Niagara Gazette

Niagara U.

February 19, 2010

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Konieczka's shot lifts Niagara over Canisius

BUFFALO — Jaclyn Konieczka has made just two 3-pointers in her senior season, and none in her first three years at Niagara. She’s also never hit a game-winning shot, at any level, from any spot on the floor.

Before Friday night, that is.

When the final play broke down and Konieczka found herself open at the top of the key, she squared up and let it fly, rattling in a 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left that gave Niagara a 49-46 win over rival Canisius.

“I know I can make those,” she said. “We practice those every day.”

Coach Kendra Faustin said the play she drew up during a timeout with 13.7 seconds left called for the Purple Eagles to get something going toward the basket, but when the ball was swung to the 6-foot-1 post player, she had no issue with Konieczka putting up the shot.

“When they’re confident, I’m confident,” Faustin said.

Niagara (12-14, 9-6) dug out of an early 14-point hole to win for the ninth time in 11 games, and claim sole possession of third place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings.

“We led for the wrong 39 minutes and 57 seconds,” said Canisius coach Terry Zeh. “We needed to lead for the three seconds they led.”

Canisius (10-16, 5-10) was up 44-35 with nine minutes to go, but the Purple Eagles closed the game on a 14-2 run.

Rachele Folino scored all of her seven points during the finishing kick. She started the run with a layup, and then scored five points in a span of 1:14, forcing the game’s only two ties.

With the score knotted at 46 with 1:18 left to play, Niagara didn’t allow Canisius to get a good look at the basket for 25 seconds. After a timeout, Micayla Drysdale threw up on an off-balance 3-pointer that missed badly and Folino grabbed the rebounds.

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