March 3, 2006
Albany, N.Y. - The No. 3 seeded Loyola College Greyhounds take on the No. 2 seed Canisius College Golden Griffs Saturday in the semi-finals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament. Loyola advanced by topping Manhattan Friday afternoon while Canisius defeated Fairfield to advance.
Canisius holds a slim 20-19 advantage in the series with Loyola. The teams have met four times in tournament play with the `Hounds leading 3-1 while the Griffs lead in the regular season, 19-16. Loyola and Canisius split the MAAC series this season for the fourth straight season and seventh time overall.
Loyola boasts a 3-1 MAAC Tournament record versus Canisius with all the meetings between these two teams coming in the quarter-final rounds. The most recent time the Greyhounds and Griffs met in tournament play was in 2004 at the Pepsi Arena in Albany. The No. 4 seed Canisius topped Loyola 72-70 for their first tourney win over the Greyhounds. Loyola topped Canisius 73-63 in 1996 and 76-62 in 1994, en route to a MAAC Championship. The `Hounds earned a 74-65 victory in 1993 over the Griffs. All three of Loyola tournament wins over Canisius were in Albany but in the Knickerbocker Arena.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET
Canisius got up by as much as 21, 51-30 with 5:47 to play before Loyola began to chip away. The Greyhounds outscored the Griffs 12-5 over the next two minutes to cut the deficit to 76-62. Loyola outscored the Griffs 12-5 over the next two minutes to cut the deficit to 76-62. Krystle Harrington scored five of Loyola's 12 while Jackie Valderas added four and Brittany Dunn added a three-point play. Canisius went to the line for a 1-for-2 effort before Harrington and Dunn each used two points each to cut the margin to 77-66 with just over two minutes to play. The Griffs hit 1-of-2 from the stripe again but Jill Glessner hit two shots at the free-throw line and at 1:48 and hit a three at 1:44 to cut Canisius' lead to 78-71.
The teams continued to head to the free-throw line for the next minute of play for the 84-74 score. Cheri Wittleib and Amanda Cavo combined for a 6-for-6 effort from the Griffs while Loyola added three points from the line. Harrington hit her third three of the day to return the deficit to single digits, 84-77 with 30 seconds to play. Canisius' Jessi Lampasrki went to the line for a 1-of-2 effort three seconds later for the 85-77 score. On the next trip to Loyola's end of the court, Tynisha Davis grabbed an offensive rebound on a missed free-throw and used a quick lay-up to get Loyola within six, 85-79 with 20 seconds to play. Wittleib hit two more free-throw with 12 seconds left for a 87-79 score and Vanessa Ruffin was fouled on a rebound for Loyola, hitting both shots in the 87-81 final.
Loyola shot 49.2% from the field, hitting 29-of-59 shots while the Griffs hit 24-of-47 for a 51.1% effort.
Harrington tied a career-high with 20 points while Glessner recorded a new career-high with 19. Dunn added 11 and Katie Scherle finished with eight while scoring her 1,000th career point.
Wittleib scored 26 points for a game-high with nine of those points coming from the free-throw line. Zak added 13 and Laura Granzow chipped in 12 from the bench.
SCOUTING THE GRIFFS
Megan Lyte currently leads Canisius in scoring and rebounding with 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Becky Zak ranks second in scoring with 11.1 points and is first in assists with 4.25. Amanda Cavo, the 2006 MAAC Rookie of the Year, is third in scoring with 9.4 points per game.
ABOUT THE `HOUNDS
Senior Lauren Troupe continues to lead her team in scoring with an average of 11.3 points per game. She's followed by Jill Glessner at 10.2 points, Jackie Valderas at 9.7, Krystle Harrington at 9.6 and Brittany Dunn at 9.3 points per game. Valderas leads in rebounds (6.4) and blocks (1.6). Harrington is the team's assists leader at 4.0 per game while Dunn leads in steals at 2.1 per game.
SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
Senior Krystle Harrington has led the Greyhounds in the last two games. In the regular season finale she scored 19 points over Fairfield while putting up 16 versus Manhattan in the semi-finals.
The Loyola College women's basketball team has not made an appearance in the semi-finals of the MAAC Championship since 2001.
THIRD MOST VICTORIES
With 19 wins on the season, Loyola has the third most victories in school history this season. Loyola posted 20 wins in the 1994-95 season when they won the MAAC Tournament and during the 1997-98 season. The Greyhounds also posted a school record 21 wins in the 1998-99 season. Head coach Joe Logan was with the women's basketball squad in each of those seasons, as a manager in 1994-95 and as an assistant coach in the 1997-98 and 1998-99 season.
TOP FIRST-YEAR HEAD COACH
First-year head coach Joe Logan currently posts the best record (19-9) as a first-year head coach. With a win over Manhattan on Friday, he passed Anne McCloskey who had a 18-5 record in the 1976-77 season to become the winningest first-year head coach in Loyola history.