Dec. 21, 2013
BALTIMORE - Nai Brown scored 17 of her 23 game-high points in the second half as Loyola University Maryland used a 14-2 run to defeat the UMBC Retrievers, 56-49, in Reitz Arena Saturday afternoon.
Brown scored 20-plus points in back-to-back showings, recording 23 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Nneka Offodile recorded her first-career double-double, tying a career-high 13 points and 11 rebounds. The last time Loyola had two players with a double-double was January 20, 2012, when Miriam McKenzie and Katie Sheahin traveled to Marist College.
Brown went to the free-throw line 20 times in the second half, four shy of the program record set by Patty Stoffey in 1994. The junior guard made 13 of the attempts from the charity stripe, five shy of Stoffey's 18 from the same Saint Peter's matchup in '94.
Loyola (3-7) trailed by as much as 15 points, 34-21, only two-minutes into the second half when Sara Tarbert connected on a jumper for UMBC (1-9).
Over the next two minutes, Loyola chipped away at the double-digit deficit, eventually pulling within single digits for the remainder of the contest after Tiffany Padgett paint points, 36-28, with 13:39 left in the game.
With 6:50 remaining in regulation, freshman Lisa Mirarchi forced a Retriever turnover and brought the ball back the Greyhounds' side of the court. Right before the under-eight media timeout, Brown drew the foul. Coming out of the timeout, Brown's free throw attempt knotted the score 43-43.
Minutes later, Brown returned to the charity stripe for a pair of free throws, giving Loyola its first lead of the second half, 45-43, with 6:21 remaining.
Brown and Offodile finished off the 14-2 run scoring six points in two minutes, sending the score, 51-45, with just over three minutes remaining.
UMBC's Emily Russo pulled the Retrievers within two on a layup with two minutes left to play, and would end up becoming the final one-possession opportunity for UMBC.
Loyola's final five points came from the free-throw line, attributed by Brown and classmate Kara Marshall.
Marshall was the third Greyhound to score double-digits, with 11 points and two steals.
Loyola recorded a season-high 43 rebounds, while committing a season-low 10 turnovers.
The Greyhounds take the next seven days to celebrate the Holidays, before returning to action Saturday, Dec. 28, at Towson University. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.