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Niagara relies on post play Wilson nets 20 points to lead Purple Eagles

The experts say this is the year of the post player in women's college basketball.
Traditionally, that hasn't been a strong suit for Niagara as the program was built around versatile guards.

But first-year head coach Kendra Faustin has brought over some of the best principles of post play from her time with Canisius -- and junior forward Sarah Wilson has been an immediate beneficiary.

Wilson had a career-high 20 points, adding seven rebounds and solid defense to help Niagara (2-0) to an 87-76 win over Youngstown State in front of 559 at the Gallagher Center on Tuesday night.
It was a good day all around for the Niagara forwards as Sara Prybyl added 15 points with six rebounds.

Getting the posts active in the offense, including working high-low plays and rolling open after setting screens, has become a trademark of post players for Canisius, where Faustin was an assistant coach for three years.

She brought the same mentality to Niagara where both Wilson and Prybyl were active participants in the offense, taking an immediate liking to the new style and pace.
"I shot more threes in previous years but I like playing in the post better," said Wilson, who shot 10 of 14 from the field and did not take one three-pointer. "We have more opportunities to score in the post and we're rolling to the basket with a lot of different looks. . . . We were doing a high-low and every time I turned around and looked no one was on me."

"We have stressed being active in the post and talked a lot about sealing," Faustin said. "The Sarah you saw today is what we see in practice every day."

The play in the paint, and the offense shooting 54.1 percent for the game helped alleviate Niagara's weakness -- turnovers. In the first half Niagara committed 20, giving Youngstown State easy points in transition and more possessions. The shaky ball handling contributed to the Penguins (0-2) holding a 42-39 halftime lead.
Niagara finished with 30 turnovers.


>Bona improves to 3-0

St. Bonaventure is on a three-game winning streak to start the season after holding off Albany for a 64-62 win at the Reilly Center in Olean.

Bona was up by as many as 15 in the second half, but Albany (0-2) came back and took a lead with 23 seconds left to play. Dana Mitchell drove the length of the floor to put Bona up, 63-62, with 18 seconds left to play. A free throw by Cara Gustafson sealed the win.

"I think once we went up by double digits in the second half, we kind of relaxed and let a solid Albany club back in the game," Bona coach Jim Crowley said. "Our poor free-throw shooting and missed layups didn't help us out as well."

Armelia Horton had 16 points for the Bonnies with 12 coming in the second half, while Erica Schiefen had a career-high 14 points with eight rebounds. Mitchell also had 16 points -- her third straight game in double figures.


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