BALTIMORE - Behind a 23-0 second-half run, the Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team defeated former Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foe, Saint Peter's University, 59-49, Saturday evening in Reitz Arena.
Loyola (2-7) trailed by as much as 12 points early in the second half before Bri Betz-White hit a 3-point field goal at 12:13 that sparked the game-winning run. Throughout the streak, Loyola's defense held the Peacocks scoreless for almost 11 minutes, as the Greyhounds' offense turned a 42-30 deficit into a 53-42 advantage by the 1:13 mark.
The last time Loyola scored 20-plus unanswered points was on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, against Lehigh University in Reitz Arena.
Betz-White led all players on Saturday, scoring a career-high 19 points, while junior Jeneh Perry added 15 points off the bench. For the second-straight contest, sophomore Lauren Daugherty led Loyola on the glass, grabbing a game-high nine boards.
Saint Peter's (0-8) opened the second stanza scoring 16 of the half's first 23 points. The Peacocks' led 42-30 when Neechelle Ingram hit a basket with 12:32 left in regulation.
Betz-White, however, knocked down a trey to pull Loyola within single digits, 42-33, and the Greyhounds did not look back, securing the lead for the remainder of the contest.
The run included eight field goals, and six baskets from the charity stripe. Betz-White, Perry and senior Steph Smith contributed seven points each throughout the run, while sophomore Lisa Mirarchi accounted for the other two. It was Betz-White's back-to-back free throw's with seven minutes remaining that gave Loyola its first lead of the contest.
From that point on, the bigs, Perry and Smith dominated the offensive scoring presence. Smith gave Loyola its largest lead of the contest, 53-42, following a Saint Peter's turnover, when she took a pass from Perry and went up for the layup with just over three minutes remaining in the game.
An and-one opportunity by Talah Hughes put Saint Peter's back on the board, 53-45, with 1:13 left in regulation. The basket snapped an 11-minute scoring drought for the Peacocks, as they committed 10 turnovers in that time, allowing the Greyhounds to close out the contest scoring 29 of the game's final 36 points.
The two teams combined for 10 charity stripe points to end the game, as Loyola shot over 66-percent from the free throw line on Saturday evening.
Rebecca Sparks led the Peacocks with 12 points, while Sajanna Bethea and Bridget Whitfield grabbed a team-best eight rebounds.
Prior to tipoff, the Peacocks' head coach Pat Coyle, who led lead the Greyhounds to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 1993 and '94, was recognized for her achievement on the Evergreen Campus.
Loyola has a quick turnaround, as the Greyhound host Cornell University on Monday, Dec. 22. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m., from inside Reitz Arena.