Niagara 73, Louisiana Tech 67
Niagara (1-5) came into Sunday's contest against Louisiana Tech (4-2) winless after a rough start to the season including a loss to nationally ranked Big Ten power Maryland. After their first game in the tournament, a hard-fought 68-52 loss to Louisiana, Niagara regrouped and came out fast and strong against Louisiana Tech Sunday morning.
“It feels really good,” said head coach Jada Pierce about breaking into the win column. “We’ve been working hard and we’ve been getting better but you know it’s hard to see the real results if you’re not getting the W….It was nice to finally get a breakthrough today because we have gotten better. Yeah we were 0-5 but each game we took steps forward.”
While the Purple Eagles trailed the Lady Techsters by one point, 20-19, after the first quarter, they quickly overcame the slim deficit to take over and went into halftime with a 36-34 lead.
Niagara continued the trend in the third quarter, outscoring their opponent 20-14. The margin was enough to help them withstand a Louisiana Tech rally in the fourth quarter and come out with a win.
Victoria Rampado was on fire for the Purple Eagles as she led all scorers with 27 points and six rebounds. Her team returns home to face another tournament participant, Cleveland State on Friday.
Louisiana Tech left the tournament, with a win and a loss, defeating Penn State 71-69, Friday. The Lady Techsters stay on the road to face 2017 South Point Shootout team Texas on Thursday in Austin.
Victoria Rampado 27 points, 6 rebounds
Jamie Sherburne 16 points, 4 rebounds
Kaylee Stroemple 12 points, 4 rebounds
Kharysma Bryant 10 points
Alexus Malone 16 points, 9 rebounds
Kierra Anthony 10 points, 4 rebounds
Anna McLeod 12 points, 3 rebounds
Cleveland State 54, Louisiana 45
Cleveland State (3-2) ended the tournament on a high note with a win over Louisiana (2-4). The contest was a fitting end to the tournament as the game was a competitive matchup as Cleveland State did not begin to pull away for good until the last minute. The teams scored 12 points each in the first quarter while Cleveland State had the edge in the second, outscoring Louisiana 17-12.
The Ragin Cajuns had the advantage in the third quarter but the effort of the Vikings down the stretch helped them outscore their opponent 17-10 in the last minute. It was the first win of the tournament for Cleveland State after falling to Saint Louis on Friday. Louisiana defeated Niagara Saturday morning.
The Vikings head home to host Eastern Illinois on Tuesday. Louisiana will host last year’s national championship runner-up, Mississippi State on Wednesday.
Khayla Livingston 18 points, 5 assists
Ashanti Abshaw 16 points, 4 rebounds
Olivia Voskuhl 11 points, 9 rebounds
Malachi Williams 15 points, 3 rebounds
Kimberly Burton 10 points, 8 rebounds