Make it five wins in a row for the Niagara College women's basketball program, as Sunday, February 12th saw the Knights defeat the visiting St. Clair Saints 63-56 at the Welland Athletic Centre. The win moves the Knights to 12-5 on the season, and leapfrogs the team over the Saints (11-5) into a tie for second place in the OCAA West Division with the Mohawk Mountaineers.
"Today was a very tough and physical game that we are very pleased to have won" said Niagara College women's basketball head coach Mike Beccaria. "I think that this game was a significant win for the program and a very positive outcome that we can build on."
The Knights leaned heavily on four veteran Niagara Region standouts in the victory. All four of Mary Ingribelli (St. Catharines, 19 points), Alyssa McCabe (Niagara Falls, 14 points), Courtney McPherson (Welland, 13 points), and Brooke-Lyn Murdoch (Welland, 12 points) finished the game in double digit scoring.
McPherson, a 2015-16 OCAA All-Star finished the game with a season high 18 rebounds, giving the Confederation grad four consecutive double-doubles. The five-foot-eleven workhorse now has 10 double-doubles on the season. She is averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds per game in 2016-17.
After trailing 27-17 midway through the second quarter, the Knights went on a red hot 19-2 run to close out the half. The lone blemish being a two-point basket at the buzzer to close out the quarter. The Knights led 39-29 at the half, and weathered the Saints comeback attempt in the third. The Niagara side led by 10 for the majority of the second half eventually securing the crucial late season victory.
The Knights have just one game remaining in the OCAA regular season. The team will travel to London, on Friday February 17th to take on the Fanshawe Falcons (11-5). The two teams have been jockeying for playoff positioning since the mid-season break. A win for either side will ensure a home court playoff game, while a loss could me a tough road game. Tip-off for Friday's matchup is set for 6:00pm.