Dec. 29, 2005
San Diego, Calif. - Lauren Troupe scored a season-high 19 points to lead Loyola women's basketball to a 52-43 win over San Diego State Wednesday night at the Cox Arena. The Greyhounds topped the host in the opening round of the tournament and improve their record to 6-3 on the season while the Aztecs fall to 2-7. Loyola will now face Auburn, the winner of the opening contest in the championship game on Friday at 10:30 (EST).
"Our players showed a lot of toughness tonight to beat the host team in the first round of this tournament," head coach Joe Logan said. "There was no real flow in the first half, our temp was off but we did a great job in the second half, especially in the last 10 minutes to gain the lead and get the win."
After an extremely slow start, the Greyhounds took their most substantial first half lead with a six point run that began with a fast-break basket when Krystle Harrington lofted the ball to Troupe waiting underneath for the lay-in. That set the score at 8-7 with 12:11 left to play. Brittany Dunn added a basket and Harrington took a back door pass from Jackie Valderas in the post for a 12-7 mark at 10:41. The Aztecs reduced that lead to one twice before taking a 15-14 lead with 4:22 left in the half. The teams exchanged the one point lead before a jump shot by Jill Glessner at 1:21 ended the scoring on the half with Loyola in the lead, 20-19.
Neither team shot well in the first half with Loyola leading 33.3% to 26.9% for San Diego State. A total of 21 turnovers were committed by the two teams in the first half alone.
The squads battled early in the second half but with the Aztecs leading 27-26 with 16:29 to play before back-to-back baskets by Troupe gave Loyola an edge. Troupe's baskets started a 9-0 run for the Greyhounds to claim a 35-27 lead with just over eight minutes left to play. SDSU attempted to minimize the lead but Loyola shot 100% from the floor in the last six and a half minutes by hitting 6-of-6 from the floor and adding eight free throws to earn the 52-43 victory.
The `Hounds greatly improved their shooting in the second half at 48% for a 40.4% effort for the game. The Aztecs shot just 28.6% on the night.
Troupe led the contest with 19 points, 13 in the second half. Harrington added 11 points and five assists. Valderas led on the boards with 13, nine on the defensive end and three blocks. Troupe followed Valderas in rebounds with eight. Both Valderas and Dunn added six points and Dunn also added three steals.
Michelle Strawberry led for SDSU with 12 points and four assists. Tamika Lipford and Veronica Shaw added eight points.
Loyola will now face Auburn, who won the early contest over UC Davis, on Friday, December 30 at 10:30 p.m (EST).