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Marist earns first bid to NCAA Tournament

3/9/2004 - Marist Red Foxes

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Stephanie Del Preore scored 30 points Sunday
to lead Marist to a 76-74 victory over Canisius for the school's
first berth in the women's NCAA Tournament.

Maureen Magarity added 18 points and Del Preore had 16 rebounds
for the Red Foxes (20-10) in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
championship game. Jenel Stevens scored 24 for Canisius (19-11).

Canisius overcame a 13-point second-half deficit. Stevens scored
on a baseline drive to cut Marist's lead to 73-72 with 54 seconds
left to cap a 12-4 run. With six seconds to go, Red Foxes guard
Nina Vecchio missed one of two free throws to put Marist ahead
76-74.

Canisius' last chance to tie ended when Becky Zak's 12-foot
running jumper fell short and into Del Preore's hands at the
buzzer.

Both schools were making their first appearance in the MAAC
tournament final.

The win capped a strong season for the Red Foxes who had gone
1-6 in MAAC tournament play before this year. Del Preore was
honored as the tournament's most valuable player.