Upsets are nothing new to the MAAC's post-season basketball tournament, and it only took this year's first 40 minutes of play to produce the first one of the 2013-14 event.
Monmouth, which finished ninth in the regular-season standings upended eighth-seeded Niagara, 66-62 with a late-game surge that coincided with the Purple Eagles' loss of standout 6-foot-2 freshman post player Victoria Rampado with an ankle injury for the game's final nine minutes.
Still, Niagara (now 10-19 overall) took a 57-49 lead on guard Meghan McGuinnes' three-pointer a minute after Rampado's departure.
But, Monmouth took over after that, outscoring the higher-seeded opponent 17-5 down the stretch to secure the victory and a quarterfinal-round berth against top-seeded Iona tomorrow at noon.
The winners, now 7-24 overall, got scoring from five different players during that late-game surge, includig six by reserve guard Mia Hopkins and four from 6-foot-4 freshman post player Christina Mitchell.
Mitchell had the game of her career, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds while using her tall lanky frame to great effect against the smaller Purple Eagles.
The winners, who have three 6-4 players in their playing rotation, also held a 48-37 rebounding edge in the contest.