Canisius traveled to Poughkeepsie, NY on Saturday looking to sweep the season series against Marist and snap their longest losing streak going back to last year.
In a game where neither team ever led by more than six points, the Golden Griffins and the Red Foxes traded blows back and forth as Marist came away with the lead after the first frame. Somehow, Canisius came out on top in the second despite both teams scoring in the single digits.
Coming out of half up 23–22, the Griffs and Red Foxes continued their close battle with seven lead changes through the first six minutes of the second half.
Marist held a three point lead with the score sitting at 38–35, before freshmen Adrien LaMora drained a three-pointer that knotted things up at 38 to end the third quarter.
Through the fourth quarter, gritty layups by the two of Canisius’ backcourt bright spots, Cheyenne Stubbs, and Dani Haskell, tied and gave the blue and gold the lead that they rode for the rest of regulation.
When the buzzer sounded, Canisius celebrated their first win since Jan. 10 and their best defensive performance since Jan. 10 of 2019, when Canisius held Albany to just 40 points.
The Griffs were led offensively by Stubbs who led the team with 12 points and seven rebounds and defensively by fifth year senior Vannessa Garrelts, who finished with five steals.
Sahar Nusseibeh’s team returned home against cross town rival, Niagara, looking to win back to back games for the first time since 2022.
In a physical, high-intensity matchup Niagara came out of the gates blazing with sisters, Angel and Aaliyah Parker making consecutive baskets to make it 5–0.
The Purple Eagles continued their run, going up 19–9 before Cheyenne Stubbs continued her hot hand, dropping nine points in the first quarter and adding another five in the second to make things close.
The Griffs walked into the locker room trailing just 39–35, which is an improvement as they trailed by 15 at half the last time these two teams went head-to-head.
Canisius hung around with the third ranked team in the MAAC and thanks to Lydia Gattozzi’s block and two points at the line, the underdogs stood just two points behind the favored Purple Eagle team.
A hoard of threes, including a halfcourt buzzer beater by Angel Parker, put the Griffs into a 12-point deficit, trailing 57–45 after the third quarter.
Niagara’s bruising identity proved too much for Canisius, who outscored the Golden Griffins 18–13 in the final frame and took the contest 75–58.
“I feel like they did a really good job speeding us up, occasionally jumping our ball handlers, and forcing them to make tough decisions,” said Canisius head coach Sahar Nusseibeh. “I do think we made progress from the first game to the second game and I think the mentality we entered this first half with says a lot”
Canisius is set to tip off next at home against Fairfield where they look to get their second win in the last three games.