Niagara Gazette — The Thunderwolves thundered back into the win column Thursday night, sweeping a men's and women's basketball doubleheader with visiting Mercyhurst Northeast.
Kristine Ripson (Lew-Port) scored a career-high 38 points to lead the women's team to a 72-70 victory while Jon Marsh scored the final five points of the game to lead the men's team in an 85-80 win.
Both NCCC teams were coming off losses at rival ECC on Tuesday night that snapped modest winning streaks.
"I think back-to-back losses would've really hurt us," men's coach Bill Beilein said. "Now it feels good and it feels like we are in a good spot."
The men (14-6, 5-1 WNYAC) now have a full week off to prepare for its next game against Alfred State.
The NCCC women (9-8, 2-3) hit the road to play at Loraine (Ohio) on Saturday, but do so on a high note having won three of four without top player Jessica Curry (Wilson).
"It keeps getting better and better," coach Nate Beutel said. "This one is a program-changer. We haven't beat them in over a decade. For us to battle the way we did for a full 40 minutes, I couldn't be more proud as a coach."
Ripson was one of three players who stayed on the floor for all 40 minutes. She added 13 rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks to her line. Nthunda Longwe had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Courtney Murray (Wilson) chipped in six points and 11 rebounds.
But it was Lauren Bojarski who made the key plays down the stretch, hitting her only field goal of the game, a 15-foot jumper, with 35 seconds to go and then stealing an inbounds pass and making a pair of free throws in the closing seconds.
Marsh hit a 3-pointer and made clutch free throws to lift the men's team after it had twice surrendered double-digit leads in the second half.
Marsh and Isaiah Johnson shared high-scoring honors with 26 points each. Jake Hughes (Niagara-Wheatfield) had 10 points and nine rebounds, Jordan Street (Niagara Falls) had eight points and nine rebounds and E.J. Sandoval had eight assists.
Iona 60, NU 58
Niagara post players combined for 46 points on the night but it wasn’t enough for the women’s basketball team, which lost on a last-second shot on Thursday night.
Lauren Gatto scored 18 points in the first half as the Purple Eagles (8-10, 3-4 MAAC) pulled out to a 31-27 lead at half, but an Iona layup sealed the win for the Gaels with 2.6 seconds left.