March 1, 2007
Bridgeport, Conn. - Loyola College took home three awards from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Basketball Awards Banquet Thursday night with head women's coach Joe Logan earning Coach of the Year and women's player Vika Sholokhova and men's player Michael Tuck each earning the Sixth Player of the Year honor.
Logan is the first women's basketball coach at Loyola to be named the MAAC Coach of the Year. He is in his second year at the helm for the Greyhounds. Last season, he led the team to a 20-10 overall record and a 13-5 record in the league. Loyola finished the season in third place and went on to reach the MAAC Championship game. This season, Logan and the Greyhounds finished the regular season 17-11 overall and 12-6 in the MAAC for third place for the second straight year.
"It's a program award; from our assistant coaches, to our players, to our support staff and administration," Logan said. "Everyone works so hard for us and is a big reason why we are able to be successful. I'd like to thank our players for believing in us and doing what we ask them to do every day and playing so hard every night. It is why we were so successful this year after losing five seniors last season."
Sholokhova's win gives Loyola its third straight Sixth Player of the Year award. Former Greyhound Jackie Valderas earned the honor in 2005 and 2006. This season, Sholokhova is second on the team in scoring with an average of 11.7 points and leads the Greyhounds in rebounds with 7.8 a game. She has scored double-digits in 10 games this season while recording five double-doubles. Sholokhova recorded a season-high of 22 points at home against Iona while hitting a season mark in rebounds with 13 twice.
"I'm excited any time we can get recognition from the league because the MAAC is so competitive," Logan said of Sholokhova's honor. "Vika came in and really gave us a spark off the bench for the entire second half of the season. It's great honor for her and our program."
The women's basketball team opens its MAAC Tournament play on Friday, March 2 when the No. 3 `Hounds take on the sixth-seeded Canisius squad. Game time is set for 11:30 a.m. and can be seen live on MASN.
Tuck is the second Greyhounds player in the last three years to be honored as the conference's Sixth Man of the Year. In 2005, Charlie Bell shared the award with Niagara's James Mathis and Rider's Terrance Mouton. The 6-7 native of Toronto, Ont., played in just 24 games this season as he battled injuries with both legs that limited his availability. He finished the regular season averaging 9.5 points and 5.2 rebounds while making 60.3 percent of his shots from the field and 52.2 percent of his shots from three-point range. He recorded his fourth career double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds in the home win over Iona and scored a season-high 20 points while shooting eight of nine from the field including making all three of his three-pointers in the home win over Niagara.
"Michael Tuck has done well this season despite all of his injuries and it's good that the league's coaches recognize how important he is to our team," Greyhounds third-year coach Jimmy Patsos lauded. "He accepted his role of not starting and everytime he was able to play, he came to play and made a real contribution. He's a big reason we have had two winning seasons in a row."
The men's team gets its conference tournament trek started Saturday night at 10 o'clock in the quarterfinals when, as the No. 3 seed, it takes on No. 6 Fairfield. The game will be available live on television via MASN and ESPN Radio 1300.. A win puts them into Sunday's semifinal contest at 8:00 p.m. in a game that also will be available on MASN and ESPN Radio 1300. Monday night's championship game starts at 9:00 p.m. and will be shown nationally on ESPN2.