Feb. 28, 2009
BALTIMORE - Ashley Alexander sent her final game in Reitz Arena to overtime when she swished a 3-pointer from the right side with 12 seconds left in regulation, but Siena edged Loyola, 77-71, in double overtime on Saturday afternoon in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action.
Heather Stec made a pair of free throws with 19 ticks left in regulation, giving the Saints (10-17 overall, 9-9 MAAC) a 58-55 lead.
Alexander took a pass from Candice Walker, took two dribbles toward the basket, stepped back and sank a 3-pointer with just under 13 seconds left on the clock. Siena's Cathy Cockrum missed a long three at the buzzer, and the game went to overtime.
Loyola (9-19, 4-14) took a four-point lead in the first overtime on a Kaitlin Grant layup with 1:45 remaining, but Stec hit two field goals, the final coming with 25 seconds left, forcing a second extra frame.
The Saints scored the first seven points of the second overtime before Walker hit a 3-pointer from the right wing with 2:23 left on the clock, cutting Siena's lead to 71-63.
Stec, however, made a layup for the last of her career-high 30 points, with the shot clock expiring on Siena's next possession, giving the Saints a six-point advantage.
Siobhan Prior made a driving layup, and Grant hit a field goal with 23 seconds left, but the Saints' Cristina Centeno hit a pair of free thorws with 21 seconds on the clock to seal the victory.
All five Loyola starters scored in double figures, led by Meredith Tolley's 19. Prior scored 13, and Walker had 13, while Alexander and Grant each added 10.
"We had a balanced scoring effort today, but Siena made some tough shots in overtime," Loyola Head Coach Joe Logan said. "Heather Stec had a huge game, and they made sure to get the ball to her in overtime."
Alexander recorded the first double-double of her collegiate career with a team-best 10 rebounds. Alex Berlin scored seven off the bench and led the Greyhounds with four assists and a career-high three blocked shots.
Stec also recorded a career-high with 18 rebounds, while Sarah Fullmer scored 19 and pulled down 15 boards.
Including the 722 games at Saturday's game, the Greyhounds set a home attendance record this season with 7,951 fans and an average of 568 per game this season.
Saturday's game was also the culmination of a season-long effort to promote breast cancer awareness and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Pink Zone initiative. Through a fundraiser, the Loyola athletics department will donate over $1,500 to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.
Loyola will continue its season at the 2009 MAAC Championships in Albany, N.Y. The Greyhounds will take on Manhattan on Thursday, March 5, at 2 p.m. in the Times-Union Center.