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  • Peter Neville

Women's basketball splits away trip as Griffs look to clinch first round bye

By Peter Neville, Sports Reporter

Women's basketball split their away trip, losing narrowly to the Jaspers 54–51 on Thursday but rebounding on Saturday to defeat Quinnipiac 69–53, clinching their first 10-win MAAC campaign since 2008-09. 

With only three games remaining on the Griffs' regular-season schedule, their magic number to clinch a top-five seed and a first-round bye in next month's MAAC Championships sits at only one. A win against Iona on Thursday would secure fifth place in the MAAC. 

Against Manhattan, the Griffs led by as much as eight halfway through the third quarter before the Jaspers went on a 14–6 run for the rest of the quarter, tying it heading into the final frame. “I think we started the game really well,” said Mackenzie Amalia. “We were moving the ball well and we looked really clean offensively and defensively, but in the second half they came out with more intensity, more fire and just out toughed us.” 

In the game against Manhattan, the Griffs were led in scoring by Athina Lexa and Sisi Eleko, who scored 15 and 12 points, respectively. Despite the Griffs shooting only 34.5% from the field and 30.4% from three against the Jaspers, Lexa and Eleko put up solid numbers. Senior Mackenzie Amalia once again led the Griffs in assists, tallying six assists in the game.

Against Quinnipiac over the weekend, the Griffs bounced back from their loss against Manhattan, winning 69–53 and completing their season sweep of the Bobcats for the first time in program history. “We played a great game as a team,” Amalia said. “We punched them first and held it for the full 40 minutes.”

Athina Lexa led scoring again for the Griffs with 18 points, going a perfect eight-for-eight from the freethrow line, while Canisius as a team shot 90.5% from the charity stripe. Sisi Eleko continued her dominance on the glass for the Griffs, collecting 16 rebounds and moving into sole possession of second place for the most rebounds by a sophomore in a single season, needing only seven more to surpass Shauna Geronzin (1998-2002) in first place. 

Canisius hosts Iona Thursday night at 6 p.m. as the Griffs look to sweep the Gaels for

the first time since the 2018-19 season on Donor Appreciation Night.

Photo courtesy of Chloe Breen

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