Dec. 7, 2007
BALTIMORE - Loyola shot 52-percent from the field in the second half and made 5-of-8 field goals in the final 7-minutes, 15-seconds, to seal a 63-50 victory over Niagara in the teams' Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener on Friday night at Reitz Arena.
Meghan Wood and Candice Walker each scored 15 for the Greyhounds (5-3 overall, 1-0 MAAC) to lead , while Walker and Erica DiClemente both pulled down seven rebounds. Walker scored 13 of her points in the second half, and Wood had 11 in the first.
Loyola led 42-38 when Siobhan Prior took a handoff from Wood on the right side, stepped right and hit a 3-pointer from the wing.
Prior went on to make two more jumpers, as Loyola stretched its lead to 13 over the final seven minutes.
"Siobhan Prior has to be the player of the game," Wood said. "In the locker room at halftime, we said that someone has to step up and make a shot, and `Shevy' did just that. She really made three hug shots that helped us take the lead."
On the ensuing Purple Eagles (2-6, 0-1) possession, Walker intercepted a Sarah Wilson and went coast-to-coast for a layup to put the Greyhounds ahead by nine.
Jennifer McNamee made two free throws, after Wood picked up her four foul, to cut Niagara's deficit to 47-40, but Prior took a pass on the right side where she earlier hit a three, drove to the free-throw line and hit a pull-up jumper.
Niagara turned the ball over again on its next possession, and Tynisha Davis made two free throws on the Loyola end, extending the Greyhounds' lead to 11.
Erika Harris converted a layup for the Purple Eagles, scoring two of her team-high 14, with 5:32 left, but Prior again hit a big shot for Loyola. This time, she made a 17-foot jumper from the top of the circle to give the Greyhounds a 53-42 lead.
"Tonight, Siobhan took advantage of what the opposition gave her, and we needed that," Head Coach Joe Logan said. "We have been waiting for her to hit those shots in a game because she makes them in practice, and tonight she hit the three to get going."
Davis added 12 points, 10 in the second half, for Loyola. Kaitlin Grant and DiClemente each had six points.
In addition to Harris' 14, Wilson scored 11 for the Purple Eagles, who shot just 30.9-percent from the field.
Loyola finished the game with a season-high .478 shooting percentage.
The Greyhounds continue conference play on Sunday, December 9, 2007, when they host Canisius at 2:30 p.m. in Reitz Arena.