Feb. 17, 2012
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - The Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team played a strong second half to get past a physical Saint Peter's team, 61-54, on Friday night at the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City, N.J. It was the sixth-straight win for the Greyhounds and third-straight in Jersey City.
Loyola (13-13, 9-6 MAAC) outscored Saint Peter's (3-23, 3-12), 40-27, in the second half, going 16-of-19 from the free-throw line to take the victory. The Greyhounds went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the final two minutes.
Kara Marshall paced four Greyhounds in double figures with 14 points to go with a career-high five rebounds. Alyssa Sutherland added 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Katie Sheahin had 12 points and Nicole Krusen had 11 off the bench.
The six-game winning streak is the second longest in the tenure of head coach Joe Logan, only trailing the nine-straight games that the Greyhounds won a year ago.
After trailing by as many as 11 points in the first half and six points at halftime, the Greyhounds clamped down on the defensive end, holding the Peahens to 27.8-percent shooting and forcing nine second-half turnovers. Loyola converted those turnovers into 17 points.
The Greyhounds were held scoreless for seven-plus minutes in the first half from the 14:26 mark until a layup by Nneka Offodile with 7:16 remaining. Saint Peter's went on an 8-0 run during that stretch, holding Loyola to 0-for-12 shooting from the field and building a 16-5 lead.
The Peahen lead hovered around 10 points for the majority of the first half until the Greyhounds tallied the final four points of the frame to cut the deficit to six at halftime. Sutherland and Marshall contributed the points on layups.
After going down 29-21 early in the second half, the Greyhounds went on a 23-5 run over a 10-minute stretch to take a 10-point lead at 44-34 with 8:11 remaining.
The run was sparked by defense, as Loyola held the Peahens without a field goal from the 15:38 mark until 4:56 left in the contest.
Sheahin started the stretch with a 3-pointer at the shot clock buzzer that cut the deficit to five with 17:27 left.
The Greyhounds claimed their first lead of the game at the 13:18 mark, as Miriam McKenzie had a block and rebound on the defensive end, and then finished the play with a power layup to put Loyola up, 33-32. The Greyhounds led for the rest of the game.
McKenzie gave Loyola its biggest lead of the game later in the half, driving the lane for two after a steal by Marshall that put the visitors on top, 48-36, with 5:21 left. Marshall finished with a game-high four steals.
Saint Peter's continued to fight and got within four after a Kristal Edwards layup with 2:15 left that cut the deficit to 51-47 with 2:15 remaining.
That's when the free-throw shooting of the Greyhounds took over, as Loyola scored their final 10 points from the stripe to seal the win. Krusen hit six of those while McKenzie and Sutherland each had a pair.
The second-half attack was balanced, with Marshall and McKenzie each scoring eight, while Sutherland and Sheahin had seven each and Krusen had six.
McKenzie's eight points moved her into fourth all-time on Loyola's scoring list with 1,341 points, passing Beth Smith.
The Greyhounds close out the weekend at Iona on Sunday at 2 p.m. in New Rochelle, N.Y.