Jan. 5, 2010
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - With just five seconds to go, Miriam McKenzie capped off her third 20-point performance in a row with a layup to put the Greyhounds down by just one against Fairfield Tuesday night in Fairfield, Conn.
But just two seconds later the Greyhounds found themselves down by three after Katelyn Linney knocked down two free throws. McKenzie launched a desperation shot from well beyond the three-point line, but her shot sailed just inches to the left and bounced off the rim, giving the Stags a 60-57 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference win.
It was an up-and-down game for Loyola (6-7 overall, 1-1 MAAC), who has now dropped seven straight to the Stags (8-5 overall, 2-0 MAAC). The `Hounds led at the half after a battle of a first period at Alumni Hall, but were held scoreless for nearly 10 minutes in the second half. Despite coming out on the wrong end of several calls by the officials, the Greyhounds' never-say-die attitude helped to pull themselves back up to within tying distance late in the game.
"We're proud of the character our team showed in some challenging second-half situations," said head coach Joe Logan.
The game was highlighted by strong performances from McKenzie, Kaitlin Grant and Erica DiClemente. McKenzie had a game-high 20 points and was one rebound shy of a double-double. The MAAC Player of the Week also added in four assists and a steal.
Grant doubled up for the second time this season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Erica DiClemente pulled down a career-high 13 boards.
Stephanie Geehan had a game-high 20 rebounds and 15 points. Linney, the MAAC Rookie of the Week scored 13, and Desiree Pina and Joelle Nawrocki balanced out the Stags' attack with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Loyola overtook Fairfield early in the first half but the Stags came back to tie five times before being held scoreless through the last 3:30.
Coming into the second half, Loyola led 31-26. After Nawrocki converted a layup into a three-point play with a free throw, DiClemente and McKenzie combined for 10 quick points to give Loyola a 41-33 lead.
But Pina then put an end to Loyola's run. A three by the Stags' point guard sparked a rally that saw Fairfield go on a 16-0 tear. Pina contributed seven points and steal in the Stags' run, leading them to a 49-41 lead before Meredith Tolley finally put away a corner three to end the Greyhounds' scoreless streak.
The two teams matched one another nearly shot-for-shot in the final minutes. Grant made a layup at 1:33 and Nawrocki made a free throw. Tolley made two of her own to cut the lead to just three with under a minute left. Geehan then netted a layup and Grant followed up with one on the Loyola end of the court.
McKenzie's layup had the Greyhounds down by just one at 58-57. Left with no other choice but to foul, Tolley chose Linney. Linney hit both free throws to secure the victory and the second-place standing in the conference for the Stags.