Women's Basketball Rallies For 71-63 Win Over Niagara

Feb. 21, 2010

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Baltimore, Md. - A big second-half shooting performance propelled the Loyola women's basketball to a 71-63 comeback win over Niagara, Sunday afternoon, at Reitz Arena.

Fueled by a crowd of 1,482 on Women in Sports Day, the Greyhounds scored on five straight possessions to go on an 11-2 run late in the second half, holding off the Purple Eagles with a 56.0 percent mark from the field in the second half. Loyola held the Purple Eagles - who started the game by shooting nearly 80 percent - to just a 37.9 clip in the second half.

Loyola shot 47.5 percent for the game, while Niagara finished shot 40.6 percent.

Led by Meredith Tolley's 21 points, it was Loyola's largest margin of victory since defeating Manhattan 74-57 on Jan. 15. In addition to her 21 points, Tolley also pulled down five boards and tallied two assists. Tolley connected for a season-high eight field goals and went 5-for-6 from behind the arc.

Miriam McKenzie recorded a double-double with 17 points and a career-tying 11 rebounds, and also added in three assists and a steal. Erica DiClemente added in 17 points as well.

Liz Flooks and Kayla Stroman led Niagara with 20 and 18 points, respectively, with Stroman tying Kaitlin Grant for a game-high five assists. Rachele Folino led the Purple Eagles on the boards with six.

The Greyhounds got off to a rough start, as Niagara pulled out to a quick 10-4 lead less than three minutes into the game. The trouble continued as the Purple Eagles established a shooting dominance, shooting nearly 80 percent early on.

But Loyola stayed patient and erased the deficit. With 13:30 left on the clock, Kaitlin Grant started the rally by swiping a ball from Flooks and taking it to the hole for a fastbreak shot, making the score 19-11.

After a jumper by Folino put the Eagles up 21-11, Alyssa Sutherland put in an offensive board in and converted the three point play. A three by Tolley and a fastbreak layup by DiClemente left Loyola trailing by just two at 21-19.

Waterman pulled up for two, putting Niagara back up by four but a three by McKenzie at 8:24 put the `Hounds down by just one, 23-22, and a short baseline jumper by Kaitlin Grant took a 24-23 lead with 7:50 left to go in the half.

The two teams traded leads for the rest of the half, with Niagara leading 34-33 at halftime.

The Greyhounds built up a 43-38 lead early in the second half. At 12:19, Flooks looked to be closing the gap for Niagara, as a three brought the Eagles back to 43-40, but Tolley knocked down two corner triples in a row, pushing Loyola's lead back up to six.

Tolley again helped the `Hounds go back up by six a few minutes later, bouncing the ball between Flooks' legs to McKenzie for a layup, making it 51-45.

Niagara then pressed the Greyhounds hard, forcing two Loyola shot clock violations. The Eagles came back up 52-49 but Loyola held them off going 11-2 to go up to 63-51, giving the Greyhounds their largest lead of the game.

Loyola ran away with the game from there, sealing the win in the final minute with a perfect 4-for-4 performance from the charity stripe and a three by DiClemente.