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Canisius women pull off stunning upset in MAAC Tournament

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Canisius Siena Women's basketball

Canisius guard Dani Haskell makes a three-point basket against Siena during the first half at the Koessler Center on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. 

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Erika Joseph’s three-point play with 48 seconds left gave Canisius a six-point lead and the Golden Griffins went on to upset No. 6 seed Monmouth 71-65 on Tuesday in the first round of the Metro Athletic Athletic Conference women’s basketball tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

Canisius (6-24), the first No. 11 seed to win a game in the MAAC women’s tournament, will take on No. 3 seed Manhattan at noon Thursday.

The Jaspers (19-10) have beaten the Golden Griffins twice this season, prevailing 85-63 in December and 86-62 on Feb. 17.

Canisius, which has now won two games in a row, led 16-14 after one quarter and 34-31 at halftime. The Falcons went ahead 39-38 on a layup by Brianna Livingston, and Lucy Thomas converted two layups to make it 43-38.

But Dani Haskell, who scored 26 points, made a layup and Cheyenne Stubbs drained a 3-pointer to knot the game with 2:32 left in the third quarter.

Jen Louro’s layup gave Monmouth the lead again, but Canisius’ Shaunae Brown hit a 3-pointer as the Golden Griffins went ahead again 46-45. After Livingston’s free throw tied the game, Kayla Jackson and and Haskell made layups as Canisius closed the quarter leading 50-46.

The Golden Griffins pushed the lead to nine in the fourth quarter before the Falcons battled back, trimming the lead to 65-62 on Louro’s 3-pointer with 1:59 remaining in the game.

Joseph made a layup and was fouled with 48 seconds left, and she made the free throw to extend the lead to 68-62. The Golden Griffins held on from there.

Brown scored 14 points and Athina Lexa added 10. Haskell added five rebounds and six assists, and Jackson grabbed a team-high seven rebounds for Canisius.

Stella Clark led Monmouth with 19 points and six assists. Lucy Thomas scored 16 points and had six rebounds off the bench. Louro and Livingston each added 10 points.

Niagara, the No. 4 seed, opens tournament play Thursday against No. 5 Siena at 2:30 p.m.

Canisius men eliminated

Fairfield opened the second half with a 14-3 run and pulled away to win 72-50 and eliminate Canisius from the MAAC men’s basketball tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

The No. 10-seeded Golden Griffins finish the season with an 11-21 record. The No. 7-seeded Stags (15-17) advance to Wednesday's quarterfinals against St. Peters.

In the first half, Canisius trailed 18-15 with 5:21 to go before the Stags closed with a 13-5 run to take a 31-20 lead. Zach Crisler, Taj Benning and Jesus Cruz made 3-pointers during the spree.

The Golden Griffins’ only lead of the game came when Jordan Henderson made a jumper for the first basket of the contest.

Canisius didn’t have a player score in double figures and was led by Akrum Ahemed with nine points. Xzavier Long pulled down 10 rebounds. Both Ahemed and Long came off the bench.

Fairfield was led by Cruz’s 19 points. Benning added 15 and Caleb Green scored 10.

Niagara, the No. 5 seed, opens tournament play at 9:30 p.m. Thursday against No. 4 Monmouth.

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