Niagara Gazette — Niagara University women’s basketball got their two-game road swing off to a winning start, defeating the Manhattan Jaspers in overtime Thursday night, 71-67.
Niagara jumped out to a 61-56 lead with 4:22 remaining in the second half but the hosts whittled that lead away in the following two minutes of play.
Taylor McKay put the Purple Eagles ahead 63-61 with her jumper with 2:16 to go, but the Jaspers responded with Shayna Ericksen’s game-tying bucket with 1:08 remaining.
Both teams missed several shots, including Ericksen’s jumper with seven seconds remaining and Niagara player Val McQuade’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
In overtime, Kelly Van Leeuwen’s free throws proved to be the game-winning points, while Chanel Johnson hit a layup to help Niagara pull away.
Johnson led the Purple Eagles in scoring with 15 points. McKay was second with 14 points. Johnson, McKay and Victoria Rampado grabbed eight rebounds apiece.
Sam Lapszynski had seven rebounds and blocked three shots.
The women (6-12 overall, 4-5 MAAC) next face Marist on Saturday at 7 p.m in Poughkeepsie.
Men’s hoops team hosts Marist tonight
The men’s basketball team will hope to rebound from Wednesday’s loss to archrivals Canisius when they host the Marist Red Foxes tonight at the Gallagher Center, beginning at 7 p.m.
Marist comes to Niagara with an overall record of 6-12 and a 3-5 record in the MAAC.
Niagara (5-15 overall, 2-7 MAAC) returns home after winning just one of three games in their recent road swing. That only win came against Fairfield on January 16.
The Gallagher Center has been more friendly to the Purple Eagles, where they’ve won three of five game played at home.
Tonight’s game will be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and broadcast on the radio on ESPN1520 AM. The game will also be available online via Purple Eagles All-Access, found at purpleeagles.com.