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  • Peter Neville

Griffs clinch first round bye, look to avenge recent loss in Battle of The Bridge

By: Peter Neville

After losing to Iona 71-58 last Thursday, the Canisius women's basketball team rebounded over the weekend by defeating Rider 73-62, clinching a first-round bye in next week's MAAC Championship. 

The win against Iona marked the first time that the Griffs will finish the season with a winning record in MAAC play since the 2008-09 season. 

As the team celebrated senior day, the Griffs were led by multiple outgoing upperclassmen. Graduate student Tihanna Fulton and senior Mackenzie Amalia spearheaded the team's effort, with Fulton scoring a career-high 15 points and Amalia contributing 11 points and four assists, helping take down the Broncs on saturday. 

“We came in really looking to kind of get back at Rider from the first time we played them,” said Fulton. “Just feeling a lot more prepared the second time around and I think we capitalized on a lot of things we didn't get to the first time.” 

Once again, Canisius was led in scoring by Sisi Eleko, who recorded her 16th double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds, placing her third in the country among sophomores. Athina Lexa also extended her streak of scoring 10 or more points for the fourth consecutive game against the Broncs, finishing with 19 points and 5 rebounds. 

As they look ahead, the Griffs have just one more game left on their regular-season schedule: a showdown against Niagara, in the final rendition of the Battle of the Bridge this season. In their previous encounter with the Purple Eagles, Canisius struggled at home, committing 26 turnovers and losing 65-55. 

“I think we just have to go back and watch the film and see where we can learn from our mistakes in the first game,” said Mackenzie Amalia. “Looking for moments where we can kind of capitalize off of their intensity and kind of use it to our advantage is something we are focusing on.”

Canisius faces second overall Niagara in their final game of the season this Saturday at the Gallagher Center in Lewiston, NY at 2 p.m.

Photo Courtesy of Go Griffs

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