Strong Second Half Powers Women's Basketball Past Manhattan In MAAC Championships First Round

March 5, 2009

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ALBANY, N.Y. - Kaitlin Grant scored 13 of her 24 points after halftime, and Loyola held Manhattan to just 28-percent from the field in the second half, running past the Jaspers for a 68-63 victory in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships First Round Thursday afternoon at the Times Union Center.

The eighth-seeded Greyhounds (10-19 overall) advanced to face top-seed Marist tomorrow in the MAAC Quarterfinals at 1:30 p.m.

Grant grabbed and offensive rebound and made a layup and free throw after being fouled with 2:46 to play to put Loyola ahead, 65-56.

Ashley Alexander went around a Grant screen on Loyola's next possession and beat her defender to the basket, making an uncontested layup, but Manhattan's Alyssa Herrington hit a 3-pointer from the top of the perimeter with 49 seconds left to pull the Jaspers (10-20 overall) within four.

Candice Walker made a pair of free throws to give Loyola a 66-60 lead with 45 ticks left, but Manhattan's Annie McIntyre made one of her five 3-pointers on the Jaspers' next possession, trimming the Greyhounds' lead to just three with 33 seconds remaining.

Alexander and Tolley each went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line , and the Greyhounds' defense blocked two shots in the waning seconds.

Alexander deflected a McIntyre three, and Grant swatted a Herrington shot from behind the arc, collecting the rebound with five seconds left to secure the win.

Grant matched the career-high of 24 points she set on February 15 at home against Manhattan. She also recorded her seventh double-double of the season - and second in as many games - with a game-high 11 rebounds.

"One of the things that we know we have to do to be successful is be strong in the post," Head Coach Joe Logan said. "We are not the tallest team, so we have to rely on our quickness and ability to make shots in the post. Kaitlin and Meredith did a great job of getting open looks. We knew that we had to tighten our defense in the second half, and we were able to limit their looks in the second half."

After making 15-of-32 shots in the first half, Loyola held the Jaspers to just 2-of-6 from inside the 3-point arc, and 7-of-25 total from the field, in the second half.

Siobhan Prior added 18 points, while Tolley had 14 points and seven rebounds. Alexander scored eight and had four steals, three assists and two blocked shots.

Manhattan scored the first nine points of the game before a Tolley three put Loyola on the board just over three minutes into the contest.

The Greyhounds then tied the game at 11 on a Prior jumper before the Jaspers scored the next seven points and 12 of the ensuing 15 to go up 23-13 with 10:52 remaining in the first half.

Manhattan led by as many as 11 in the first and was up 10, 34-24, with 6:54 left. Loyola, however, scored nine of the first half's final 13 points to pull within five, 38-33 at the break.

The Jaspers went up six in the second half on a 3-pointer by Lindsey Loutsenhizer with 16:17 remaining in the game. Grant and Prior each made baskets in the paint, and Alexander went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line to pull within one, 43-42, with just over 14 minutes left.

Tolley then swished a 3-pointer to give the Greyhounds their first lead of the game, 45-43 with 13:40 left.

Manhattan went up by three on two Michelle Pacheco free throws minutes later, but Prior gave the Greyhounds the lead for good with 8:02 on the clock.

McIntyre led the Jaspers with 17 points, while Loutsenhizer scored 15 and had a team-high 10 rebounds.

Kelly Regan scored eight points in the first eight minutes and had 10 at the half, but Loyola held the Jaspers' leading scorer to just a single free-throw in the second half.