Canisius delivered a message and kept hope alive for winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference women's basketball regular-season title with one very big win Friday.
Amanda Cavo scored 20 points to lead three Golden Griffins in double figures as Canisius beat three-time MAAC champion Marist, 68-60, before a sellout crowd in the McCann Center in Poughkeepsie.
Cavo, a senior, was nearly flawless shooting the ball, canning 7 of 9 shots -- including 4 of 4 beyond the arc -- in helping the Griffs snap an eight-game losing streak to the Red Foxes, who last lost to Canisius in the 2005 MAAC Championship game. The Griffs (17-6, 9-3) pulled within 1 1/2 games of first-place Marist (20-3, 11-2) in becoming just the fifth MAAC team to win in 51 tries in Poughkeepsie since 2003-04.
"To beat Marist you've got to make shots. We did that," said coach Terry Zeh, whose Griffs shot 42 percent and 11 for 20 from three-point range. "Our team played hard for 40 minutes and they believed they could win this game."
Marie Warner had 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Brittane Russell added 14 points and six assists for Canisius.
Each team played a pretty clean game (22 combined turnovers), with the hosts making 43.6 percent of their shots but Canisius made seven more treys than the Red Foxes.
The Griffs led by 10 early in the first half and went into the intermission leading, 33-27. But Marist, which reached the Sweet 16 two years ago and was nationally ranked earlier this season, took a 56-55 lead with 4:43 left on a Rachele Fitz (21 points) layup. Canisius took the lead for good 18 seconds later on Ellie Radke's layup. Warner sank two free throws to make it, 59-56, with 3:09 left and Russell's trey with 1:27 left made it, 62-56.
In Riverdale, Niagara's losing streak reached 20 games as the Purple Eagles dropped their MAAC clash to Manhattan, 77-58, in Draddy Gym. Liz Flooks had 17 points to lead Niagara (1-22, 0-12).
The University at Buffalo men (15-5, 7-1) look to make it eight straight wins when they host Northern Illinois (6-14, 2-6) in Mid-American Conference action (2 p.m., Radio 1230 AM). St. Bonaventure (11-10, 2-6 Atlantic 10) looks to end a four-game losing streak when it faces La Salle (12-9, 3-4) in the Reilly Center (7 p.m., Radio 1300 and 1450 AM, 95.7 FM).
NU hockey wins, 4-2
Chris Moran had a goal and two assists, while goalie Juliano Pagliero made 43 saves as Niagara (13-10-2, 6-2-1) defeated Robert Morris (5-16-4, 1-6-2) , 4-2, in a College Hockey America men's game at Dwyer Arena.
Moran set up Egor Mironov's game-wining goal at 8:27 of the third period, while Pagliero stopped all 20 shots he faced in the third period for NU.
In West Point, Dave Kostuch scored the lone goal for Canisius (11-11-5, 9-9-3) in a 4-1 Atlantic Hockey loss to Army. Jay Clark made 34 saves for the Black Knights (8-16-3, 7-11-3).
Upon further review, there are 23 Western New Yorkers playing Division I hockey, as Buffalo's Michael Scheu recently joined UMass-Lowell of Hockey East in time for the second-semester portion of the River Hawks' schedule.