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Second-half surge drives NU women to victory In MAAC opener


NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – A second-half surge lifted the Niagara women's basketball team over Iona, 73-59, to open conference play on Saturday.

Game Summary 
Final Score: Niagara 73, Iona 59
Leading Scorers: Victoria Rampado (28 points), Kaylee Stroemple (15 points)
Records: (4-8, 1-0 MAAC), Iona (0-12, 0-1 MAAC)
Location: Gallagher Center – Niagara University, N.Y.

Game Recap
  • Iona dominated the first half of the game and led the Purple Eagles, 46-29, going into halftime. Niagara, however, came out strong in the third quarter, going on a 13-1 run in the first four and a half minutes and trailed the Gaels by only five points, 47-42, with a little under five and a half minutes remaining in the quarter. Twelve third-quarter points from Rampado helped bring the Purple Eagles within striking distance of Iona, 55-52, as the third quarter came to a close.
  • A 3-pointer from Maggie McIntyre to open scoring in the fourth quarter tied things up, 55-55, with over nine and a half minutes to play. One point from Stroemple and two from Rampado put the Purple Eagles ahead, 58-55, with a little under eight minutes remaining. The Gaels scored once before Niagara set off on another run, 7-0, to extend its lead, 66-57, with a little under three minutes left in the game. The Purple Eagles, who outscored Iona 20-4 in the fourth quarter, could not be caught by the Gaels and earned a win to open MAAC play.

Coach's Corner
  • "I'm really, really pleased with the team," said head coach Jada Pierce. "To face adversity and to overcome it, it's a huge thing. There's been a lot of times we've had some adversity this season and we were not able to overcome it, so this was a huge step for us today, knowing that we can do anything we put our minds to."

Inside the Numbers
  • Rampado led the Purple Eagles with a career-high 28 points. Rampado has scored in double-figures in all 12 games this season. This is the third-straight game, and sixth overall game, that Rampado has scored over 20 points. Rampado also led the team in rebounding with a team-high nine rebounds.
  • Stroemple added 15 points for the Purple Eagles, marking her tenth game scoring in double-figures.
  • Jamie Sherburne led Niagara in assists with eight and McIntyre had a team-high three steals.  
  • The Purple Eagles scored 34 points in the paint and 18 points off turnovers.
  • NU outscored the Gaels 45-13 in the second half of the game.
  • The victory over Iona is Niagara's third straight win. This is the Purple Eagles' longest win streak since the 2014-15 season, when NU won three straight games against Fairfield (Feb. 7, 2015), Siena (Feb. 12, 2015) and Marist (Feb. 14, 2015). 

Up Next
  • The Purple Eagles head to Connecticut to take on Fairfield on Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 7:00 p.m. and Quinnipiac on Thursday, Jan. 4 at 7:00 p.m.