McKenzie Lifts Women's Basketball Past Fairfield

Feb. 12, 2012

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BALTIMORE - Miriam McKenzie scored eight of her game-high 18 points in a 3-minute, 20-second stretch to help the Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team defeat Fairfield University, 55-48, Sunday afternoon in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.

McKenzie's layup with 3:52 to play gave the Greyhounds (12-13 overall, 8-6 MAAC) a 43-42 lead after Fairfield's Katelyn Linney put the Stags (18-7, 11-3) up by one with a 3-pointer at 5:02.

Desiree Pina scored in the paint to give Fairfield another lead, 44-43, with 2:53 on the clock, but McKenzie was fouled by Alexys Vazquez with 2:33 to go, and she made both free throws.

The Stags went on top one final time at 2:20 when Taryn Johnson scored with 2:20 remaining, but after an empty possession on the Loyola end, McKenzie stole a Johnson pass and scored a fast-break layup with 84 ticks on the clock to give the Greyhounds the lead for good.

Loyola held Fairfield scoreless on its next possession, successfully defending layup attempts by Pina and Johnson, and McKenzie drew a foul from Johnson, her fifth. McKenzie again made both free throws to put Loyola up three with 32 seconds on the clock.

Fairfield committed a turnover on the ensuing inbound pass, and Katie Sheahin drained two from the charity stripe with just over 29 ticks left to make it a 5-point lead.

Pina scored for Fairfield eight seconds later, but Sheahin and Alyssa Sutherland iced the win by both going 4-of-4 form the line.

Sheahin contributed 13 points in addition to McKenzie's 18. Nneka Offodile and Kara Marshall each had nine points, and Sutherland chipped in six.

Pina led the Stags with 13, and Loyola held Fairfield's leading scorer, Johnson, to eight, more than five below her average.

It was the fifth-straight win for the Greyhounds and the third-straight over the Stags. The five-game win streak marks the sixth time in head coach Joe Logan's seven seasons that the Greyhounds have put together a winning streak of five or more games in a season.

The Greyhound defense forced Fairfield into 12 first-half turnovers and Loyola hit seven-of-seven from the free-throw line to take a 30-19 lead at halftime. All five starters scored in the first half for the Greyhounds, with Marshall leading the way with nine.

Loyola scored 20 of the game's first 26 points, taking a 20-6 lead with 7:45 left in the first half. Marshall had nine during the stretch while Offodile added five and McKenzie had four.

After Fairfield cut the deficit to seven with 2:40 remaining, Loyola scored the next four to put the Greyhounds back up by double figures. McKenzie scored the first bucket, grabbing an offensive board and finishing the layup.

Marshall put the lead back into double digits with a diving steal on the Stags' Desiree Pina and then throwing a pass over her head while she was falling down to a wide open Sheahin for a breakaway layup with just over two minutes left in the half.

Fairfield came storming back in the second half, putting together an 18-2 run that gave the Stags their first lead since scoring the first basket of the game with 11:39 remaining in the contest.

The Greyhounds finished the game 18-of-21 from the free-throw line, hitting all eight of their attempts in the final minute.

All five of Loyola's starters played at least 39 minutes, with Offodile and Sutherland each playing all 40.

Loyola finished their homestand with a perfect 4-0 record and are 8-0 on Sundays this season.

The Greyhounds hit the road on Friday night when they head to Saint Peter's at 7 p.m.