Niagara Women's Hoops Exceeding Expectations
via: Eduardo Villalpando / VAVEL

The Niagara Purple Eagles are making some noise in the national scene of college basketball after their impressive displays during the first couple weeks into the new season. 

Although they have dropped six out of their first nine games, Niagara has shown some areas of great potential, especially on the defensive side of the ball. 

The team coached by Jada Pierce are third in the nation with 14.6 steals per game while ranking fifth in offensive rebounds (172) and forced turnovers (24.8) per game. 

Parker stepping up

One of NU's most important players this year has been G Angel Parker. The Junior, who leads the team in points (16.6), assists (5.9) and steals (4.8) per game, is also leading the NCAA in steals per game.

Parker has recorded three games with eight steals and has at least two in each game this season. 

Is this the year?

By having a good mix of lowerclassmen and upperclassmen, the Purple Eagles could be the team to beat in the chase for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Championship later in the spring. 

The last time Niagara Women's team was close to winning the conference was in 1997 where they lost the MAAC title game against St. Peter's University. 

They have also reached the second round of the MAAC tournament numerous times.