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Road Weekend Starts Friday With Siena

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Jan. 20, 2010

Up Next: Canisius and Siena

Siena Saints (5-10 overall, 3-3 MAAC)
Loyola Greyhounds (9-8 overall, 4-2 MAAC)
When: Friday, January 22
Where: Alumni Recreation Center (Loudonville, N.Y.)
Time: 7 p.m.

Marist Red Foxes (14-4 overall, 6-0 MAAC)
Loyola Greyhounds (9-8 overall, 4-2 MAAC)
When: Sunday, January 24
Where: McCann Center (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
Time: 4 p.m.

Starting Off
Canisius snapped Loyola's three-game winning streak Monday afternoon with a 73-67 win at Reitz Arena. The game was a shooting match, with the Golden Griffins edging the Greyhounds by just three shots from the field and one from the perimeter. The Griffins had as much as a 13-point lead early in the game but Loyola rallied in the second half and came back to tie. Late in the game, freshman Katie Sheahin took a steal down court for a fastbreak layup to take Loyola's first lead since early in the game. But Brianna Lucas hit a clutch three with just 30 seconds to go and the Greyhounds failed to come back. Miriam McKenzie had a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds, Kaitlin Grant finished with 14 and Sheahin had a career-high 15.

Scouting the Saints
Siena has had an up-and-down season so far. The Saints opened with six straight losses before getting an overtime win over area-rival Alabany. From there, they dropped one to James Madison before winning four of their next five and starting off with a 3-1 open in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play. Coming into Friday's contest, the Saints have lost their last two to conference favorites Iona and Marist. The team is built around the defense of forwards Serena Moore and Sarah Fullmer. The two have 41 blocks and 204 rebounds between them, and are averaging 11.8 and 10.1 points, respectively. Senior guard Allie Lindemann is the shooter, and leads the team with 12.1 points per contest. Lindemann also leads the MAAC with a .903 clip from the free throw line. However, the Saints are very turnover-prone. They are averaging 19.3 per game for a turnover margin of -4.64.

The Series
This will be the 45th meeting between the two teams. Siena leads the all-time series 26-18 and has won the last two meetings. Last season, the Saints won in double-overtime on Senior Day, at Reitz Arena, to close out the regular season.

Scouting the Red Foxes
The defending conference champs six times over are looking every bit the dangerous team they have been in recent history. Led by reigning conference Player of the Year, Rachele Fitz, the Red Foxes are looking formidable and are currently riding a 10-game winning streak and are 6-0 in the MAAC. The team has not lost since Dec. 9, when they suffered an overtime loss to then-No. 16-ranked Oklahoma at home. Fitz is currently averaging 18.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while Corielle Yarde and Erica Allenspach have also recently stepped up the scoring efforts. Yarde was named MAAC Player of the Week last week after back-to-back 20-point performances and Allenspach scored a career-high 26 in Marist's win at Siena on Monday.

The Series
In 38 meetings, the Red Foxes lead the all-time series 24-14. The two last faced each other in the 2009 MAAC Tournament, in Albany, N.Y., where Marist, the eventual tournament champs, knocked Loyola out of the postseason with an 81-27 rout.

Winning Ways
Loyola's loss to Canisius on Jan. 18, snapped a three game winning streak that saw the `Hounds averaging 69 points per game and winning by an average margin of 13.7 points per game.

McKenzie makes it Happen
Miriam McKenzie has scored 20 or more points eight times this season and has twice had 19 points. The sophomore guard out of Columbia, Md., also leads the `Hounds with six double-doubles. So far this season, McKenzie has been named MAAC Player of the Week once and to the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight's honor roll twice. In MAAC play, McKenzie's 18.2 points per game is third in the conference and her overall average of 17.3 points per game is second in the MAAC.

DiClemente goes the Distance
Erica DiClemente has played a big role in Loyola's wins. In the `Hounds six wins, DiClemente has averaged 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game but just 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds in Loyola's losses. Miriam McKenzie and Kaitlin Grant are the only players to average double-digits in both wins and losses. However, the redshirt junior guard leads the Greyhounds in minutes played with 579 (34.1 per game) and played 40 minutes in three games this season.

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.

Jesuit Basketball Spotlight
Loyola fell to 2-2 in Jesuit Basketball Spotlight play after Monday afternoon's loss to Canisius. Another Loyola, Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, is at the top of the JBS standings at 4-0. 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.

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 12th in the conference in scoring, averaging 12.2 points per game, and her 7.3 rebounds is fourth in the MAAC. Grant also leads the MAAC in steals per game (3.2) while backup post player Alyssa Sutherland is 11th, averaging 1.7 swipes per contest.

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
Loyola is once again participating in the Pink Zone Initiative in order to help gain awareness and find a cure for breast cancer. Proceeds will be donated to the Kay Yow/WBCA Breast Cancer Fund. Buy your Pink Zone raffle tickets at the Loyola University box office.