Dec. 3, 2007
Baltimore, Md. - Freshman forward Meredith Tolley swished a 12-foot jumper from the high post with two seconds remaining on the shot clock and 15 seconds remaining in the game to snap a 55-55 tie and give Loyola a 58-56 non-conference home win over UMBC Monday night at Reitz Arena.
"I would like to say that we see that shot everyday in practice," said Head Coach Joe Logan. "We do take a lot of shots from the high post, but that is not the look that we get every time. I am most excited that a freshman had the courage to step up and hit that shot for us."
The win keeps the Greyhounds (4-3) unbeaten at home in three tries.
The Retrievers (2-6) had a shot to win or tie the game and send it to overtime. After senior guard Tynisha Davis made only the second of a two-shot foul to put Loyola ahead by two (58-56), UMBC was able to make a length-of-the-floor pass to Carlee Cassidy and her 17-foot shot fell harmlessly to the floor as the final horn sounded.
Loyola had to climb all the way back from a 10-point second-half deficit with 7:51 remaining after the Retrievers received seven points from Cassidy to ignite a 14-0 run to take a 50-40 lead. Sophomore forward Kaitlin Grant's pair of free throws with 5:23 remaining capped a 12-1 Loyola stretch in just over two-and-a-half minutes to give the Greyhounds a 52-51 advantage.
Four straight UMBC free throws provided the Retrievers with a 55-52 lead with just under three minutes remaining, but three free throws from senior forward Meghan Wood on consecutive trips to the line knotted the game at 55 with 1:40 left, setting up the final sequence.
"UMBC runs its offense very well, and if you put pressure on them, they are going to make you pay," Logan said. "We waited until there were about nine minutes left, and then we had to (put pressure on them). They started to miss some shots, and we did a good job of rebounding. We were down by 10 in the second half, but we did not give up, and we just kept on doing things that would make us successful."
The Greyhounds emerged from a first half that featured four leads and four lead changes with a slim one-point advantage, 30-29. UMBC erased a seven-point deficit with a 10-0 run to take a 29-26 lead on Cassidy's layup with 2:15 remaining. But Loyola scored the final four points of the half as Wood sandwiched a pair of free throws around a jumper from Tolley.
The Retrievers' Kristin Drabyn paced all first-half scorers with 17 points, making five three-pointers, four of those representing UMBC's first 12 points of the game. Sophomore guard Erica DiClemente led Loyola with seven points while Wood and Davis each scored six.
Drabyn led all scorers with 24 points while Cassidy added 17 and a team-high six rebounds for UMBC. For Loyola, Wood recorded the third double-double of her career and first this season with 11 points and 12 rebounds while Davis finished with 12 points. Tolley nearly equaled her season output for points entering the contest (10) with nine while Grant, DiClemente and freshman guard Candice Walker each contributed seven points.
"It is most important to step up and do something to help the team," Davis said. We told them (the freshmen) in the locker room that they are no longer freshmen. They played like much older players tonight."
Wood added, "The freshmen really stepped up tonight. We said (when we were down by 10) that we had to win this game, and we were going to have to play defense to do it. The freshmen responded and did that."
Loyola returns to action Friday when it hosts Niagara in the conference opener. Game time at Reitz Arena is 7 o'clock.