Feb. 17, 2010
BALTIMORE - A dramatic back-and-forth game came right down to the final minute, Wednesday afternoon at Reitz Arena, but Iona got the late edge over the Greyhounds, narrowly taking the game 72-70.
Miriam McKenzie and Erica DiClemente each turned in 19 points in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game, which tied DiClemente's career-high. McKenzie also pulled in seven boards and tied her career-best assist mark with seven. Katie Sheahin pitched in with 15 points and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the line. The freshman guard was also strong on defense, with two steals and a block.
The Gaels (14-10, 10-3 MAAC) were led by Thazina Cook's 19 points. Kristina Ford had 15 and Suzi Fregosi tallied 14 to go along with three steals. Anna McClean had a game-high nine boards.
The game stayed close from start to finish. The Greyhounds (11-14, 6-8 MAAC) managed a run that put them up by 10 points in the first half, but the lead was short-lived as Iona rallied in the last few minutes. A three by Fregosi with 2:46 left in the half took the lead back for the Gaels, making the score 33-32.
Fregosi's trey was the beginning of the battle that spanned the rest of the game. The Gaels built a 37-32 lead with just 1:29 left on the clock and the Greyhounds came right back. Sutherland put in a short jumper from the paint and a steal by DiClemente resulted in a fastbreak layup that then left Loyola trailing by just one point (37-36) at halftime.
Cook built on Iona's lead with two free throws to open the second half. DiClemente then matched the Gaels with a three two minutes into the second half, tying the game at 39-39. After McLean put back an offensive board to take back the lead for the Gaels, McKenzie dropped in a layup tying the game once again.
After tying two more times, McKenzie buried a three to put Loyola up 50-47 to give the `Hounds their largest lead of the second half. But the Gaels scored on their next three possessions to go back up 54-50.
The game continued this way throughout the second half. No clear winner emerged and neither team was able to take more than a four-point lead.
The intensity level was taken up a notch after both teams failed to score for nearly two minutes late in the game. Cook netted two free throws at 3:49, putting Iona up 65-63 and McKenzie laid one in to tie the Gaels at 65-all.
But a pull-up jumper by Cook with just 1:30 left in the game took back a definitive lead for Iona. After Hubbard sunk two charity shots McKenzie netted one of her own, leaving the Greyhounds back by just two points.
Fregosi went 2-for-3 in two opportunities at the line in the final minute to give the Gaels a 71-66 lead. With only four seconds left, McKenzie connected on one final shot, putting the score at 71-70. But Fregosi made one final layup a second later, and the Greyhounds were left with too little time to make it down the court for a tying attempt.