FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Senior Bri Betz-White tied a career-high 23 points and added 11 rebounds for her first career double-double, but the Loyola University Maryland women’s basketball team fell just short of former conference foe Fairfield University at Alumni Hall Tuesday night, dropping a 58-57 overtime decision to the Stags.
Fairfield (1-1) opened scoring with a 3-pointer, before senior Lisa Mirarchi and sophomore Carly Monzo took scoring into their own hands. The duo combined for the game’s next eight points to give Loyola (1-2) an 8-3 advantage halfway through the first period, a lead it wouldn’t relinquish until late in the fourth quarter.
The Stags broke Loyola’s early run with a jumper, but sophomore Courtney Vannoy answered with back-to-back baskets to push the Greyhounds ahead seven, 12-5. Monzo and Mirarchi then scored four of the final seven points of the first quarter to get Loyola a 16-10 advantage following the first quarter.
Fairfield strung together an 11-5 run to open the second period and knot the score at 21-21, but Betz-White nailed a jumper at 5:47 to keep the Stags from taking the lead.
Despite Fairfield evening the score again, at 23, the Greyhounds closed out the half on a 7-2 run to capture a 30-25 halftime advantage.
Loyola opened the second half on a 6-0 run to build its largest lead, 11 at 36-25, by the 6:21 mark, but Fairfield responded with its own 9-2 run to cut its deficit to three, 39-36, by the end of the stanza.
The Greyhounds, in foul trouble, were unable to stop Fairfield’s streak in the fourth frame, as the Stags used a 7-2 run to take their first lead since the opening quarter, 43-41, at the 2:32 mark. They extending their advantage to three, 46-43, with 40 seconds to go, but freshman Molly Taylor checked into the game and drained a clutch 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining to secure the extra period.
Fairfield gained momentum early on in overtime, pulling ahead four, at 51-47, but a pair of free throws and a layup from Betz-White evened things up at 51, with 2:35 to play. The Stags answered with a jumper before another pair of Betz-White free throws knotted the score at 53 with 1:07 on the clock. Fairfield again answered, with a three-point play from Smith, but a four-point run from Betz-White regained the lead for Loyola, 57-56, with seven seconds remaining. The Stags called a timeout and ultimately knocked off the Greyhounds with Casey Smith’s game-winning layup.
In addition to Betz-White’s double-double, Monzo also tied a career-high with eight points and added a personal-best eight rebounds.
For Fairfield, Smith led the way with 19 points, while Kelsey Carey chipped in 16 points.
Loyola will take three days before its next contest, as the Greyhounds host St. Francis Brooklyn at Reitz Arena Saturday at 2 p.m.