Niagara celebrates (James P.McCoy/Buffalo News)
Niagara University got a go-ahead three-point shot from point guard Jamie Sherburne with 1:15 to go Thursday and scored a 65-64 victory over Canisius College.
The victory in the pre-quarterfinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament advanced the Purple Eagles to a quarterfinal game against top-seeded Quinnipiac at noon Friday.
Niagara got 22 points from junior guard Taylor McKay. She was averaging 8.4 a game.
Sherburne, a sophomore from New Hampshire, hit her three-pointer to give Niagara a 65-62 lead. Canisius got a bucket from Maria Welch to pull within one with 59 seconds left.
The Griffs had two shots to win in the final 10 seconds but neither dropped.
Canisius had beaten Niagara twice during the regular season.
Niagara improved to 8-22 overall. Canisius ended its season at 13-17.
Niagara got 15 points from Kaylee Stroemple and 11 from Sam Lapszynski. Canisius got 20 from Welch and 13 from senior forward Crystal Porter.
The matchup was a war of attrition. Canisius lost starter Emily Weber to a season-ending knee injury before the season started. The Griffs lost three other starters to injury during the campaign.
Niagara lost all-conference forward Victoria Rampado to a season-ending shoulder injury after just three games. The Purple Eagles had just eight healthy scholarship players.