Feb. 26, 2012
BALTIMORE - The Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team fell just short to 2012 MAAC Regular Season Champion Marist, 67-60, in the regular-season finale Sunday afternoon at Reitz Arena. The game was featured as Women in Sports Day, while it was also Senior Day. Loyola's senior class of Kathleen Excellent, Kiara Henderson and Miriam McKenzie were honored in a pregame ceremony.
With the loss, the Greyhounds earned the No. 4 seed at next week's MAAC Championship with an overall record of 13-16 and a 9-9 mark in conference play. Marist will take the top seed into the tournament, as the Red Foxes went 22-7 throughout the regular season and finished with a 17-1 record in league play.
Junior Katie Sheahin led all players with 19 points, while McKenzie added 14 points for the Greyhounds and junior Nneka Offodile matched her career-high with 11. McKenzie also recorded her second-straight double-double as she came up with a game-high 11 rebounds.
For Marist, Brandy Gang led the way with 17 points, while Kristina Danella had 16 and Casey Dulin contributed 13. Dulin also added seven assists.
The Red Foxes led from start to finish in the contest, but were never able to pull away from a pesky Loyola team.
Marist built a double-digit lead in the first half as Kelsey Beynnon, knocked-down a 3-pointer at the 6:01 mark that put the Red Foxes on top 27-17.
The Greyhounds responded with an 8-0 to cut the deficit back to two at 27-25 with 2:49 remaining.
Nai Brown sparked the run off the bench, scoring four-straight points. The freshman drove the lane on back-to-back possessions, finishing a pair of runners. Sheahin capped the run with a layup off a nice feed from Alyssa Sutherland along the baseline.
The Greyhounds trailed by four at 31-27 at halftime, as Marist hit six 3-pointers to maintain a slim margin.
Loyola came within two in the early stages of the second half when Offodile hit her second career 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down that got the Greyhounds within 35-33 at the 14:57 mark.
Marist countered with a 10-1 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 45-34 with just over 12 minutes left in the contest. Gang capped the run with a three and finished with three 3-pointers.
Marist maintained a two-to-three possession lead for most of the half, but the Greyhounds were able to make one more run at the seven-time MAAC Champions.
Trailing by nine, Sheahin started a late rally with a deep 3-pointer from the left wing to cut the Marist lead to six at 56-50. On the ensuing possession, Kara Marshall came up with a steal and McKenzie finished a layup on the other end to put the deficit at four with 4:34 left.
After Gang made a layup, Sheahin hit a clutch 3-pointer, pulling up from the top of the key to cut the deficit to three at 58-55 with just over three minutes left in the contest.
The Greyhounds had the ball down three, but a turnover and then a pair of free throws by Gang put the lead back at five.
The Red Foxes closed out the game by hitting their free throws down the stretch and finished 15-of-19 from the stripe.
The Greyhounds finished at-or-above .500 in league play for the fifth time under head coach Joe Logan with a 9-9 mark.
Along with notching her 10th-straight double figure effort, Sheahin also added six rebounds, three assists, three blocks and three steals. It was her 40th-straight game with at least one steal.
Up next, Loyola will head to Sprinfield, Mass., for the 2012 MAAC Championships. The Greyhounds will play No. 5 seed Niagara in the quarterfinal round on Friday at 3:30 p.m.