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January 4, 2014

NU women win big at home, 78-46

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — LEWISTON — The Niagara University women’s basketball team went on a 9-0 run and pulled as far ahead as 35 points late on Friday, earning their first conference win of the season in a 78-46 rout of Saint Peter’s at the Gallagher Center.

Chanel Johnson dominated in the first half for Niagara (3-9 overall, 1-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) with 12 points, going a perfect 6-for-6 from the field. She also grabbed four rebounds.

However, it wasn’t all up to Johnson. Several other Purple Eagles players came up big on the floor, including Sylvia Maxwell, who scored five the team’s last six points of the game. 

Maxwell finished the game with 11 points, tied for second in team scoring with Meghan McGuinness, whose performance included three 3-pointers. 

Freshman Victoria Rampado scored nine points and led the team in rebounds with eight pulled down. Kelly Van Leeuwen led the team in assists with five.

After taking a 42-30 lead into halftime, the Purple Eagles opened the second half with a 10-0 run. With about four minutes remaining the team built its biggest lead of the game, 35 points. 

Aziza May led Saint Peter’s (2-10, 1-2 MAAC) in scoring with 13 points, nine of which came from 3-point range.

The margin of victory was Niagara women’s basketball’s first 30-plus point win since November 10, 2007, the night head coach Kendra Faustin made her Purple Eagles debut as her team rolled over Colgate, 78-39.

The Purple Eagles women have the chance to even their MAAC record on Sunday afternoon when they host the Iona Gaels at 2 p.m. in the Gallagher Center.

Niagara men’s basketball plays at Iona today

The Purple Eagle men are in New Rochelle today to face Iona in a MAAC matchup that begins at 2 p.m.

For Niagara (4-10, 1-2 MAAC) and Iona (5-6, 2-0 MAAC), it’s a rematch of the 2013 MAAC Tournament semifinals. Both teams won their regular season games at home, but it was the Gaels who won the postseason game, 79-73 on March 10, dashing the top-seeded Purple Eagles’ hopes for entry into the NCAA Tournament.

Niagara enters today following a 85-83 defeat at Rider on Thursday. 

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