Jan. 23, 2009
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - A 15-0 Iona run in the second half made a five-point Gales' lead a 20-point advantage, and the host team went on to a 79-55 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory over Loyola on Friday night from the Hynes Athletic Center.
Meredith Tolley made two free throws with 15:32 remaining, pulling Loyola within five, 46-41, but the Gaels scored the next 15 points to go ahead by 20, 61-41, with 9:45 to play.
Iona's Kristina Ford scored eight of the Gaels' 15 points during the stretch and finished with a game-high and career-best 24 points.
"We did a good job of cutting their lead to about five, but then we had some turnovers and made mistakes on the defensive end," Head Coach Joe Logan said. "We have to do a better job of closing the gap further when we are down by three or four, instead of letting teams increase their lead."
A Siobhan Prior layup with 8:43 to play would draw the Greyhounds (8-10 overall, 3-5 MAAC) within 16, but they would not come closer in the final minutes.
Prior recorded her third 20-point game of the season, finishing with an even 20, although the layup was her only points of the second half. She made 7-of-13 shots in the first half, and was 4-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc before the break.
Thazina Cook was one of two Iona players to record double-doubles. She scored 12 of her 17 points in the first half and finished with 11 rebounds. Tomica Bacic scored 11 and had 10 rebounds for the Gaels (11-9, 4-5).
Loyola led 19-15 on a Prior three with 9:51 to play before halftime, but Iona went on a 7-0 run to take a 22-19 lead with 7:33 remaining on a Cook three.
Prior knocked down another 3-pointer, however, to know the game at 22-22 with 7:33 left.
The Gaels, however, scored the next nine points until Tolley made two free throws with 2:02 on the clock to stop the run.
Prior then hit a jumper from the left side and made a layup in the lane to make it a three-point game with 49 seconds to go before the half.
Suzi Fregosi, however, made a step-back 3-pointer with 23 seconds left, and Jessica Scannell hit a three from the left corner two seconds before the half, sending Iona to the locker room with a nine-point lead.
Loyola returns to action on Sunday afternoon, January 25, when it hosts Canisius at 2 p.m. in Reitz Arena.