Niagara's Second-Half Rally Leads Purple Eagles Past Greyhounds

Feb. 8, 2010

Final Stats

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. - Despite out-shooting and out-rebounding their opponent, the Greyhounds were still edged by Niagara Monday night at the Gallagher Center, in Niagara University, N.Y., falling to the Purple Eagles 61-56.

Miriam McKenzie led Loyola (10-13, 5-7 MAAC) with 18 points and nine rebounds. McKenzie's eight shots from the field was just one away from her career-high.

Kaitlin Grant scored 16 points and grabbed five boards, and Katie Sheahin added 10 points and matched her career-best of eight rebounds.

Niagara's Liz Flooks turned in a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds. Rachele Folino added in 13 points and pulled down seven boards and Ali Morris finished with 10 points for the Purple Eagles (10-3, 7-5 MAAC). Niagara has now won five straight, all coming at home.

Free throws made all the difference in a game that was close throughout. Loyola went 9-for-14 from the line, while Niagara had 13 more attempts and made 19 total. The Greyhounds shot 39.3 percent from the field and held Niagara to a 33.3 percent clip.

The game got off to a slow start, with Loyola opening up 1-for-5 from the field and the Eagles going 1-for-9 over the first few minutes. Later in the half, McKenzie jumpstarted the Greyhounds, and led Loyola to a five-point lead with 8:22 left, which was the largest lead for either team until the last five minutes of the game.

McKenzie's 11 first-half points helped the `Hounds to a 23-22 lead at the half.

The Eagles pulled up to a 36-31 lead at the start of the second half and Loyola came back to tie the game at 38-38 with 11:11 on the clock.

But Niagara held the Greyhounds to just one shot from the field for the next five minutes, as the Purple Eagles rallied for 13 points to take a 51-41 lead with just 5:05 left. The Eagles were able to hold Loyola off until the final two minutes when Loyola made three key steals.

Trailing by 10 again, with just 1:07 left, McKenzie grabbed an offensive rebound and hit Sheahin under the basket for a layup. Grant then took Niagara's next possession away with a steal and took it down for a fastbreak layup, making the score 58-52.

Sheahin then grabbed the Eagles' next possession and DiClemente hit two foul shots to put Loyola down by just four.

With just 17 seconds left, Sheahin intercepted an inbound pass under Loyola's basket and bounced it over to DiClemente. But DiClemente went for a long jumper that missed short and Flooks and Kayla Stroman made three free throws to end the game.