Jan. 10, 2010
Jersey City, N.J. - Loyola held off two Saint Peter's surges Sunday afternoon and defeated the Peahens, 69-59, in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action.
The win was just the second for the Greyhounds since 1994 in the Yanitelli Center.
Loyola's victory was its fourth in the past five games and the second straight in the MAAC. Loyola (7-6, 3-1 MAAC) is now tied for second in the league behind Marist (11-4, 3-0 MAAC).
Miriam McKenzie turned in a game-high 22 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Kaitlin Grant matched her season-high with 19 points and pulled down six boards. Erica DiClemente finished with nine points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Saint Peter's Jynae Judson led the Peahens (6-9, 2-2 MAAC) with 21 points, and Jessica Coles had a game-high five blocks.
Free throws proved to be a difference-maker in the back-and-forth game. The Peahens out-shot Loyola from the field, making 25 field goals to the Greyhounds' 21. The Peahens, however, had just 10 free-throw attempts, while Loyola took 27 tries from the charity stripe, making a total of 22, including eight in the final five minutes to seal the win.
The game started off with the two teams playing close until Loyola broke away in the middle of the first half. The Greyhounds led by as many as 12 until Saint Peter's Alena Ali came off the bench and went on a hot streak. Up 28-16 with 3:42 left in the first, Ali pulled up for three straight jumpers to single-handedly cut the Greyhounds lead in half.
Judson's layup with 43 seconds left in the first half cut the Greyhounds lead to four, but McKenzie made two free throws to close out the half and give Loyola a 30-24 lead going into the locker room. The Greyhounds' leading scorer dominated in the first half, finishing with 13 points.
A slow start to the second half and turnovers opened the door for the Peahens. Saint Peter's was able to capitalize on the Greyhounds' mistakes and came back to tie early on.
Judson and Coles put up six quick points to open the half, leaving the Peahens down by just four. Grant then knocked down two free throws, pushing the Loyola lead back up to six.
Judson, however, completed a three-point play with a free throw and then took a steal down the court for a short jumper, putting Saint Peter's back by just one at 36-35.
Katie Sheahin pulled up for two on the next possession but Adenike Oyesile then hit a layup and a jumper to take back a Saint Peter's lead. Erica DiClemente turned the ball over and Natasha Morris hit a long jumper for a 41-38 Peahens' lead with 10:43 remaining.
Tolley reclaimed the lead for Loyola with a three from the top of the perimeter with under nine minutes to play, breaking a 42-42 tie. Tolley's shot sparked a rally, and Loyola went on an 11-4 run to push the game out of reach for the Peahens.
The Greyhounds return to Reitz Arena on Friday, January 15, 2010, when they host Manhattan at 4:30 p.m., on ESPNU. The game is the first of a Loyola doubleheader with the Greyhounds' men's side taking on Marist on ESPNU at 7 o'clock.