March 4, 2011
BRIDGEPORT, Conn.- Junior guard Miriam McKenzie made a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation to tie the score at 49-49, sending the game to overtime, and the Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team outscored Canisius College in overtime to defeat the Golden Griffins, 68-53, in the Spark Energy Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Quarterfinals at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.
Down three with 3.7 seconds to go, McKenzie took an inbounds pass from under Loyola's own basket, dribbled the floor and launched a 21-foot shot, sinking it to tie the score.
"I give Miriam a lot of credit for getting the ball down with only three seconds left," Greyhounds sixth-year head coach Joe Logan said about McKenzie's buzz-beater after the game. "She managed to catch the ball and even bobbled it a bit but she managed to dribble down and get her feet set to knock it down. It was huge for us."
The second-seeded Greyhounds will play No. 3 Manhattan on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in the MAAC Semifinals.
Sophomore guard Katie Sheahin scored five of the first seven points of overtime, making a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer to stake Loyola to a 56-49 advantage just 3:30 into the extra period.
Loyola held Canisius to just four points in overtime while scoring 19.
The Greyhounds, who made just 7-of-13 free throws in regulation, knocked down all 16 of their attempts at the charity stripe in overtime. Canisius cut Loyola's overtime advantage to five with 2:03 remaining on the clock, but the Golden Griffins did not score from that point forward, and the Greyhounds made 10 free throws in a row.
The game got off to a slow start for both teams in the first half, before Canisius' Micayla Drysdale hit a deep three to record the first points of the contest.
The teams traded buckets before McKenzie picked off a pass for two Loyola points and DiClemente scored a turnaround jumper in the paint to give the Greyhounds their first lead of the game, 9-8. McKenzie extended the lead to two, making 1-of-2 free throws eight minutes into the game. The lead would not last long as the Griffs went back up by three before Sheahin helped put Loyola back on top, scoring seven straight points during a 10-2 Loyola run that gave the Greyhounds their largest lead of the game, 20-15.
"When we needed to score Miriam and Katie did a really great job and we were able to get them the ball to help us out when we needed some momentum," said Coach Logan.
Canisius responded by going on a run of its own, scoring the next six points to lead by one, 21-20 at the 5:48 mark of the first half. Despite shooting nearly 46 percent from the field and hitting three-of-seven three-pointers in first 20 minutes, Loyola trailed,30-28, at the half.
The Griffs picked up where they left off adding six points to a 14-2 Canisius run that stretched from the final three minutes of the first half to the first four minutes of the second.
Sheahin hit DiClemente off backdoor cut on the baseline to end run to end the run and ignite Loyola's offense. The Greyhounds went into a full court press following DiClemente's basket forcing a turnover that put McKenzie at the line to knock down two free throws with 13:21 remaining. A minute later, the junior drove through the lane for a lay-up and was fouled on the play. McKenzie missed her free throw attempt but Sheahin snatched the rebound putting it back in for two more points to tie the score, 38-38.
On the next play, Sheahin picked off her second pass of the game and converted one-of-two free throws to give Loyola its first lead of the game. Sheahin had her third steal of the game just after the midway mark. She converted the defensive play into an assist on the other end as she dished the ball off to McKenzie for her second-straight lay-up, extending Loyola's lead to 43-40.
The Greyhounds combined for only three points as the Griffs went on to score nine straight to go ahead, 49-46 with just three ticks left before McKenzie's buzzer beater sent the game into extra time.