Dec. 9, 2007
BALTIMORE - Junior guard Siobhan Prior connected on a three-pointer from the top of the key with four minutes remaining as part of a 6-0 run to give Loyola a lead it would not relinquish as the Greyhounds posted a 55-53 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference home victory over the Canisius Golden Griffins Sunday afternoon at Reitz Arena.
Freshman guard Candice Walker connected on a pair of free throws with 15 ticks remaining to seal the win.
"I was very proud of our defensive effort, not just tonight, but all weekend," said Loyola Head Coach Joe Logan after his team improved to 2-0 in the MAAC with wins over Niagara and Canisius this weekend.
"We held two teams that have the capability to score a lot of points in the fifties. In the second half, especially (against Canisius), we did a good job of keeping them from getting good looks. They were only 4-of-14 from 3-point (range), and that was something we were concerned about going into the game"
The win was the third straight for the Greyhounds and fifth straight at home to open the season, improving their record to 6-3 overall, 2-0 in MAAC play. Canisius dropped to 4-4 and 1-1 in the conference.
Loyola's second-half defense keyed the win as it held the Golden Griffins to just eight field goals and the Greyhounds held a 22-16 rebounding advantage over the final 20 minutes.
Canisius (4-4, 1-1 MAAC) almost tied game with a four-point trip following Walker's free throws when Amanda Cavo was fouled attempting a three-point shot with 3.2 seconds remaining. She made the first two tries and Golden Griffins head coach Terry Zeh called time out to set up the final play. Cavo missed the shot to the right and JJ Williams grabbed the offensive rebound and got off a last-second shot from inside the lane that missed the mark.
Trailing 49-47 after Micayla Drysdale converted a conventional three-point play, Prior made her three-pointer to give Loyola the lead. Senior forward Meghan Wood converted the first of a two-shot foul and Walker made a steal and a layup for a 53-49 lead with 2:51 remaining.
"Siobhan made some big shots against Niagara, and hopefully that gave her more confidence," Logan said. "She really stepped up today, and she made some of those big shots. Hopefully, this puts her into t a groove shooting the ball."Ellie Radke's driving layup thirty seconds later would be the game's last field goal as Walker followed with her free throws.
Trailing 26-20 with 6:41 remaining in the first half, Loyola use a 9-3 run prior to the intermission to knot the game at 29. Prior started the stretch with a three-pointer then stole the ball and fed sophomore forward Kaitlin Grant for a lay-up to pull the Greyhounds within one at 26-25. Baskets by Wood and Walker sandwiched around a three-pointer from Canisius' Brittane Russell ended the scoring.
Loyola placed four players in double figures in scoring led by Walker, who tied her career high with 16 points while adding four assists. Prior's 11 points off the bench represented her career high; Grant chipped in with 11 and Wood added 10 with nine rebounds and four assists.
Russell paced Canisius with 16 points, six rebounds and four steals. Cavo finished with nine and Williams eight for the Golden Griffins.
The Greyhounds are off for exams, playing their next game on December 22 when they host Columbia. Game time is scheduled for one o'clock.