Share this article

print logo

NU WOMEN AVENGE LOSS TO MANHATTAN

The last time Niagara's women's basketball team met Manhattan, the Purple Eagles left New York with a 21-point loss.

But that was just the second conference game of the season and coach Bill Agronin didn't think his team understood just how much potential it had to be a legitimate contender in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

The Purple Eagles are true believers now, avenging December's loss with a 75-64 win in front of 241 Gallagher Center fans Friday.

Niagara (10-8, 7-2) is tied for second place in the MAAC with St. Peter's (7-2), which beat conference-leading Fairfield (9-2), 73-62, Friday. Niagara easily handled St. Peter's in their last game, an 85-67 win at Gallagher last Sunday.

Manhattan, which won its first seven games of the season, fell to 4-5 in the league, 11-6 overall.

"When we went to Manhattan, I don't think we believed in how good we are," Agronin said. "We came after Christmas break and they started to believe it . . . we started to have confidence and stepped up the defense."

Though the Lady Jaspers had four players score in double figures, led by Brita Hinkle's career-high 17, Niagara held them to just 32 percent shooting from the field while 21 of Manhattan's 64 points came at the free-throw line.

"It was a combination of Niagara playing really well and us hitting an offensive lull," said Lady Jasper and former UB coach Sal Buscaglia. "We're a young team (with three freshmen starters) and we're going to have highs and valleys."

The tone was set five minutes into the game when Amy Getman was fouled on a circus-style layup, sending the ball straight up in the air. It unexpectedly dropped in the basket, giving the junior center a three-point play.

Niagara then caught fire from the three-point line, hitting three long distance shots in a two-minute span en route to an early 10-point lead.

The Purple Eagles led by as many as 23 points, paced by senior guard Sheryl Klick's 19 points and nine rebounds. Getman and senior forward Meaghan Coleman added 17 and 11 points, respectively.

Klick continued her hot three-point shooting streak, hitting three of five from long range. In the last six games, she's shot 53.9 percent from the field after starting the year hitting just 33 percent.

"I struggled early in the season and that's something coach really got on me about," Klick said about her shooting. "I knew it would come around . . . when I get the ball, I look at the defense, and how they're playing me. I look for (defenders) with their hands down. That's my key to shoot."

Niagara takes its two-game win streak into Iona at 6:30 p.m. Sunday (Empire), followed by a rematch at St. Peter's on Monday.

There are no comments - be the first to comment