Niagara women’s basketball team found itself minutes away from losing their fifth straight game on Thursday night.
Down 59-55 with 3:47 left in the fourth quarter to Saint Peter’s, the Purple Eagles rattled off an 8-0 run to take the lead and earn the victory, 68-64.
Jai Moore made just three of her 17 shot attempts but scored when it mattered most.
Moore sparked the Niagara run with a jump shot and three free throws to tie and take the lead for the Purple Eagles with 3:15 remaining on the clock. It was Niagara’s first lead since 2:10 in the first quarter when they were up 15-13.
What didn’t help the Peacocks was their fouling. They finished with 25 personal fouls and had two starters foul out. Niagara held a free throw attempt advantage of 30-12.
In the final minutes of the fourth, Niagara attempted 13 shots from the line, making nine, and making the lead insurmountable for Saint Peter’s.
Throughout the fourth, Niagara outscored the Peacocks 23-13, their best scoring period of the night.
The Purple Eagles packed the paint and placed an emphasis on rebounding, finishing with 51 total and 22 offensive. Emerald Ekpiteta led Niagara in each with six defensive and six offensive rebounds.
Ekpiteta also recorded a team-high 14 points.
After beating Fairfield last Saturday, Canisius played MAAC leader Marist, losing 86-72.
The Red Foxes built up their lead in the first half with an opening quarter final score of 20-16, and outscored Canisius again in the second 25-12.
The Griffs shot decent in the first half but couldn’t slow down Marist, which had 13 assists on 18 made shots.
The second half was friendlier to Canisius. They shot an even 50% from the field, including a seven of 14 clip on 3s.
Danielle Sanderlin finished with 14 in the second half and 19 total.
The Griffs outscored Marist, 44-41, in the second half.
St. Bonaventure went on the road and lost to VCU 56-47 after rattling off two straight wins at home.
The Bonnies are 0-10 on the road this season.
Asianae Johnson finished with 17 points, followed by Deja Francis with 12.
Neither team shot particularly well but the Rams finished with 12 more makes from the free throw line. VCU’s Tara Reed had the same amount of shots made from the line (10) as St. Bonaventure attempted as a team.
Friday night’s men’s basketball games feature UB on the road, Canisius at home, and St. Bonaventure at home.
The Bulls play at Toledo and are coming off their much-needed bye week after close losses to Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan, and nearly blowing a lead to Central Michigan last Friday.
Buffalo has won four straight games against Toledo. Last season, UB beat the Rockets at Savage Arena,88-82, and at Alumni Arena when they dropped 110 points on them.
Even though they are conference rivals, this game will be a little more familiar for UB assistant coach Angres Thorpe, who coached under Toledo coach Tod Kowalczyk for three seasons.
The game tips off at 6:30 p.m. on CBSSN.
Canisius’ Valentine’s day matchup will come against Monmouth, just a few days after a road loss to Niagara.
The game at the Koessler Athletic Center at 7 p.m. will mark the second time the two teams have player each other this season.
In the previous matchup, Monmouth defeated Canisius 85-64 on Jan. 10.
St. Bonaventure will host Davidson in a nationally televised game on ESPN2 , starting at 7 p.m.
The Bonnies are 9-3 in conference play, the best start for the program in the A-10 since 2016. Before that the last time was the 1982-83 season.
The Bonnies, who haven’t lost since Jan. 25, are on a five-game win streak after Tuesday’s win at Saint Joseph’s.