Nov. 21, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The second-half struggles continued Saturday afternoon, for Loyola women's basketball. For the second straight day, the Greyhounds (2-2) played their opponents close in the first half but failed to shoot more than 25 percent from the field in the second, and were downed 58-43 by Tulane (2-1) at Navy's Alumni Hall in Annapolis, in the Navy Classic.
For the third time in four games, Miriam McKenzie hit the 20-point mark. McKenzie lit up the court for 20 points and was two rebounds shy of her third straight double-double. Alyssa Sutherland, in just her fourth collegiate game, had seven points, six rebounds and three steals. The freshman out of Syracuse, N.Y., excelled in transition with two fastbreak layups that helped spark a late rally.
Tulane's Brett Benzio led the Green Wave with 16 points and a game-high 14 boards. The 6-foot-3 sophomore center dominated at the post, taking away several offensive boards from the `Hounds.
The first half was all about McKenzie. Loyola's top guard put up 15 points to keep the Greyhounds within reach of the Wave. Kaitlin Grant started off strong as well, putting up six in the first half. Grant finished the game with six points and six rebounds before fouling out.
Tulane pressed McKenzie hard, trying to contain Loyola's leading scorer. But fouling McKenzie proved to be a bad idea, as she netted all four free throws in the first half. The first two tied the game up, and the second two took a Loyola lead. She finished the game 5-for-6 from the line.
McKenzie built on that lead a few seconds later with a jumper, putting the `Hounds up 14-10. But it would be the first and last time Loyola enjoyed a lead. After Benzio put up and layup, Grant quickly turned the ball over and Chassity Brown netted one of her own to tie the game at 14-14.
Benzio took the lead back for Tulane with two freethrows. It looked as though the Greyhounds were coming back to tie in the next possession when Sutherland forced Olivia Grayson to turn the ball over. Mallory Lawes then missed a three and McKenzie grabbed the ball and put it up for a layup but her points were taken off the board, as she was charged with an offensive foul.
Shooting woes plagued the Greyhounds in the second half. The Green Wave held Loyola scoreless for the first five minutes of the half and Tulane went on a strong run.
With 3:46 left, Sutherland, McKenzie and Erica DiClemente rallied to cut Tulane's lead to 10. But the rally came too late.
Non-conference action continues this week, as the Greyhounds travel to Lewisburg, Pa., for a Tuesday contest against Bucknell.