First-Half Defense Leads Loyola To 59-55 Win Over Bucknell

Dec. 1, 2010

Final Stats

Baltimore, Md. - Loyola University Maryland's women's basketball team forced 20 first-half turnovers and doubled Bucknell's field-goal output in building a 36-21 intermission advantage and held on for the Greyhounds' first win of the season, a 59-55 non-conference home victory over the Bison Wednesday night in Reitz Arena.

"It feels great," said Head Coach Joe Logan about the win. "The first win is always the toughest and Bucknell is a really good team."

Trailing 16-13, Loyola sophomore Alyssa Sutherland (career-high 10 points) tied the score at 16 with a three-pointer with 8:21 left in the half to ignite a 17-0 Greyhounds run after which Loyola held a 30-16 lead with just under 100 seconds left in the half. Sutherland, graduate student Erica DiClemente and sophomore Katie Sheahin each scored five points during the run.

Only a 40-foot heave by Bucknell's Shelby Romine at the buzzer kept the Greyhounds (1-5) from doubling the first-half score. Loyola held a significant 20-4 advantage in turnovers and tallied 16 field goals compared to eight for the Bison.

Loyola was led by DiClemente who tallied 16 points and five steals. Miriam McKenzie added 15 points and Sheahin had 11 points and led on the boards with eight to tie her career high.

"She is a tough player," said Logan about Sheahin and her eight rebounds. "She wants the ball and that is a good thing. When they are pressing at the end of the game she really learned how to handle that pressure and be under control and get the ball to her teammates."

"Miriam had a great drive at the end and she can do that," added Logan. "She is that talented and if she continues to play that way we think we will have a lot of success."

Bucknell was led by Joyce Novacek who recorded a double-double with 18 points and 19 rebounds and Shelby Romine had 13 points.

As a team the Greyhounds had 14 steals, 27 rebounds and 10 turnovers to Bucknell's four steals, 51 rebounds and 27 turnovers.

The Bison were able to fight their way back in the second half largely through their defense and better care of the basketball. Bucknell (2-4) cut its turnovers in half and also forced the Greyhounds into 33.3 percent (8-24) shooting after the intermission. Loyola also converted just five of 13 attempts from the free-throw line.

"We think tonight having played Pitt and West Virginia helped us," said Logan. "They got to the free throw line a lot and that is something we need to continue to work on. But we are very pleased with our patience and our pose especially down the stretch."

The Greyhounds are back in action Friday night when they travel to Navy. Home contests follow next week as Loyola hosts Maryland on Tuesday and Mount St. Mary's on December 11.