March 3, 2010
2010 Citizens Bank MAAC Championships No. 3 Fairfield Stags (17-12 overall, 11-7 MAAC) No. 6 Loyola Greyhounds (14-15 overall, 9-9 MAAC) When: Friday, March 5Where: Times Union Center (Albany, N.Y.)Time: 11:30 a.m.
Loyola's season-ending win over Siena at Reitz Arena last weekend clinched a first-round bye for the Greyhounds in the Citizens Bank Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships.The `Hounds received the No. 6 seed in the tournament after a fifth-place finish in the regular season. They will open postseason play against No. 3-seeded Fairfield, Friday, at 11:30 a.m. The quarterfinals will be streamed on MAACSports.com and all Loyola games will be broadcast live on www.LoyolaGreyhounds.com.
Last Time Out
Seniors Kaitlin Grant and Devon Carey helped their team to a 68-50 win over Siena in their final performances at Reitz Arena last Sunday. Grant used an 8-for-11 performance from the field to lead Loyola with a team-high 19 points. Grant also turned in with seven rebounds, three assists and five steals, which tied Loyola's single-season record of 75. Carey finished with nine points and made two clutch three-pointers down the stretch, holding off a Siena rally. The Greyhounds will now carry a three-game winning streak into the postseason.
Scouting the Stags
- Offense: The Stags run a balanced offense, with senior forward Stephanie Geehan leading the way, averaging 14.5 points per game. Geehan is accurate, shooting 41.7 percent from the field, and has a surprisingly strong long-range game for a post player, leading the team from behind the arc, connecting on 41.3 percent. Geehan's 3.3 offensive boards per game are third in the conference. Freshman guard Katelyn Linney is the MAAC's highest-scoring freshman, averaging 10.6 points per game. Point guard Desiree Pina and forward Taryn Johnson balance out the order for Fairfield, with Pina averaging 12 points per game and Johnson leading the team from the field (.478).
- Defense: Geehan pulls double-duty leading the offense. Geehan, the top candidate for MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, leads the conference in rebounds (11.7 per game) and blocked shots. Geehan has swatted a total of 100 shots this season, giving her a conferenceleading average of 3.4 per game. As a team, the Stags are averaging nearly twice that for the top mark in the conference. Fairfield's scoring defense (57.5 points per game) is also tops in the MAAC.
- Notable wins: Fairfield finished the season riding a seven-game winning streak that began on Feb. 9, with a 61-60 win over No. 1-seeded Marist. Pina hit a game-winner with 31 seconds left against the Red Foxes and then blocked a baseline jumper to seal the one-point victory. The winning stretch also included victories over Iona and Niagara, the Nos. 2 and 5 seeds.
Loyola vs. Fairfield in 2010
- January 5: The Greyhounds suffered two close losses to the Stags this season, the first coming on the road at Alumni Hall, in Fairfield, Conn. The Greyhounds led most of the way until the Stags rallied late in the second half. The game was marked by tough calls by the officials in the final minutes. Miriam McKenzie's tying shot at the buzzer fell short, giving Fairfield a 60-57 win.
- January 30: The most recent game against the Stags ended with a 63-58 loss on Jan. 30., at Reitz Arena. Trailing 44-34 in the second half, Loyola out-scored the Stags 17-7 over the next seven minutes, coming back to tie the game at 59-all with just under four minutes left to play. But Fairfield held off the `Hounds rally in the final minutes.
- Top Loyola performers: McKenzie (20 points, nine rebounds and four assists inFairfield, 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists in Baltimore), Kaitlin Grant (double-double in Fairfield) and Erica DiClemente (career-high 13 rebounds in Fairfield, 13 points and five rebounds in Baltimore).
- Top Fairfield performers: Geehan (15 points, 20 rebounds, four blocks in Fairfield, game-high 10 rebounds in Baltimore), Linney (13 points in Fairfield, 12 points in Baltimore) and Pina (11 points in Fairfield, 12 points, five rebounds and four assists in Baltimore).
This will be the 48th meeting between the two teams. The Stags lead the all-time series 32-15 and have won the last eight meetings.
McKenzie and Sheahin Named All-Conference
Guards Miriam McKenzie and Katie Sheahin were honored by the conference, as announced Monday. The leagues' head coaches voted McKenzie to the conference's first team, while Sheahin, a freshman, was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team. McKenzie was the conference's second-leading scorer, averaging 16.4 points per game in the regular season, and ranked among the top in rebounds and assists, while leading her own team in both categories. Sheahin, Loyola's blocking leader, averaged 8.6 points and 4.7 rebounds this season, and upped her production at the end of the season, averaging 11.1 points and 5.9 boards per game in her eight starts. Both are local products, with McKenzie, the 2008 Baltimore Sun Player of the Year, coming from Columbia, Md., (Oakland Mills), and Sheahin prepping at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Brookeville, Md.
Senior forward Kaitlin Grant now holds the single-game and single-season steals record. Grant stole five against Siena in the final regular-season game, tying Lorrie Schenning's season-record of 75. Her 12 steals against the Mount on Nov. 28, 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.
The Greyhounds connected for a season-high 12 three-pointers Friday, Feb. 19 against Marist, topping the previous high mark of nine. Erica DiClemente set a new career-high with five while Meredith Tolley sunk four. Loyola made nine at Navy on Nov. 15, with Tolley contributing six.
Loyola's basketball doubleheader that was scheduled for Friday, Feb. 12, was made up on Wednesday, Feb. 17. The women were slated to face Iona and the men were to follow with a game against Saint Peter's but both games were postponed after the Mid-Atlantic region was hit with back-to-back winter storms. The two blizzards brought record-breaking snowfalls, totaling upwards of 50 inches in some areas of Maryland and Virginia, and forced the mayor to shut down the entire city of Baltimore for a day.
McKenzie makes it Happen
Sophomore guard Miriam McKenzie grabbed her ninth double-double against Niagara with 17 points and 11 rebounds. She is the conference's second-leading scorer both overall and in MAAC games and is sixth in the conference with 7.7 rebounds per game. She continues to lead the Greyhounds in scoring (16.6 points per game), and assists (2.7 per game) and rebounds.
DiClemente goes the Distance
Three-point shots have helped Erica DiClemente go from 9.3 points per game in the first half of the season to 12.4 in the second half. The redshirt junior guard was taking 8.8 shots from the field and just .85 shots from beyond the arc in the first half of the season. In the second half, she is taking one shot more per game and close to three treys per game. She also leads the `Hounds in minutes played (930, 34.4 per game) and leads the team with four 40-minute games.
Loyola has overcome double-digit deficits of 18, 14 and 13 points this season. Early in the season, the `Hounds overcame an 18-point halftime deficit at Mount Saint Mary's, and went on to record a dramatic last-minute 48-45 victory. The `Hounds overcame a 13-point Canisius lead at home on Jan. 18, and at Marist the following weekend, Loyola managed a 16-point rally in a span of just two minutes but fell short by three points in the final seconds of play.
Snapping the Streak
Loyola's win over Iona on Jan. 3, 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 overIona since January 25, 2007.
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.
History Didn't Repeat Itself
There have been just three Loyola wins at Saint Peter's Yanitelli Center in program history, with the most recent being a 69-59 victory Jan. 10. It was the first time in three seasons and the second win in Jersey City since 1994.
Glessner Scores for Gimle
Former Greyhound Jill Glessner recently finished out 2009 as the top scorer in the Norwegian Kvinnligaen league. Glessner, a guard out of Mechanicsville, Pa., who played at Loyola from 2003-2007, averaged 22.1 points per game and helped lead her team, Gimle, to a first-place, 7-1 record. Last year, Glessner led the English Basketball League in scoring and was named Import Player of the Year.