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Canisius, Niagara post victories

Canisius outscored Saint Peter's, 27-3, over a 10-minute stretch in the second half and ran away for a 71-61 victory over the Peahens at the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City, N.J., in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball.

Meanwhile, in Riverdale, Niagara's women's team (9-6, 1-3) broke into the MAAC win column with a 70-51 victory over Manhattan in Draddy Gym.

Megan Lyte, Abby Radunske and Amanda Cavo each scored eight points during the Canisius explosion, which turned a 39-38 lead to a 66-41 advantage over 10 minutes and 10 seconds. The rally closed with a 13-0 run.

Lyte led Canisius with 18 points, the 54th double-figures points performance of her career. Cavo had 14 and Radunske 13. The victory, the fourth in five consecutive road games, evened the Golden Griffins' MAAC record at 2-2. Canisius is 10-5 overall.

Canisius shot 45.3 (15 of 33) in the first half and broke out to a 35-25 lead.

Saint Peter's took an early 16-12 lead, but the Griffs retaliated with an 11-2 run and extended their advantage to 29-21. Cavo hit with time running out to give the Griffs their 10-point halftime cushion.

The Peahens came out on a 9-1 run in the second half but never could gain the lead again.

It was the fourth win in the last six visits to the Yanitelli Center for the Griffs.

Niagara's win at Manhattan was led by a career-high 18-point outing by junior Sarah Wilson, who led four double-digit scorers for the Purple Eagles.

Wilson came off the bench for her 18 points. She was 8 of 11 from the field and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Senior Shaunna Ambrose and freshman Jennifer McNamee each scored 14 points while junior Michelle Manfredi collected 12 points and also had eight boards.

"We finally played the way we are capable of playing," Niagara coach Bill Agronin said. "We had good production off the bench, and Sarah Wilson came to play tonight."

In the first half, Niagara opened a 14-5 lead and put the advantage to 17 points, 30-13, on a Wilson layup with 3:29 left in the half. Wilson had 10 first-half points.

The Purple Eagles built a 38-18 lead in less than two minutes of the second half. The lead was 54-35 with 7:38 remaining. Manhattan got no closer than 13 after that.

Niagara shot 49 percent and outrebounded Manhattan, 38-33.

FOOTBALL: Former University at Buffalo tight end Chad Upshaw will compete in the Inta Juice North-South All-Star Classic on Saturday in Houston. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.

Upshaw, who had more receiving yards than any tight end in UB history, participated in the Magnolia Grid-Iron Classic in Jackson, Miss., on Dec. 23.

WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Rocco Lucci was relieved of his duties as Niagara coach, NU Athletics Director Ed McLaughlin announced Monday. Lucci posted a career record of 66-142 in eight seasons at the university. A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately, according to the announcement.

MEN'S HOCKEY: Niagara (13-6-3) climbed to No. 17 in the lastest Poll after a pair of wins last weekend over Colgate and RIT. It's the highest ranking the Purple Eagles ever have received from the 10-year online poll.

Niagara also had a three-spot jump in the Inside college Hockey Online poll, from No. 18 to No. 15.

The PairWise Computer Rankings have the Purple Eagles at No. 17.

Niagara will face major opposition this weekend in a two-game series at the University of Denver.

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