or fewer — ranking as the best winning percentage (.597) in the MAAC since 2004-05. Canisius is 4-0 in such games this season.

NIAGARA SCOUT

  • Niagara enters Friday’s game with a 7-14 overall record and 5-7 in the MAAC.
  • The Purple Eagles have won three of their last five games, most recently losing 93-78 to Quinnipiac on Saturday in the Gallagher Center.
  • Meghan McGuinness ranks eighth in the MAAC in scoring (13.4), second at 2.8 3-pointers per game and fifth at 43.4 percent from behind the arc.
  • Chanel Johnson is 12th in the MAAC in scoring (12.4) while also ranking second at 84.7 percent from the free-throw line.
  • Kelly Van Leeuwen is fifth in the MAAC at 4.1 assists per game.
  • Niagara is turning the ball over on 25.9 percent of its possessions, which is tied for 11th in the MAAC. The Purple Eagles have a -4.5 turnover margin.
  • McGuinness and Val McQuade have made 95 of the team’s 119 3-pointers, shooting a combined 42.6 percent from behind the arc. The rest of the team is 24-for-107 (21.4 percent).
  • Niagara is fifth in the MAAC with a 30.9 offensive rebounding percentage and is ninth with a 65.9 defensive rebounding percentage.
  • Niagara is fourth in scoring (64.9) and 11th in scoring defense (72.4). The Purple Eagles lead the MAAC in FG percentage defense (38.4) but are allowing a league-high 7.8 3-pointers per contest.
  • Kendra Faustin is in her seventh season as head coach at Niagara. Faustin led Niagara to 15 victories last season, the most by a Niagara squad since 2004-05.

BATTLE OF THE BRIDGE

  • This matchup for Canisius and Niagara is second first of two Battle of the Bridge matchups between the schools in women’s hoops.
  • Canisius holds an 8-7 lead in the points this season. Each basketball meeting is worth two points.
  • The Battle of the Bridge is an all-sports competition between the schools. Points are awarded for all regular-season, conference match-ups between the schools, except for cross country, swimming and diving and golf where the points are awarded based on results in the MAAC Championship.
  • After a 21-12 victory last year, Canisius has now won three straight and five of the last six competitions. Niagara won the inaugural competition in 2006-07 and also won in 2009-10 while Canisius also won in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
  • Canisius needs 16.5 total points to retain the Cup while Niagara needs 17 points to reclaim the Cup.

PLAY4KAY

  • The Kay Yow Cancer Fund has raised more than $3.8 million since its inception in 2007, from the vision of the organization’s namesake and former NC State head women’s basketball coach, Kay Yow, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and passed away on Jan. 24, 2009.
  • The 2014 Play4Kay initiative takes place from Feb. 7-17.
  • Women’s basketball teams nationwide designate one game per season to raise awareness and funding for women’s cancer research.

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