WEST POINT, N.Y. - Despite outscoring the United States Military Academy, 28-24, in the second half, the Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team could not overcome the first-half deficit, as the Greyhounds fell to the Black Knights, 55-44, in Christl Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Colleen Marshall tied a game-best 20 points and was one rebound shy of her first career double-double. Senior Steph Smith also grabbed nine rebounds, while junior Jeneh Perry chipped in 10 points.
Defensively, Smith and Marshall dominated the boards in the first half, grabbing 11 of the team's 18 rebounds.
Following a pair of Loyola (3-10, 1-1 overall) layups by Marshall and Smith, Army went on a 10-0 run, to open the contest. The run put the Black Knights up by nine, 13-4, but senior Kara Marshall came off the bench with 11 minutes remaining in the first half and put the Greyhounds back on the board, 13-6.
The Marshall sisters, Kara and Colleen, closed out the first half scoring eight of Loyola's final 10 points. The duo knocked down both of the Greyhounds' treys in the first half, also hitting two shots in the paint during that time.
Loyola trailed by as much as 20, 31-11, but six second before the end of the half, sophomore Lauren Daugherty hit a pair of baskets from the charity stripe, pulling Loyola within 15, as they entered the locker room at halftime.
The Greyhounds came out of the locker room strong and opened the second stanza with a basket 12 seconds into the half.
The offensive momentum continued for Loyola, as the Greyhounds and Black Knights traded baskets for nearly 10 minutes, before Loyola ultimately chipped away at the deficit.
Sparked by Jeneh Perry with 9:52 remaining in the second half, the Greyhounds used a 13-2 run to cut the deficit to single-digits. Colleen Marshall and Perry contributed all 13 points during the six-minute offensive surge, pulling within five, 45-40, on a Perry layup, as the two teams entered the under-four-minute media timeout.
Coming back from the break, the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year, Kelsey Minato, knocked down her second 3-point field goal of the contest, but Perry continued to find success under the basket, making a layup with just under two minutes remaining in the contest.
Army (9-3, 1-1) went on to score seven of the last nine game points in the game, pulling ahead of the Greyhounds 55-44 to end the contest.
Minato led Army with 20 points, while Aimee Oertner added 15.
Loyola shot 42.9 percent from the floor in the second half and recorded two blocks and three steals during that time.
The Greyhounds return to action on Wednesday when they make the short trip to Washington, D.C., to take on American University at 7 p.m.