Balanced Scoring Leads Loyola Past Army, 68-64

Dec. 3, 2011

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BALTIMORE -  The Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team used balanced scoring to down Army, 68-64, Saturday afternoon at Reitz Arena. The victory moved Loyola to .500 for the first time this season, and also gave Head Coach Joe Logan his 99th career victory.

Loyola (3-3) had four players reach double-digit scoring for the first time since March 4, 2011, against Canisius. Senior Miriam McKenzie led the way with 18 points, while junior Katie Sheahin added 17, sophomore Nicole Krusen had 11 and freshman Kara Marshall contributed 10. Junior Alyssa Sutherland and Sheahin shared the team lead with eight rebounds each.

Sheahin also added five assists and finished with two steals to tie Brittany Dunn (2003-07) for fourth place on Loyola's program records. She needs just six more steals to move into the top three in all-time history.

For Army (6-3), Olivia Schretzman led the way with 13 points, while Jen Hazlett had 12, Anna Simmers had 11 and Molly Yardley added 10. Jessica Waggoner led all players with 12 rebounds.  

After shooting just 33.3-percent from the field in the first half, the Greyhounds shot 54.2-percent in the second half while scoring 40 points, a season-high for points in a half this season for the Greyhounds. Logan contributed the offensive production to taking care of the ball.

"We had a season-low 13 turnovers today," commented Logan. "It helps the offense when you take care of the ball. We also had 14 assists which shows that we moved the ball well in the offense."

The contest was the fifth-straight decided by six points or fewer for Loyola, as the Greyhounds improved to 3-2 in those games and are now 3-0 when leading with less than five minutes to play.

Both teams played strong defense in the first half, as Loyola held the Black Knights to 34.6-percent shooting from the field and took a 28-24 lead into the locker room.

Marshall led all scorers with 10 points at the break, providing the offensive spark for the Greyhounds. The freshman hit 3-of-4 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line.

The Greyhounds led by as many as seven in the first half following a 9-2 run that turned a 19-19 tie into a 28-21 lead with less than a minute to play in the frame.

Marshall hit a three during the run while McKenzie and Sheahin each had old-fashioned three-point plays.

Yardley knocked down a three at the buzzer for the Black Knights that cut the Loyola advantage to four.

The teams continued to play a closely contested game in the second half, as the game featured 10 ties and seven lead changes.

The Black Knights took their final lead following an and-one by Anna Simmers, hitting a driving lay-up while getting fouled by McKenzie that put the visitors up 41-40 with 14:02 remaining.

The Greyhounds responded with a 12-3 run that gave the Green and Grey their biggest lead of the contest at 52-43 with 10:32 left to play.

Four different players scored during the run, including McKenzie, Sutherland, Sheahin and Krusen. McKenzie started the stretch by knocking down a long two-point jumper, while Krusen and Sheahin finished it with back-to-back 3-pointers from the left side. Krusen hit three treys in the game after hitting five in the team's last game against Howard.

Sutherland also scored during the run on a great feed from McKenzie. She finished with nine points.

Army continued to claw back into the contest and drew even with the Greyhounds with 3:21 to play after Olivia Schretzman made one-of-two free throws to knot the game at 58 apiece.

Sheahin responded on the ensuing possession, drilling a huge three from the top of the key that put Loyola on top for good at 61-58 with 2:56 left.

The Greyhounds struggled with their free-throw shooting down the stretch, but hit them when they counted in the final minute. McKenzie drained a pair with 24 seconds left that stretched the Loyola lead to four at 66-62. The team finished 16-of-26 at the charity stripe.

Loyola's defense made important stops down the stretch, forcing a pair of turnovers that sealed the game.

Sutherland clinched the game in the final seconds, stripping the ball from Schretzman with the Greyhounds up four. Sheahin recovered the loose ball and dribbled the clock out to give the home side its third win at Reitz this season.

The victory improved Loyola to 3-1 all-time against Army and 20-32 against the Patriot League. The Greyhounds have defeated two Patriot League opponents this season (Army and Navy).

Loyola returns to action on Monday when they head to Lehigh for a 7 p.m. contest.