Dec. 1, 2008
BALTIMORE - Loyola trailed Mount St. Mary's, 54-46 with 2:18 to play, but the Greyhounds scored the final nine points of the game, capped by a Meredith Tolley layup with 10 seconds left, to defeat the Mountaineers, 55-54, in Reitz Arena.
Loyola (4-2) forced two Mount (3-2) turnovers in the final 27 seconds and had two critical offensive rebounds that helped pave the Greyhounds' path to victory.
Kaitlin Grant pulled down an offensive rebound and in one motion put in a layup, cutting The Mount's advantage to 54-52 with 34 seconds left.
The Greyhounds immediately began to press in the backcourt, and Candice Walker back-tapped the ball from Brianna Gauthier. Siobhan Prior came up with the loose ball, and got the ball back to Walker, who was fouled by Gauthier.
Walker made the first free throw, but the second bounced off the rim. Grant beat a Mount player for inside position and went up for the rebound. The Mount player, however, knocked it out of bounds with possession going to Loyola with 26 seconds left.
After running an offensive set, Grant drove down the left side of the lane from the high post and kicked the ball right-side to Tolley, who was waiting on the block.
Tolley laid the ball in with 10 seconds left, giving Loyola a 55-54 lead, its first advantage since the 4:47 mark in the first half.
The Mount inbounded the ball and pushed it ahead on the left side of the court. Courtney Nyce appeared to find a Mount player open in the left corner, but Alex Berlin stole the pass and sealed the win for Loyola.
"The Mount, under (Head Coach) Bryan Whitten is headed in the right direction. He has them playing extremely hard right now," Loyola Head Coach Joe Logan said. "We need more of that for 40 minutes ourselves. It came down to us playing harder and matching their intensity late in the game.
"We got some balls to bounce our way, we got steals, and we capitalized on some of their turnovers. It was a great team win for us. To not give up at the end of the game, that is something that will help us deeper into the season. This will help us understand the importance of every possession."
Loyola led in the opening minutes, but the Mount scored 10 unanswered to go ahead 10-4 with 11:43 to play before halftime on a Mary Dunn layup.
The Greyhounds chipped away, and Siobhan Prior scored eight points in a row for Loyola, lifting the team to a 21-17 lead with 6:05 to play in the first.
The Mount, however, scored 12 of the half's final 14 points, six coming on Lauren Howell 3-pointers, to lead 29-23 at the break.
Although Loyola cut its deficit to two, 40-38, on a driving Candice Walker jumper, The Mount extended its lead to 10, 48-38, on a Howell three with 7:12 to play.
Walker drove and had another layup bounce in, pulling the Greyhounds within seven, 49-42, with 4:23 to go, but Dunn made a layup and ensuing free throw to make the Greyhounds' deficit 10 once more.
Grant made a pair of free throws with 3:49 to play, and the Greyhounds had two offensive rebounds in a sequence around the 3-minute mark that led to a Walker layup, making it a 52-46 Mount lead.
Dunn made two more free throws with 2:18 to play, scoring what would prove to be The Mount's final points.
Grant and Miriam McKenzie each made 1-of-2 from the line on Loyola's next two possessions, and following a Prior steal of Hassanah Oliver, Prior made two free throws with 50 ticks left.
Oliver then missed a pair of free throws on the offensive end for the Mountaineers, setting up the final sequence for Loyola.
Dunn scored 15 to lead all scorers, while Howell and Leah Westbrooks each had 12 for The Mount.
Prior scored 12 to lead Loyola.
Grant, who was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's Player of the Week earlier in the day, recorded her third career double-double and second in four games with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. She also had three steals and a career-high five assists, the final and most critical coming on Tolley's winning layup.
Walker scored nine, and Tolley added seven. Loyola outrebounded The Mount, 39-32.
Loyola opens MAAC play on Friday evening when it travels to Riverdale, N.Y., for a 5 p.m. game at Manhattan.