Feb. 12, 2011
Baltimore, Md. - Junior guard Candice Walker rattled in a 12-foot jumper for her only basket of the game with 18.3 seconds remaining in overtime and graduate student Erica DiClemente scored 19 points, including the 1,000th of her career, as the women's basketball team posted a 67-64 MAAC home victory over Siena on Alumni Weekend Saturday afternoon in Reitz Arena.
The win was the fifth straight for the Greyhounds and eighth in nine games as they improved to 14-10 overall and 11-2 in conference play. The 11 MAAC wins is the most for a Loyola team since the 2006-2007 squad finished 11-7 for the league schedule. The Saints fell to 9-14 overall and 7-6 in the MAAC.
Loyola used a 12-0 run that spanned 4:11 over both halves beginning with five straight points from sophomore forward Alyssa Sutherland over the final 46 seconds of the first half, making a corner three-pointer and adding a baseline jumper for the final point of the half. The baskets increased Loyola's one-point lead to six at 32-26.
The Greyhounds scored the first seven points after the intermission, capped by a DiClemente layup assisted by Sutherland. The bucket gave Loyola a 39-26 advantage with 16:35 to play for its largest lead of the game.
The Saints kept chipping away at their deficit largely behind the effort of Serena Moore, who scored half of Siena's points during a 24-11 run which allowed the Saints to tie the score at 50 with just under five minutes remaining.
But Siena could never seize a lead for the final stretch of regulation or the overtime. Four times the Greyhounds pushed their advantage to three points, only to have the Saints pull back with one. After Kanika Cummings jumper made the score 59-58 with 17.4 remaining, Siena called timeout to set its press.
The strategy worked as Cummings was fouled on a loose ball for the fifth foul on Loyola junior guard Miriam McKenzie with 16.4 left. Cummings made the first of the two-shot foul to tie the game and the rebound was tied up by Siena's Serena Moore and Loyola freshman forward Nneka Offodile with the alternating possession favoring the Greyhounds.
Loyola failed to get off a viable shot at the end of regulation and the teams headed to the extra session. DiClemente got the Greyhounds off quickly in the overtime, converting a three-point play 1:18 in for a 62-59 Loyola lead. After a Siena basket decreased their deficit to one, DiClemente scored again on a foul-line jumper to push the Greyhounds' advantage back to three.
Siena's Cristina Centeno tied the score for the final time at 64-all with a three-pointer with 89 seconds to play and the team's exchanged missed shots to set up Walker's heroics. Sophomore guard Katie Sheahin made the second of a two-shot foul to push the Loyola lead to three and Centeno missed a three-pointer as the final horn sounded to end the game.
DiClemente surpassed the 1,000-point barrier quickly, accepting a pass from classmate Meredith Tolley for an easy lay-in to tie the score at four 1:49 into the contest. She finished seven-of-11 shooting. McKenzie led Loyola with a season-high matching 23 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Sheahin was the only other double-figure scorer with 12 points, adding seven assists and a career-best matching seven steals.
The Saints were led by 29 points and 12 rebounds by Moore and 12 points and 10 rebounds from Cathy Cockrum.
The Greyhounds are back in action Monday night at 7 o'clock when they host Niagara in Reitz Arena.