Jan. 11, 2014
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - A couple of big defensive stops and a pair of behind the arc baskets sealed the deal for Loyola University Maryland women’s basketball, as they defeated Lehigh University, 70-64, in the Greyhounds first Patriot Leauge victory in program history.
For the first time in school history, the Greyhounds escaped Stabler Arena with a victory, after following a series that dates back to 1981.
Loyola (4-11, 1-3 Patriot League) had three players in double figures, led by Nai Brown with a career-high 25 points on 10-17 shooting. Senior Nicole Krusen shot 5-9 from behind the arc, while sophomore Jeneh Perry tied a career-high with ten points.
At the beginning of the contest, the Greyhounds showed a strong defensive presence. Loyola forced the Mountain Hawks into four-consecutive turnovers, putting Loyola up by six going into the second media timeout.
The Greyhounds went on to score a 9-2 run, before Lehigh (8-7, 1-3 PL) countered with eight unanswered points. The two teams traded free throws, entering the locker room tied 29-29.
Coming out of the locker room, the Mountain Hawks slowly chipped away at a lead, ultimately pulling ahead by as much as nine points with 10:14 remaining, 52-43.
The lead wouldn’t last long, after Krusen lit a spark in the Greyhounds’ offense, 9:49 left to play. The senior guard scored two of her five three-point field goals within 15 seconds of each other, pulling Loyola within four with 9:34 remaining in the second half.
After senior Nneka Offodile connected on a jumper, 53-51, neither team went on two score for over two minutes. Lehigh’s Elizabeth Sharlow halted the scoring drought with a layup from Amina Affini, but Brown was on her heels scoring her second three-point basket of the afternoon.
Lehigh and Loyola went on to trade baskets for the next three minutes, leaving the last sixty seconds to a tight ball game.
Krusen scored her final three of the afternoon, 63-61, giving the Greyhounds their first lead of the half.
Coming out of a timeout, Tiffany Padgett found success from downtown, 66-61, and from there freshman Lisa Mirarchi scored Loyola’s final four points from the charity stripe. The rookie guard went 7-8 from the free-throw line, recording a game-high eight assists against the Mountain Hawks.
The Greyhounds shot a season-high 48-percent from the floor, while holding an 18-6 advantage in second chance points.
The Greyhounds return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 15, as they return to Pennsylvania to take on the Lafayette Leopards at 7 p.m.