LEWISTON, N.Y. - The Saint Joseph's women's basketball team opens the 2017-18 season this Sunday as the Hawks travel to Niagara for a noon start at the Gallagher Center. Both streaming and audio for the game will be available.

GAME STORIES . . .

• The Hawks enter their 45th season of Division I play with a 28-16 all-time record in season opening games.

• This year marks the first time SJU has opened a season on the road since 2014-15 at Rutgers on November 14.

• Saint Joseph's is 7-7 all-time when opening the season on the road. The Hawks last season-opening win on the road came at Lehigh on November 10, 2007.

• Sunday is the first of three-straight road games for the Hawks and marks the first time since 1974-75 that they have opened a season with three road contests.

• The Hawks return 11 letterwinners, including four starters, from last year's team that went 17-15 overall and earned the program's 10 Postseason WNIT berth.

• Saint Joseph's was picked to finish third in the Atlantic 10 according to a preseason poll of the conference's coaches and media.

• Sunday marks the collegiate debuts of freshmen Katie Jekot, Lula Roig and Mary Sheehan.

• Redshirt sophomore Whisper Fisher will make her Hawk debut on Sunday as she sat out the 2016-17 season after transferring from Loyola Chicago.

• Graduate student Amanda Fioravanti and seniors Adashia Franklyn and Avery Marz are serving as captains this season for Saint Joseph's. Franklyn is a captain for the second straight year, while it is the first year for Fioravanti and Marz.

• Sunday marks the first-ever matchup between Niagara and Saint Joseph's.

• Niagara is one of two potential Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams the Hawks will play this season. Saint Joseph's potentially could face Saint Peter's in the second day of the Hawk Classic on November 26.

• The Hawks are 22-7 all-time versus Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams.

• SJU head coach Cindy Griffin is 7-1 all-time versus Niagara dating back to her coaching tenure at Loyola Maryland (1998-01).

• Sunday is a coaching staff reunion as the Hawks face former assistant coach, and current Niagara head coach, Jada Pierce. Pierce served as an assistant coach under Cindy Griffin from 2012-15 and is one of eight fromer SJU assiatants that are currently head coaches at the Divison I level.

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