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Niagara: The Next Stop On Women's Basketball's Itinerary

Feb. 21, 2008

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Game Data: Loyola begins its final regular-season road trip of the year on Friday, February 22, 2008, when it plays Niagara at the Gallagher Center at 7 p.m. The game is the first of two for Loyola in the Buffalo area.

Series Notes: Friday's meeting will be the 40th all-time between the programs, with Loyola holding a 28-11 advantage in the series. Loyola defeated the Purple Eagles, 63-50, on December 7, 2007, in Baltimore for its first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory of the season. Despite the large differential in wins during the series, the teams have split 16 previous games at Niagara. The Greyhounds, however, have been victorious in the series' last six and 22 of the last 27.

The Big 5-Oh: Monday's victory at Siena was the 50th of Loyola Head Coach Joe Logan's career. Entering Friday's game, he is 50-35 in two-plus seasons at Loyola.

Quick To 50: Logan reached the 50-win plateau in just 85 games. Only Loyola's all-time wins leader, Pat Coyle (now the head coach of the WNBA's New York Liberty), has reached 50 victories quicker in Loyola's Division I era. Coyle accomplished the feat in 84 games with her 50th win coming in the MAAC Quarterfinals against Siena on March 3, 1994. Prior to the Greyhounds' competition in NCAA Division I, Anne McCloskey (coach from 1976-1981) won her 50 games in her first 80.

Four In A Row: Loyola bring a four-game winning streak into Friday's contest. It is the second time this year that the team has won four or more games in a row after the squad was victorious in five consecutive contests from December 1-22.

Streaky: It has been a season of ups and downs to be sure for Loyola. They have won, or lost, single games just once this year. Everything else has come in multiples (winning streaks of two, five and four; losing skids of three, four and six) with the exception of a win at Rider on January 13 that was sandwiched between skids of four and six games.

Strong Conference: The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has its highest conference RPI ranking in recent history. The MAAC has cemented its mid-major status this season with places of 13th on realtimerpi.com and 14th on Jeff Sagarin's RPI rankings and rpirankings.com, out of the nation's 32 Division I conferences (including D-I Independents).

Senior Tandem: Vika Sholokhova and Tynisha Davis have teamed up in key situations late in recent games. Sholokhova assisted on Davis' game-winning lay-up with 3.4 seconds left at Manhattan, and then assisted on two Davis lay-ups during overtime at Siena.

`T' Turns It Up: Tynisha Davis went 7-of-10 from the field on Monday night at Siena and scored a team-high 15 points. Since entering the starting lineup on a regular basis at Mount St. Mary's (Dec. 1), Davis has averaged 9.2 points per game, good for second on the team. She is shooting .474 from the field during that span.

Stepped Up Offense: Loyola's four-game winning streak can in some party be attributed to its improved offensive output. The Greyhounds are averaging 63.5 points per game in their last four, compared to 58.8 for the season. Siobhan Prior leads the way with a 13.0 ppg mark, while Tynisha Davis is averaging 10.3 ppg.

More On The `O': During the streak, Loyola has shot 42.9-percent from the field, up from its season average of 38.2-percent. The Greyhounds have also been successful from 3-point range, making 36.6-percent of their treys.

On The Boards: Loyola has outrebounded its opponents by over four per game during the last four contests. Vika Sholokhova is averaging 8.5 rebounds per game, while Meredith Tolley is pulling down 5.0 per contest.

Sharing Is Good: Loyola dished out a season-high 18 assists in its overtime victory against Siena on Monday. Four Greyhounds had three assists each, and two others had two. All three of Loyola's field goals in overtime were assisted.

Steady Again: After going through a 15-game stretch where she shot just 31-percent from the field and averaged just 4.6 points per game, Erica DiClemente has started to assert herself on the offensive end again. She has made 15 of her last 25 shots (60-percent) and is averaging 7.2 points over the last five games.

Back To Form: Meghan Wood returned to the court against Rider after missing nine games following arthroscopic surgery on her right knee. She scored eight in that game, but she was truly back to form on Monday against Siena. She scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and had six rebounds and two assists.

Rookie Honors: Candice Walker picked up her fourth MAAC Rookie of the Week award on February 11 after averaging 12.5 points, 5.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds in wins over Manhattan and Saint Peter's. She scored 15 against the Peahens and 10 versus the Jaspers. At Manhattan, she tied her career-highs with seven rebounds and six assists. With 70 assists this season, Walker is just eight away from setting the freshman assists record at Loyola (77 in 1990-1991 by Coleen Colsher).

Running Ways: In many of Loyola's wins, the Greyhounds engineered second-half runs that have paced them to the victories. Here's a look at the details:

OpponentStart ScoreTimeRunEnd ScoreTimeDrexelD, 44-3610:3914-2L, 50-466:20DrexelT, 52-524:2220-10L, 72-62FinalVillanovaV, 40-366:406-0L, 42-403:59VillanovaV, 44-422:037-0L, 49-44:15@ MSML, 37-3612:4012-2L, 49-376:39UMBCUMBC, 50-407:3411-1L, 52-515:23NiagaraT, 36-3612:1615-4L, 51-405:42CanisiusC, 49-474:496-0L, 53-492:50ColumbiaL, 35-3015:5310-2L, 45-3212:26@ RiderL, 30-2417:3313-2L, 43-2611:36@ ManhattanM, 50-497:259-2L, 58-524:08Saint Peter'sL, 33-3020:0025-8L, 58-389:47RiderL, 41-378:599-2L, 50-394:06

Early `D': Loyola started its games against Rider and Saint Peter's with good defensive pressure. The Greyhounds held the Peahens without a point until 8:20 had elapsed from the game, and they held the Broncs scoreless for the first 7:00 of Friday's contest. Rider hit its first field goal of the contest at the 12:13 mark, while Saint Peter's made a basket with 11:40 left in the first half.

Few Field Goals: Loyola won last Friday night despite making just 14 field goals, the fewest the team has made in Joe Logan's three year tenure at the College. The 14 buckets are also the fewest the team has produced since making just 11 (11-of-55) in a 54-25 loss to Delaware on December 14, 2003.

Sixties Preservation Society: Loyola is now 7-2 this season when scoring 60 or more points. Their loss at Iona on January 25 snapped a streak of 20-straight wins by the Greyhounds when they scored 60 or more points, dating back to a 75-73 overtime loss at Towson on November 25, 2006. Including this year, Loyola is 39-9 when they score 60 or more during Joe Logan's two-plus years at the College.

Starting Success: Since entering the starting lineup seven games ago, Meredith Tolley has is third on the team in scoring (9.1) and second in rebounds (5.9). She is shooting 48.0-percent from the field and 40.0-percent from 3-point range in those games, raising her points per game average from 2.9 to 4.8 and her rebounds per game from 2.1 to 3.3.

Frosh Floor General: Candice Walker has started all nine games at point guard and played the bulk of the minutes at the position. She is the first freshman to start regularly at point guard since the 1991-1992 season when Coleen Colsher took over the position. Colsher started 21 of 27 games that year and led the Greyhounds with 2.9 assists per game. She started 107 games in her career and finished her career as Loyola's all-time leader in assists with 416, although that record has since been broken (467 by Corey Hewitt, 1995-1999). This season, Walker has been named the MAAC Rookie of the Week four times.

Loyola Head Coach Joe Logan... Is in his third year at Loyola as a head coach... Including four years at Loyola as an undergraduate student (1992-1996) and four years as an assistant coach for the women's basketball team (1997-2001), Logan has been a fixture on the Evergreen campus for 11 years... He has a 50-35 (.588) career record after guiding the Greyhounds to 20-10 and 18-12 records in his first two seasons... He was named the Anaconda Sports Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2006-2007... His teams have made the MAAC Championships Semifinals both years, advancing to the Championship Game in 2006 and the Semifinals in 2007... During his short tenure as head coach, four of Logan's student-athletes have earned All-MAAC honors, and two have been named MAAC Sixth Player of the Year... Logan's teams are 25-11 (.694) in Reitz Arena... Logan is assisted by Marti Whitmore, Alisha Mosley and Erin Brady.