March 4, 2006
Albany, N.Y. - The Loyola College women's basketball team earned its first trip to the MAAC Championship since 1998 with a 76-66 win over No. 2 seed Canisius Saturday at the Pepsi Arena. The No. 3 seed Greyhounds improve to 20-9 on the season, posting the schools fourth 20-plus win season in history. Canisius ends its season with an 18-11 overall record.
The first half featured five ties while neither team took more than a four point lead until Loyola took control. With Canisius in the lead by one, 22-21 with 5:34 to play in the half, the Greyhounds scored nine straight unanswered points top take a 30-22 lead with 3:34 to play in the half. A basket by Jackie Valderas started the run at 5:22 before Katie Scherle added a 1-for-2 effort from the free-throw line. Valderas came up with a steal on the next play and Jill Glessner scored after Scherle nabbed an offensive rebound. Brittany Dunn gave Loyola its next basket and made the defensive play at Canisius' end, passed the ball ahead to Scherle for the score and the 30-22 lead.
Canisius' Abby Radunske hit 1-of-2 from the free-throw line to end the Griffs scoring drough at 3:12 before Krystle Harrington was fouled on a three-point basket at 2:11 and made all three free-throws for a 33-23 lead. The squads exchanged baskets with Becky Zak scoring Canisius' at 2:04 while Glessner gave Loyola bucket at 1:50 for the 35-25 marker. The teams' held each other scoreless for the next minute before Scherle hit 1-for-2 from the free-throw line for the 36-25 halftime mark.
Loyola remained up by 11 after three minutes of play in the second before baskets by Harrington and Scherle gave the `Hounds 45-30 at 15:38. The Greyhounds maintained that 15 point lead and extended it with a three-point play by Dunn at 13:47 for a 50-36 score. And after a Canisius basket by Megan Lyte extended their lead further with a 4-for-4 effort from the charity stripe, two shots each from Glessner and Scherle. Harrington drove to the basket on the next Loyola play to give the `Hounds their largest lead, 58-38 with 11 minute to play.
The Griffs offense turned up the pressure outscoring Loyola 17-3 over the next five and a half minutes to cut the margin to eight, 63-55. The `Hounds three points in that stretch came from a three-point play by Scherle. Troupe ended the Greyhounds drought with a basket at 5:15 for a 65-55 score. Lyte used a three-point basket to cut Loyola's lead to 65-58 but the Greyhounds had an answer. Glessner scored to counter at 3:10 for the 67-58 lead. Lyte scored on a put-back at 2:42 and a 67-60 score but forced Loyola to the free-throw line. Harrington was 1-for-2 while Dunn added two shots to return the lead to 10, 70-60 with 1:37 on the clock.
Rookie of the Year Amanda Cavo cut the margin to seven for the last time with a three-point basket at the one minute mark before the Griffs were again forced to foul. Loyola hit 6-of-8 shots in the final minute to hold out and earn the victory, 76-66.
The Greyhounds recorded 14 assists in the contest to Canisius' five. The Griffs committed 22 turnovers while Loyola has just 12.
Scherle had her best game this season, leading Loyola with 19 points and eight rebounds. Dunn aadded 16 points while grabbing four steals. Glessner added 14 points while Valderas scored 13. Harrington scored eight points while dishing out six assists.
Cavo led Canisius with 18 points, 12 from three-point range. Zak added 14 and Lyte scored 13 while grabbing eight boards. Abby Radunske scored 11 points off the bench.
No. 3 Loyola advances to the MAAC Championship for the first time since 1998 and will face No. 1 Marist Sunday at 12:00.