Late Run Pushes Greyhounds Past Howard, 62-56

Nov. 27, 2011

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BALTIMORE - The Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team got a career-high 15 points from sophomore Nicole Krusen, as the Greyhounds used a late second-half run to get past Howard, 62-56, on Sunday afternoon at Reitz Arena.

Krusen became the first Greyhound since Katie Sheahin on March 11, 2011, against Old Dominion to hit five 3-pointers in a game, finishing 5-for-7 from behind the arc. She led the Greyhound bench that outscored the Lady Bison 21-0 in the contest. Freshman Steph Smith had the other six bench points for Loyola on 2-of-2 shooting.

Nneka Offodile was in double figures, scoring a career-high 10 points while Sheahin also added 10.

The Greyhounds (2-3) shot a season-best 47.6 percent (20-for-42) from the field while notching a season-high 17 assists on 20 made field goals. Sheahin led the team with six helpers and three other Greyhounds had three apiece.

Miriam McKenzie registered double-digit rebounds for the second consecutive game, grabbing 11 to lead the Greyhounds while scoring six points.

Howard (1-4), which was picked to finish second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, was held to 30.2-percent shooting from the floor. Tamoria Holmes led the visitors with 20 points, while Preseason MEAC Player of the Year, Saadia Doyle, scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

The Lady Bison finished the first half on an 11-3 run to claim a 32-31 advantage at halftime. Doyle led Howard with 10 points and six rebounds, helping the visitors shoot 52.4-percent from the floor.

The Greyhounds had one of their best offensive halves of the year, shooting a season-best 52.4-percent (11-for-21) from the field in the first frame. Krusen led all scorers with 12 points, hitting 4-of-5 from 3-point range.

Loyola's offense came off excellent ball movement, recording 10 assists on 11 made field goals. Sheahin led the Greyhounds with four assists, with five different players dishing out helpers.

The bench also was a major part of the offensive success, accounting for 14 points, the most for the Greyhounds' bench in a game this season.

Neither team led by more than two points until Loyola went on an 8-0 run midway through the first half to turn a one-point deficit into a 22-15 lead. Krusen sparked the rally off the bench, hitting back-to-back 3's during the run that also included a two from Offodile.

The Greyhounds maintained the seven-point advantage until the 4:01 mark of the half, when the Lady Bison started an 11-0 run to take their biggest lead of the half at 32-28 with less than a minute to go. Howard scored six fast-break points during the run and finished the half with 10.

Krusen ended the Howard run, dropping her fourth 3-pointer of the half with five seconds remaining to cut the Loyola deficit to one at the break.

Neither team could find an offensive rhythm to start the second half, with Holmes scoring the first points for either side at the 15:44 mark.

The Lady Bison maintained the advantage, but never led by more than five in the half. Doyle gave Howard its biggest lead with 13:57 left, putting the score at 38-33.

The Greyhounds scored five quick points to knot the game at 38, with Sheahin scoring off a steal by Alyssa Sutherland and Krusen tying the game on her fifth 3 of the contest with 12:20 on the clock.

Howard continued to hold the lead until Kara Marshall hit a pair of free throws with 7:08 left, putting Loyola on top 44-43. It was the first lead for the Greyhounds since 1:28 remaining in the first half. Loyola finished a perfect 14-for-14 from the charity stripe including 10-for-10 in the second half.

Loyola trailed once more in the game after Cheyenne Curley-Payne hit a driving lay-up with 6:02 left that put the Lady Bison up 45-44.

The Greyhounds responded with an 8-0 spurt that put them up by seven with 4:23 remaining and never looked back. Sheahin accounted for all eight points on the run, draining back-to-back 3-pointers from the left wing and then handing out an assist to Smith who hit a 12-footer from the baseline.

Howard came as close as two after a breakaway layup by Holmes with 3:32 left. But Loyola came right back with a 6-0 run with Offodile scoring four-straight to give Loyola a 58-50 lead.

McKenzie and Sutherland put the finishing touches on the win, knocking down four-straight free throws to give head coach Joe Logan his 98th career win.

Loyola improved to 3-2 all-time against Howard and 16-18 against MEAC schools.

The Greyhounds return to the court on Saturday, December 3 when the Greyhounds host Army at 2 p.m.