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Early Lead Not Enough For Women's Hoops In MAAC Championship

March 7, 2011

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Loyola University Maryland's women's basketball team took a nine-point lead early in the first half, but 18th-ranked Marist College overcame the deficit and defeated the Greyhounds, 63-45, Monday afternoon in the Spark Energy Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Game at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.

The Greyhounds (20-12 overall), however, will play in the Women's National Invitational Tournament by virtue of their second-place finish during the MAAC Regular Season. Marist (30-2) earned the MAAC's automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Championships for the sixth-straight season.

Loyola jumped out to a 12-3 lead on a Meredith Tolley 3-pointer 4-minutes, 32-seconds into the contest, and then after a Marist field goal, Erica DiClemente scored on a layup for the Greyhounds to give them a 14-5 advantage at the 12:45 mark.

During the next the next three minutes, the Red Foxes went on a 9-0 run to tie the game at 14-14. Loyola extended its lead back to three before Marist junior guard Kristine Best hit a jumper to cut the lead to one. DiClemente and Sheahin scored back-to-back three pointers to extend the Greyhounds lead to five, 23-18, with 4:20 left to go in the half. From that point, the Red Foxes scored seven straight points to take the lead at the half, 25-23.  

Marist scored 16 of the first 20 second-half points, going ahead 41-27 when Leanne Ockenden hit a three with 10:42 to play. The Red Foxes held the Greyhounds to just one field during their run. Loyola scored nine points over the next two minutes to cut the deficit to ten with 6:31 left to go in the game.

Loyola could not cut the lead to less than ten as Marist outscored the Greyhounds 11-4 over the final 3:38 and Marist went on to win its seventh MAAC Championship.

During the Greyhounds' run in the first half, junior guard Miriam McKenzie  scored her 1,000th point of her career as she drained a three point shot at the 16:39 mark.  

Katie Sheahin led the Greyhounds with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Erica DiClemente tallied 11 points.

Marist's Erica Allenspach led all players with 21 points and was the only Red Foxes' player in double figures.

Both Katie Sheahin and Miriam McKenzie were named to the 2010-2011 Spark Energy Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team as announced during the award ceremony that followed today's Championship game.