POUGHKEEPSIE – Senior Zaria Shazer totaled 20 points, nine rebounds, and three assists to push Marist women’s basketball past MAAC foe Niagara in a thrilling 61-60 victory Saturday afternoon inside of McCann Arena.
Kiara Fisher added 14 points, six rebounds, and six assists, while Catie Cunningham contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds to help Marist earn its second MAAC victory in a row.
With the victory, Marist improves to 4-11 on the campaign and 2-3 in the MAAC, while Niagara falls to 6-10 overall and 3-3 in conference play on the 2023-24 season.
The two sides were even through the first five minutes of the contest, with both teams playing to a 6-6 tie into the media timeout.
However, out of the media timeout Niagara closed the frame with a 10-3 run to carry a 16-9 lead into the second quarter.
The Purple Eagles used the first 3:15 of the second quarter to outscore the Red Foxes 10-6, forcing Marist to call a timeout trailing 26-15 with 6:15 left in the first half. Out of the timeout, Niagara scored five straight points to take a 31-15 lead. However, the Red Foxes responded with a swift 10-0 run, capped by a three-point play from Kiara Fisher to trim the Marist deficit to 31-25.
Niagara did not bow out, closing the half with a 6-2 run to take 37-27 lead into halftime.
The Red Foxes used the opening 6:24 of the second half to outscore Niagara 10-6 to trim the Marist deficit to 43-36. The Red Foxes continued to chip away slowly, cutting the
Niagara lead to 45-41 entering the fourth.
The Purple Eagles used the opening 2:30 of the fourth quarter to go on a 7-2 run, extending their lead to 52-43 with 7:30 left in regulation. The Red Foxes responded with a 7-2 run of their own, capped by a Jackie Piddock three-pointer from the corner to bring the score within four heading to the media timeout.
Immediately out of the timeout, the Red Foxes scored back-to-back buckets courtesy of Zaria Shazer to knot the contest at 54-54, forcing a Niagara timeout.
After falling behind 56-55, Kiara Fisher nailed a three from the far wing to give Marist a two-point lead with 2:11 remaining in the contest.
Niagara was able to tie the contest at 60-60 with 23.7 seconds remaining in regulation, setting up a game-winning situation for the Red Foxes. Catie Cunningham drew a foul under the basket and with 10.2 seconds remaining, drained a free throw to put the Red Foxes up one. The Red Foxes were able to get a stop on the other end, securing the 61-60 victory over Niagara.