Women's Basketball Falls Short in Season Opener vs. VCU, 65-62

Nov. 18, 2005

Final Stats

Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola College women's basketball team led Virginia Commonwealth for nearly 35 minutes of play but ultimately fell to the Rams, 65-62 in their season opener at Reitz Arena Friday evening. Loyola starts the season 0-1 under head coach Joe Logan while the Rams are 1-0 to start.

After a slow start and the score set at 8-6, the Greyhounds scored six straight baskets, including two three-pointers to claim a 22-6 lead with 4:25 left in the first half. Katie Scherle and Brittany Dunn each had two baskets in the run while Jill Glessner had one. The Loyola defense did not allow a VCU basket for nearly eight minutes in that run. Stephanie Merlo ended the Rams drought at 4:11 with a three-pointer for a 22-9 score but the Greyhounds maintained a solid 31-17 lead going into the half. At the half, Loyola's scoring was balanced with points from seven players. Dunn led with eight in the first half.

The Rams came on strong to start the second half with eight straight points for a 31-25 score with 17:15 left to play. Quanitra Hollingsworth scored the first two baskets to start the 8-0 VCU run. Dunn ended the Loyola drought with a three-pointer, followed by layups by Vanessa Ruffin and Jackie Valderas to give Loyola a 38-25 cushion.

VCU continued to whittle away at that lead however with another 8-0 run for a 38-33 score. The Greyhounds held off, slowly building their lead back up to 46-35 with 8:56 left to play. Jackie Valderas scored a basket while Scherle added four free-throws and Rufin hit two free-throws as well in the 8-2 Loyola run. A basket by VCU's Krystal Vaugn and a 1-for-2 effort from the line by Brittany Pinkney brought the lead down to 46-38 and a three-point play by Vaughn at 8:22 got the Rams within five, 46-41.

Loyola sophomore Tynisha Davis broke up VCU's scoring with a three-pointer at 8:07 but VCU continued to work on the offensive end. Vaughn hit another jump shot to set the score at 49-43 before Glessner hit 1-of-2 free-throws for Loyola. Merlo then hit her third three of the night to spark an eight point run by the Rams to claim the lead 51-50 with 5:14 left to play. Dunn reclaimed the lead for Loyola with a layup and free-throw to complete the three-point play but Vaughn went to the line just seconds later to tie the contest at 53. Glessner responded with a layup to reclaim the lead for the second time in less than 15 seconds before a free-throw by Michele Cosel and a basket by Vaughn gave VCU the final lead of the night at 56-55 with 3:17 left to play.

Vaughn, a Baltimore native, continued to work to keep the lead as she scored the next six points in a 6-2 VCU run for a 62-57 lead with just under two minutes left to play. The Greyhounds got within two points of the Rams twice, with just over a minute left to play after a free-throw and basket by Scherle and at six seconds left to play but were unable to get the tying basket. Vera Chistova's 1-for-2 effort from the line closed out scoring at 65-62.

Vaughn led the game with 23 points and 13 rebounds. All 23 points came in the second half. Also in double figures for the Rams was Stephanie Merlo with 11 points with a 3-for-3 effort from behind the arc.

Loyola was led by junior Brittany Dunn's career-high of 16 points. Scherle followed with 14 points. Dunn also led on the board with five, tied with Ruffin.

The Greyhounds travel to Hartford Sunday, November 20.