Both Niagara’s and Canisius’ women’s basketball teams tried to win games for the kids Thursday. Both lacked finishing kicks to send fans young and old home happy.
Quinnipiac used a 29-14 fourth quarter and pulled away in the final minute for a comeback 71-64 victory over the Purple Eagles before a Kids Day crowd of 2,100 at the Gallagher Center.
Aryn McClure’s layup off a Paula Strautmane assist with 46 seconds left broke a 64-64 tie to give the Bobcats (12-3, 5-0 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) the lead for good. Strautmane led Quinnipiac with 15 points as the winners shot 47.1 percent from the floor and made 13 of 14 free throws in the final quarter to overcome an eight-point deficit.
Niagara started off with a 7-0 run in the opening two minutes en route to a 21-11 first-quarter lead.
Kaylee Stroemple scored 14 of her career-high 26 points in the first half as the Purple Eagles led 34-26 at the intermission. She also had seven rebounds and four assists. Victoria Rampado had 12 points and nine rebounds, while Morgan Baughman added 11 points for Niagara (4-10, 1-4), losers of six straight.
The Purple Eagles face Marist at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Red Foxes come into the game off of Thursday’s 85-74 triumph over Canisius before 2,196 on Kids Day at the Koessler Center.
Marist (6-9, 3-2 in MAAC) used a 48-point second half to overcome a 40-32 halftime deficit. Maura Fitzpatrick scored a career-high 28 points to lead five players in double figures for the Red Foxes. Kendall Baab scored a career-high 13 points.
Sara Hinriksdottir led the Griffins with 18 points and four rebounds, while Margret Halfdanadottir (15), Saliah Serrette (12) and Lauren D’Hont (10) also scored in double-figures for Canisius.
The Griffs (3-11, 2-3) host Quinnipiac at 2 p.m. Saturday.