Feb. 10, 2008
BALTIMORE - Loyola built a 20-point second-half lead and held off a Saint Peter's rally to win its second Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game in a row, 75-72, on Sunday afternoon in front of 1,314 fans at Reitz Arena.
"It was a great environment today with Women In Sports Day, and I was proud of the way that we played," Head Coach Joe Logan said. "Saint Peter's is a talented team, and they are very quick on the perimeter. They are good shooters, as we saw down the stretch, but I thought that we competed well and stayed in the game."
Loyola scored the first five points, and 25 of the first 33, of the second half to take a 58-38 lead on two Candice Walker free throws with 9:47 to play.
Johnell Burts, who finished with a game-high 20 points, scored seven of the Peahens' next 11 points, cutting Loyola's advantage to 60-49 with 6:25 remaining.
Meredith Tolley made a short-corner jumper on Loyola's next possession, pushing the lead back to 13, but Burts made a free throw, Tania Kennedy scored on a lay-up, and Lauma Reke hit two free throws to pull Saint Peter's (16-8, 8-5) back within single digits, 62-54, with 4:45 remaining.
Prior made two free throws with 44 ticks left, but Burts hit a 22-foot 3-pointer from the right side on the Peahens' next possession to close the deficit to six, 73-67.
Sholokhova missed two free throws on Loyola's next possession, and Kennedy made a three from the top of the perimeter to cut the Greyhounds' lead to 73-70 with 33 seconds remaining.
Prior converted two more free throws with 29 seconds on the clock, but Burts pulled Saint Peter's back within three, 75-72, on a lay-up with nine-second left.
On the ensuing possession, Prior missed two free throws, but Kennedy's 3-pointer with two seconds left rattled out to secure Loyola's victory.
Loyola shot over 45-percent (45.1-percent, 23-of-51) for the second game in a row and just the third time this season. The 75 points put up by the Greyhounds were the most they've scored this year.
"We are playing a lot harder and more together," Prior said. "We are enjoying it, and it shows when we are hitting more of our shots."
In addition to being Women In Sports Day, Loyola was part of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association "Think Pink" campaign to raise money and awareness for cancer.
The game took on special meaning for the Greyhounds as they were playing without senior guard Tynisha Davis who was in New York City with her family following the death of her uncle due to cancer.
"Today, we came out and wanted to win for `T'," said Prior. "We know that she wanted to be here today, but we just wanted to be able to call her after the game and tell her that we won for her and her family."