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Rider Set To Face Women's Basketball Friday Morning

Jan. 7, 2010

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Up Next: Rider and Saint Peter's

Rider Broncs (2-11 overall, 0-2 MAAC)
Loyola Greyhounds (6-7overall, 1-1 MAAC)
When: Friday, January 8
Where: Reitz Arena
Time: 11:30 a.m.

Saint Peter's Peahens (5-8 overall, 1-1 MAAC)
Loyola Greyhounds (6-7 overall, 1-1 MAAC)
When: Sunday, January 10
Where: Yanitelli Center (Jersey City, N.J.)
Time: 2 p.m.

Lunch Date
The `Hounds return home this week after four games on the road and will play Rider in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action Friday at 11:30 a.m.

Last Second StopLoyola moved to 1-1 in conference play Tuesday night with a heartbreaking 60-57 loss to Fairfield, at Alumni Hall in Fairfield, Conn. The Greyhounds led through most of the game until Fairfield went on a 16-0 run led by Desiree Pina in the second half. Loyola came back late in the game and were down by just one two times in the final minutes but this week's MAAC Rookie of the Week, Katelyn Linney, knocked down two late free throws with just three seconds left to put the Stags up by three and leaving the Greyhounds with too little time to get down the court to tie.

Field Trip FridayFriday will be Loyola's second-annual Field Trip Day. Several local schools will come out to support the `Hounds as they take on Rider.

Schools in attendance:
Padonia International Elementary
Mary E. Rodman Elementary
Oakleigh Elementary
Pleasant Plains Elementary
Sussex Elementary
Fr. Charles Hall Catholic School
Baltimore Lab School
Baltimore Highlands Elementary
Cranberry Station Elementary
Belmont Elementary
St. Paul's School for Girls

Scouting the Broncs
Rider has struggled with consistency this season. The Broncs are averaging exactly 23 turnovers per game (299 total). Rider's leading scorer, Tammy Meyers, left the team after just seven games and the Broncs have gone 0-4 since her departure. Amanda Sepulveda, Cintella Spotwood and local Baltimore product Caitlin Bopp have shouldered the scoring load since losing Meyers. Sepulveda turned in 12 points, all via three-pointers, Tuesday night in the Broncs' 55-38 loss to Saint Peter's. Bopp, a Baltimore native out of the Institute of Notre Dame, has been named MAAC Rookie of the Week twice now, and is the conference's second-leading rebounder (9.4 per game).

The Series
This will be the 34th meeting all-time between the two opponents. Loyola holds a 25-8 series lead. Last season, the two teams split with Loyola defeating Rider at home and losing to the Broncs on the road. Rider won 62-45 in the teams' last meeting.

Crossing Paths
Loyola head coach Joe Logan will be coaching against a former co-worker of his Friday. Broncs head coach Lynn Milligan and Logan worked as assistant coaches at St. Joseph's together. While Milligan is a Rider alum, her twin sister Aileen played basketball for Loyola from 1988-1992.

McKenzie makes it Happen
Miriam McKenzie has scored 20 or more points six times this season and is currently riding a streak of three 20-point games. The sophomore guard out of Columbia, Md., was recently named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player of the week and to the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight's Honor Roll after averaging 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists over three games from Dec. 28-Jan. 3. McKenzie notched her fourth double-double of the season in Loyola's 60-51 win over San Francisco in Villanova's Wildcat Holiday Classic with 21 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. McKenzie helped Loyola get off to a 1-0 start in the conference and in the New Year with 20 points a career-high seven assists in the MAAC-opener at Iona. In the first game of the season, McKenzie nearly doubled her previous career-high of 11 points with 23 at La Salle. She nearly bested that performance two days later with 21 points and 11 rebounds in Loyola's home-opener win over Army.

DiClemente goes the Distance
Erica DiClemente has played a big role in Loyola's wins. In the `Hounds six wins, DiClemente has averaged nearly 12 points per game but just 7.3 in Loyola's losses. Miriam McKenzie and Kaitlin Grant are the only players to average double-digits in both wins and losses.

Going Postal
The Greyhounds are 3-2 in games featuring dominant post players this season. Loyola opened the season with stellar defending of La Salle's Morgan Robertson and Army's Erin Anthony, limiting the two to little more than free throws. Against Iona in conference play, the `Hounds weren't able to limit her rebounding but were able to limit her scoring. Loyola's own post player, senior Kaitlin Grant, is currently 16th in the conference in scoring, averaging 11.6 points per game, and her 8.3 rebounds is fourth in the MAAC. Grant also leads the MAAC in steals per game (3.2) while backup post player Alyssa Sutherland is 10th, averaging 1.6 swipes per contest.

Jesuit Basketball Spotlight
Loyola is now 1-1 in Jesuit Basketball Spotlight games after falling to Fairfield. Miriam McKenzie was named to the JBS Honor Roll last week after standout performances in the Villanova Wildcat Holiday Classic and in Loyola's conference-opener at Iona.

The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project highlights more than 90 games this season between men and women's teams from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States. Jesuit Catholic colleges and universities in the United States have more than 200,000 students currently and more than 1.7 million living alumni. For more information on Jesuit higher education in the United States, go to www.ajcunet.edu.

Snapping the Streak
Loyola's win over Iona snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Gaels. The streak was the longest losing streak against any MAAC Opponent and was the first win over Iona since January 25, 2007.

Stolen Goods
Senior forward Kaitlin Grant's 12 steals against the Mount was the most steals in a Division I women's basketball game since Georgia Tech's Jillian Ingram recorded an identical number Feb. 29, 2008. The senior forward tied for 16th on the NCAA DI single-game list. Just seven players have recorded 13 steals and eight have recorded 14. Grant now holds the all-time school record for a single game. The previous women's record was eight, which she matched last season, while the men's record was 10.

Sutherland Steals the Show
In limited action off the bench, freshman forward Alyssa Sutherland has managed 21 takeaways, the second-most on the team behind Kaitlin Grant's 39 and nearly double the next-highest total. Sutherland started the season off with four against Army in Loyola's home-opener, keying a second-half surge for the Greyhounds, and matched that high recently against Drexel, in Villanova's Wildcat Holiday Classic. Sutherland has excelled in transition and given Loyola an energetic defensive presence off the bench.

Grant Gets Preseason Nod
Kaitlin Grant was named preseason all-conference at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference media day in New York, N.Y., last week. Grant was nominated to the conference's third team. Grant has played in all of Loyola's 90 games over the past three seasons and was last year's team MVP. The senior forward averaged 11.2 points per game and led Loyola with 8.1 rebounds per game and 55 steals and was second on the team with 97 assists. One of the MAAC's top rebounders last season, Grant had seven double-doubles and her team-high 48.6 percent field-goal clip was fourth in the MAAC.

Lucky No. 7
The Greyhounds were picked seventh in the coaches' poll during last months' Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference media day, in New York, N.Y. Loyola received a total of 49 points in the poll. With 100 points, four-time defending champion Marist was unanimously picked as the conference's champs for the upcoming season and the Red Foxes' Rachele Fitz was touted as the preseason Player of the Year choice. Fitz has taken top honors in the MAAC the past two seasons and was named Rookie of the Year after her freshman season. Iona received 90 points and was the unanimous second place pick.

Think Pink
For the second year in a row, the Greyhounds are continuing their effort to help support breast cancer awareness with the Pink Zone Initiative. All proceeds will be donated to the Kay Yow/WBCA Breast Cancer Fund. Raffles will take place at all Loyola home games to raise money for Pink Zone Day on Feb. 28. Raffle tickets are available at the Loyola University box office.