Jan. 20, 2008
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Loyola held Fairfield scoreless for over nine minutes in the second half and cut a 17-point deficit to three, but the Greyhounds could not overcome a poor-shooting first half in a 48-41 loss in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game at Alumni Hall.
Fairfield (13-5 overall, 3-4 MAAC) took a 43-29 lead with 10:02 to play on a Stephanie Cziria lay-up, but Loyola held the Stags scoreless until Sabra Wrice made 1-of-2 free throws with 2:51 remaining.
Wrice's free throw gave Fairfield a 44-36 advantage, but Siobhan Prior made a jumper on the right side 29 seconds later to pull Loyola within six, 44-38.
Loyola (8-9, 3-4) executed its press well on the inbound pass, and Meredith Tolley poked the ball out of Shireyll Moore's hands at halfcourt.
Kaitlin Grant picked up the loose ball, dribbled 35 feet to the basket and made a right-handed lay-up. She was fouled by Megan Caskin and hit the free throw to trim Fairfield's lead to three, 44-41.
On the Stags next possession, Fairfield missed two field goal attempts, and Loyola got the ball when it went out of bounds in front of the Stags bench.
With the shot clock winding down, Caskin tied up Prior and forced a jump ball. The alternating possession went to the Stags with 1:02 left. Fairfield missed three shots, but they rebounded all of the attempts, and Baendu Lowenthal finally made a lay-up with 21 ticks left to put Fairfield ahead by five.
Lauren Groom made two free throws with 11 seconds left to provide the final possession.
"Bringing some of those players - Devon Carey, Meredith Tolley and Ashley Alexander - off the bench - gave us a spark that we needed," Head Coach Joe Logan said. "More than anything, they played with heart and hustle. We are proud of the way that we played the last 15 minutes, but we obviously need to work on what happened in the first 25."
Loyola made just 5-of-23 shots in the first half (21.7-percent) and trailed the Stags by 11, 29-18, at the break.
The Greyhounds did not shoot much better in the second half (27.8-percent), but they held Fairfield to just 29.6-percent from the field after halftime. Loyola also forced 17 Stags turnovers, 11 in the second half.
"We shot just 25-percent from the field, and we lost by seven," Logan said. "It could've been worse. We got some good looks when it was 44-41, and we had some offensive rebounds, but we just couldn't score. It could've been two (or) three shots either way."
Prior led all scorers with 14 points, one off her career-high. She played all 40 minutes for the first time in her career.
Tolley added eight points and had a career-best four steals. No other Greyhounds player scored more than five points, as Loyola had its lowest point total since scoring 39 against Saint Peter's on February 21, 1997.
Wrice was the only Fairfield player in double-figures, scoring 13 on 5-of-20 from the field. Stephanie Geehan matched her career-best with 16 rebounds, leading a 52-35 rebounding advantage for the Stags.
Loyola stays on the road for the next two games, playing at Iona on Friday, January 25, and at Marist on Sunday, January 27.