Feb. 19, 2012
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - The Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team cut a 21-point deficit to five in the final minute, but came up short, losing by a score of 72-65 at Iona in New Rochelle, N.Y. on Sunday afternoon.
The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for Loyola (13-14, 9-7 MAAC), while Iona (11-16, 7-9) broke its seven-game losing skid with the win.
The Gaels had four players in double figures, led by Damika Martinez who scored all 17 of her points in the second half. Aleesha Powell added 16, Kristina Ford had 14 and Tomica Bacic had 12. Ford finished with a double-double, adding 11 rebounds.
Iona’s depth caused problems for the Greyhounds, as the Gaels’ bench outscored Loyola’s 29-0 in the contest. Powell had 16 of those while four other players also scored.
A back-and-forth first half featured seven lead changes and four ties, with neither team leading by more than three points until the last two minutes.
Loyola took its biggest lead of the game when McKenzie knocked down an eight-foot jumper in the lane to put the Greyhounds on top, 15-12, with 4:56 left in the half. McKenzie had eight points and four rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
The Gaels then closed the half on a 15-4 run, including scoring the final six points of the half to take a 27-19 advantage at the break. Ford scored eight points during the stretch and had 12 at halftime.
Iona carried that momentum into the second half, going on a 15-1 run that took a seven-point lead to a 21-point margin at 46-25 with 13:29 remaining in the contest.
Martinez sparked the rally scoring 11-straight for the Gaels at one point. The MAAC leading scoring was held scoreless in the first half, but finished with 17 in the second.
The Greyhounds did not go down quietly, going on a 23-9 stretch over the next seven minutes to trim the deficit to single digits.
McKenzie and Sheahin combined for 19 points during the run while Alyssa Sutherland had the other four. Sutherland finished with nine points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
McKenzie capped the run, hitting a 3-pointer from the right wing to get Loyola within seven at 55-48 with 6:04 to go.
Iona pushed the lead to double figures two more times on free throws, as the Gaels hit 20 of their 23 attempts from the charity stripe for the game.
Trailing by 10 with less than a minute to go, Sheahin drove the lane and hit a layup to cut the Iona lead to eight. On the ensuing possession, Sutherland stole the ball from Powell and found Sheahin again for an easy two, putting Loyola down, 66-60, with 43 ticks remaining.
But that would be as close as the Greyhounds would come, as Iona hit its final 10 shots from the free-throw line to take the seven-point win.
Offodile helped a strong Greyhound effort in the pain, with Loyola outscoring the Gaels 30-20 inside. The Greyhounds also turned 14 Iona turnovers into 17 points.
Sheahin finished the game with four steals, while Kara Marshall matched a career-high with five rebounds. She also had eight points and two assists.
The Greyhounds close out the road portion of their schedule on Friday, Feb. 26, when they head to Fairfield for a 7 p.m. game.