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  • Colton Pankiewicz

Women’s Basketball’s run comes to an end following semifinal loss

By Colton Pankiewicz, Sports Editor

Canisius saw their season end on Friday after a 77–64 final in the MAAC semifinal round to #25 Fairfield.

The Golden Griffins finished the year 11–9 vs. conference opponents, playing as the five seed in the tournament, their best season since 2009. 

“[I] Could not be any more proud of our team and their fight throughout this game. I think it was a tough game obviously you have an incredible opponent in Fairfield. They’re top 25 in the country for a reason,” Canisius head coach Sahar Nusseibeh said.

After having 24 points in the win yesterday, Fairfield bottled up Sisi Eleko, holding her to four points. The Stags were effective at containing the first-team All–Maac selection in their last meeting as well, holding her to a season–low of three points. Eleko fouled out in the fourth quarter after receiving a technical foul and played the role as coach for the remainder of the game. 

Canisius went into halftime down 40–24 after a 22 point quarter from Fairfield. Nusseibeh’s team went on to outscore the Stags 40–37 in the second half but never found their groove for long enough to make it a nailbiter after being handed the 16–point deficit at half. 

“We challenged our team at half to have focus and fight and i think they did just that. I think the last 20 minutes of the game they gave everything they had– we had some serious moments of adversity– and again one of the bet things a coach can see is when adversity hits, that huddle gets tighter,” said Nusseibeh. 

Athina Lexa led Canisius with 19 points, while Brooklyn Thrash followed with 12 points, and Giana Hernandez–Boulden's 11 points rounded out the double digit scorers for the Griffs. Janelle Brown led the Stags in scoring with 19 points in the win.

Four of the five Canisius starters are expected to return for the 2024–2025 season with the exception of Grace Heeps, who is a graduate student that transferred to the program after playing at Albany. 

“My prior school I played with a lot of veterans, coming in [to Canisius] with babies. It's amazing to see how much growth they can make in such a little amount of time.. This was one year, most of this team has two to three years left. I cannot wait to see where they go and also be back and experience it first hand,” said Heeps.

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