Dec. 29, 2009
VILLANOVA, Pa - Two double-doubles helped Loyola launch a second-half rally that took the Greyhounds past San Francisco Tuesday afternoon, in the consolation game of Villanova's Wildcat Holiday Classic. Loyola broke a tie less than two minutes into the second half and never relinquished the lead, defeating the Dons 60-51.
Loyola finished third in the tournament, closing out the non-conference schedule with a win.
McKenzie posted her fourth double-double of the season and also hit the 20-point mark for the fourth time, finishing with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Grant had 10 points and matched her season-high and led the game by pulling down 12 boards. Grant's five steals were also a game-high number. Erica DiClemente added in 15 points.
Rheina Ale led the Dons (4-12) with 12 points and eight rebounds. Donnisha Taylor, who is averaging more than 12 points per game in USF's wins, was held to just eight points.
The Greyhounds opened with a quick 9-4 lead, holding the Dons at bay for the first 10 minutes. But San Francisco was then able to take back control and get the running game started.
Katy Keating hit two straight threes to tie the game and break an 11-11 tie, helping the Dons to build a small lead. San Francisco quickly upped the tempo of the game.
After Loyola came back to tie the Dons two more times, San Francisco looked as though it was starting to pull away. But with two minutes left, Erica DiClemente knocked down two free throws to put the Greyhounds back by just three points. The charity shots capped off a strong first half by DiClemente, who led the game with 11 points at the half.
McKenzie then netted a free throw of her own and Candice Walker hit a layup with less than a minute left.
Still tied coming into the second half, the Greyhounds took off on a 12-3 run. DiClemente opened the half with a long jumper, and McKenzie and Grant each followed with a layup. McKenzie then scored six straight and a jumper by Alyssa Sutherland gave the Greyhounds a 43-32 lead.
After building a lead, Loyola managed to maintain an average margin of 10 points throughout the second half. Defense neutralized Taylor and Keating, and let Ale, the Dons' leading scorer go with just a handful of points in the second half.