Women's Basketball Opens MAAC Play With Win

Jan. 3, 2010

New Rochelle, N.Y. - Miriam McKenzie helped snap a seven-game losing streak against Iona in a big way Sunday afternoon in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener.

The sophomore guard turned in a game-high 20 points, seven rebounds and a career-high seven assists, helping the Greyhounds (6-6 overall, 1-0 MAAC) to a 71-59 win over the Gaels (4-8 overall, 0-1 MAAC) at the Hynes Center, in New Rochelle, N.Y. The win finally snapped the longest streak for the Greyhounds against any MAAC opponent and was Loyola's first win over the Gaels since January 25, 2007.

McKenzie's 20 points led a balanced scoring effort that included three double-digit scoring performances. It was the fifth 20-point performance by McKenzie this season and her second in the last week, as she had 21 with 11 rebounds against San Francisco Tuesday, in Villanova's Wildcat Holiday Classic.

Erica DiClemente had her second double-digit performance and third in the last four games with 12 points and eight rebounds. Devon Carey was just one point shy of tying her career-high of 11 points and Kaitlin Grant had seven points and a team-high 11 boards.

Dianna Hubbard led the Gaels with 12 points and Suzi Fregosi finished with 10. Anna McLean pulled down a game-high 17 boards.

Loyola got off to a strong start in the first half, shooting an ultra-efficient 56.7 percent from the field and hitting six of 10 three-pointers. For the game, the `Hounds shot 47.4 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from beyond the arc.

The two teams battled one another close early on with Loyola maintaining the slight advantage. But the Greyhounds went on an absolute tear after the 10-minute mark, breaking through a hard-pressing Iona defense.

Up by just two with nine minutes left in the first half, Katie Sheahin netted a three, shooting clear over a jumping Iona defender. Then Meredith Tolley, making her first appearance after sitting out three games with a lower back injury, knocked down two long jumpers from deep in the right corner to put the score at 27-18.

Iona's Marissa Flagg put in two free throws and Sheahin responded with a layup before Iona came back to cut the deficit to just five. McKenzie put in a jumper from the corner to push Loyola's lead back up to seven points, but a layup by Fregosi put the Gaels back to within five.

But Sheahin followed up with two free throws and Carey knocked down two straight threes to give Loyola a 10-point lead.

The Greyhounds carried over their first-half momentum in the second, opening with a 9-4 run to give themselves their largest lead of the game with 14 points less than five minutes in.

Loyola would lead the entire second half, holding Iona to a 27 percent shooting mark from the field and allowing no threes. McKenzie went on to record 13 more points in the second half, helping the Greyhounds push the game out of reach.