Niagara and Canisius kick off a key weekend in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference women’s basketball with home games Friday night.

Canisius hosts Marist at 7 in the Koessler Center. Marist (9-6) is the defending conference champion and rolls into Western New York undefeated (4-0) in MAAC play. The Red Foxes, who have won the last eight meetings with the Golden Griffins, are led by senior Elizabeth Beynnon (11.0 ppg).

The Griffs are 3-1 in the MAAC after winning two road games last weekend. Canisius (6-9) has earned its wins on defense, holding conference opponents to just a 32.1 shooting percentage from the field.

At the Gallagher Center, Niagara will host Rider at 7.

The Purple Eagles and Rider both enter the contest with 7-8 overall marks and 2-2 conference records. Niagara has won four of its last five games at home. Lauren Gatto leads the Purple Eagles in scoring (14.2) and rebounding (6.2).

MyNeshia McKenzie is averaging 14.2 points a game for Rider.

The teams switch opponents for Sunday afternoon games.

Hockey hits the road

Niagara and Canisius travel to Massachusetts for weekend series in Atlantic Hockey as the Purple Eagles look to continue their unbeaten streak and the Griffs to continue to move up in the standings.

Niagara plays Holy Cross in Worcester. The Purple Eagles are 12-0-1 in Atlantic Hockey and 13-3-4 overall. Ranked 15th by, Niagara has been in the national poll for eight straight weeks.

Holy Cross is 7-4-2 in conference play and 11-7-2 overall.

Canisius moved into a three-way tie for third place in Atlantic Hockey with its 7-4-2 conference mark (8-9-5 overall). The Griffs will play Bentley in Watertown. The Falcons are 6-6-1 in conference play, 8-10-1 overall.