March 2, 2009
@ Citizens Bank MAAC Championships
Thursday-Sunday, March 5-8, 2009
Albany, N.Y. Times Union Center
Loyola opens play in the 2009 Citizens Bank Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships on Thursday, March 5, against eighth-seeded Manhattan at 2 p.m. All games will be played in the Times Union Center at Albany, N.Y.
The Greyhounds are making their 20th appearance in the MAAC Championships, but just their second as the No. 9 seed. Loyola had the same seed in 1991 when it lost, 72-58, in the first round to Iona.
Loyola and Manhattan will meet for the 42nd time in series history on Thursday. The teams split the two regular-season games, each winning on the other's home court. Manhattan leads the all-time series, 22-19.
The teams will meet for the third time in the MAAC Championships. Loyola defeated Manhattan in 2006, and the Jaspers were victorious in 1996.
The Loyola women's basketball team set a single-season attendance record in 2008-2009, drawing 7,951 fans to its 14 home games.
Loyola had a 23-percent jump in attendance over last year.
Throughout the season, the program collected donations to benefit the WBCA/Kay Yow Cancer Fund, culminating with Saturday's Pink Zone game. The Greyhounds raised over $1,500 for the effort.
Last Time Out
Ashley Alexander hit a 3-pointer from the right side to send the game to overtime, but Siena outlasted the Greyhounds in double OT for a 77-71 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Alexander finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Meredith Tolley led the team with 19 points. Siobhan Prior added 13, as all five Greyhound starters scored in double-figures.
Ashley Alexander finished her career in Reitz Arena in style on Saturday against Siena. She tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds, recording the first double-double of her Loyola career.
Alexander's 10 boards led the team and were a career-high, as well.
All Five For Ten Or More
All five Loyola starters scored in double-figures for the first time this season on Saturday against Siena.
Entering the regular-season finale, Alex Berlin had just one blocked shot in her 43-game career, that coming on February 10, 2008, against Saint Peter's.
Against Siena, however, Berlin swatted three Saints' shots and had another that was wiped out by a charging call against Siena.
More On Alex
Berlin didn't just put up blocked shots against Siena. The 5-foot-9 inch guard had an all-around productive game.
She scored seven points in 23 minutes off the bench, making 3-of-5 shots. Berlin also pulled down four rebounds and led the team with four assists.
Back On Track
After making just 15-of-53 shots over a six-game stretch from February 1-20, Meredith Tolley seems to be back on track from the field. The sophomore post player made 4-of-6 at Niagara on February 22 and 6-of-8 against Siena, bringing her season shooting percentage back up to .411.
Tolley's 19 points against Siena led the Greyhounds in the scoring column. It was her second-best points output of the season, following her career-high 24 at Rider on January 16.
Make It Five
Siobhan Prior crossed the 20-point mark for the fifth time this season with a 22-point performance against Niagara. She hit five 3-pointers against the Purple Eagles, setting a career-high in the process.
Prior also matched her previous high scoring output with the 22 points, equaling the total she scored at Manhattan and versus Canisius earlier this season.
Siobhan Prior's five 3-pointers against Niagara moved her closer to some important career numbers.
Including the one she made against Siena, she has made 99 threes in her career, and her 52 this year are the most by a Loyola player since the College joined the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in 1990, eclipsing the 40 made by Mary Thompson during 1993-1994.
Perfect Against The Purple
Mallory Lawes knocked down all four of her field goal attempts, including three from 3-point range, on Sunday against the Purple Eagles.
Playing about three hours from her home in Elmira, N.Y., Lawes finished with a career-high 13 points along with three rebounds and three assists.
Kaitlin Grant put up career-high numbers in several categories against Manhattan on February 15.
The junior post player scored 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting, notching career-highs in all three categories.
Her 21 second-half points tied her previous career-high scoring output, set in the season-opener this year against Harvard in the USF Shootout. She made all 10 of her field goal attempts after halftime.
Grant also had 12 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season, the sixth of her career.
Field Goal Fury
Kaitlin Grant's 11 field goals made were the most by a Loyola player since Meghan Wood hit the same number in 14 attempts on December 22, 2007, in a 66-49 victory over Columbia.
Ashley Alexander's 21 points against Niagara on February 13 were just one off the career-high she set on December 22 at UMBC. She matched her career-high with seven field goals made and set a career-best with five assists.
Twice in the last two minutes, Alexander scored to regain the lead for Loyola. She hit a pair of free throws with 1:37 left to put Loyola on top, 62-61, and she then made the winning shot with 15 seconds left.
Back In The Starting Five
Candice Walker has been back in the starting lineup for the last five games after coming off the bench in six contests.
During the last five, Walker is third on the team with a 9.6 points per game mark and third with 4.8 rebounds per contest.
The Big Difference
Of course, the difference between winning and losing is scoring more points than the opponent, but it's how Loyola has scored their points in victories that shows how they have won.
In the Greyhounds' nine wins this year, they have gone to the free-throw line 73 more times than their opponents. They are 162-of-210 from the line in those games, making an average of 7.2 more free throws than their opponents.
First Time In 11 Years
Siobhan Prior became the first Loyola player since the 1997-1998 season to record four 20-point games in the same season.
Mary Anne Kirsch had six contests with 20 or more that year.
Prior's 20-point games have come in a pair of back-to-back contests during the month of December and January.
She scored 22 versus Rider (Dec 7) and Canisius (Jan. 25), 21 at Manhattan (Dec. 5) and 20 at Iona (Jan. 23).
Princess Of Thieves
Kaitlin Grant recorded eight steals against at Rider, tying an 18-year old school record for steals in a game.
Grant matched the mark of eight set by Kiah Stokes at William & Mary on December 28, 1990. Grant's eight were the most steals ever by a Loyola player in a MAAC contest.
Get Well Wishes
Erica DiClemente had successful surgery on January 7, 2009, to repair a torn ACL in her left knee suffered against Mount St. Mary's. DiClemente was the third-leading scorer (9.2 ppg) and rebounder (3.8 rpg) on the team at the time of her injury.
Top Of The Chart Threes
Loyola made 11 3-pointers at UMBC, the most the Greyhounds have hit in a game since joining the MAAC in 1989-1990.
Loyola's .604 shooting percentage at Manhattan was not only its best of the season, but it was the second-highest mark in school history.
Loyola shot .615 on January 19, 2007, at Niagara when it made 40-of-65.
The 32 field goals made were also the most by the Greyhounds since the game against Niagara.
The Greyhounds followed that performance with a .585 effort against Rider.
Loyola's combined 63-of-106 (.594) against Manhattan and Rider was the best two-game percentage in school history, bettering the 65-of-115 (.565) against Niagara and Manhattan in 2006-2007.
Siobhan Prior's 22 points against Manhattan on December 5, 2008, eclipsed her previous best of 19 set January 25, 2008, at Iona.
She also made a career-best nine field goals and was 9-of-11 from the field.
Prior's .818 field goal percentage was the highest by a Loyola player since Brittany Dunn was 8-of-9 (.889), and Meghan Wood was 7-of-8 (.875), both at Niagara on January 19, 2007.
Twenty Topped Twice
Prior's back-to-back 20-plus point games marked the first time a Loyola player has accomplished that feat since Katie Scherle scored 20 against Manhattan, and 20 versus Canisius, Feb. 3-5, 2005. Earlier that year, Jackie Valderas has 20 and 21 in consecutive games.
Siobhan As A Starter
Siobhan Prior entered the starting lineup on December 22, 2007, and started every game the rest of the year.
Including 27 starts this year, she has averaged 11.9 points and 32.4 minutes per game in 48 total starts.
Taste of Italy
Loyola took a 10-day tour of Italy during August, playing four games against local teams. The Greyhounds went 3-1, defeating three Italian League teams and falling to the Swiss National Team. For more on the trip, visit the women's basketball page on loyolagreyhounds.com.
Caps And Gowns
With Tynisha Davis and Vika Sholokhova receiving their Loyola bachelors degrees - Meghan Wood earned hers in 2007 and was pursuing her masters last year - all 12 student-athletes who were seniors on Logan-coached teams have graduated.
Loyola women's basketball signed two players to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period - Katie Sheahin and Alyssa Sutherland.
Sheahin is a guard from Good Counsel High School in Montgomery County, Md., and Sutherland is a post player from West Genesee High School near Syracuse.
Greyhounds In The Pros
Vika Sholokhova has moved her game across the Atlantic Ocean and is playing for Extrugasa Vilagarcia in the Spanish First Division.
2007 Graduate Jill Glessner is in her second season with the Nottingham Wildcats in the British Basketball League.
Glessner is averaging 24.6 points per game this season for the Wildcats.
Head Coach Joe Logan
Joe Logan is in his fourth year as the head coach at his alma mater with a 60-58 (.509) overall record.
Only Pat Coyle, now the coach of the WNBA's New York Liberty, reached the 50-win plateau in a shorter amount of time at Loyola. The Greyhounds' all-time wins leader picked up her 50th victory in the MAAC Quarterfinals against Siena on March 3, 1994, her 84th game as head coach, while Logan needed 85 games.
Logan, who is 31-17 in games at Reitz Arena, has been a fixture on Loyola's campus for 12 of the last 16 seasons. He was an undergraduate at the college from 1992-1996, and spent the 1997-2001 seasons as an assistant coach. Prior to returning as head coach, he was an assistant at St. Joseph's from 2001-2005.