Loyola Draws Rider in MAAC Women's Basketball Championships First Round

March 4, 2008

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Tournament Data: Loyola enters the 2008 Citizens Bank Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships as the No. 7 seed after finishing in a tie for sixth place during the regular-season. The Greyhounds play a first-round game against 10th-seeded Rider at 12 p.m. on Thursday, March 6. The winner of the game will meet No. 2 seed Iona on Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Lucky Seven: The Greyhounds will hope that the `lucky seven' theory holds true at this year's MAAC Championships. They have participated in the event for the previous 18 years, but this is the first time that they have been the seventh seed. Loyola has been seeded 2-6 and 8-11, but it has never been first or seventh.

Times Union Talk: Loyola has played 24 MAAC Championships games in Albany's Times Union Center (formerly known as the Pepsi Arena and Knickerbocker Arena). The Greyhounds are 24-8 all-time in those games, and two of Loyola's biggest wins came at the venue. The Greyhounds defeated Fairfield, 72-66, and 67-61, to win the 1993 and 1994 MAAC titles..

The Logan Years: Joe Logan is in his third year as Head Coach at Loyola. Entering the MAAC Championships, he has a 50-38 overall record, 3-2 in MAAC Tournament play. The Greyhounds advanced to the Championship Game during his first year, 2006, and made it to the Semifinals last season.

First Round Fodder: Loyola has played in the MAAC Championships First Round on seven occasions, but the Greyhounds have only won two of those games. The last time they played a first round game was in 2005 when they lost to Rider, 60-58.

Rookie Honors: Freshman point guard Candice Walker earned MAAC All-Rookie Team honors by a vote of the conference coaches. She is now eligible for MAAC Rookie of the Year laurels.

Board Work: Over the last 10 games, Loyola senior Vika Sholokhova has posted 8.2 rebounds per game, raising her average to a team-high 7.1 this season.

Scoring, Too: Sholokhova has led the Greyhounds in scoring over the last 10 games with 10.0 points per game. She has scored in double figures four times during that stretch.

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 and 14th on Jeff Sagarin's RPI rankings and, out of the nation's 32 Division I conferences (including D-I Independents).

Starting Success: Although she did not start in the regular-season finale (Vika Sholokhova got the nod on Senior Day), Tolley was second on the team with a 9.6 points per game average during the 10-game stretch when she was in the starting lineup. She is shooting .485 from the field in those games and averaging 5.6 rebounds. Prior to those 10 contests, Tolley was averaging just 2.9 points and 2.1 rebounds per game while shooting .317 from the field.

Shevy As A Starter: When Siobhan Prior entered the starting lineup against Columbia on December 22, she was averaging just 3.1 points per game. Since that time, however, she has averaged 9.4 points per game and improved her average to 7.5 for the season. She is also averaging 2.4 rebounds per game during that run.

One Away: With her next assist, Candice Walker will tie the Loyola freshman record in that category. Coleen Colsher recorded 77 in 2001-2002.

Starting Again: Meghan Wood returned to the starting lineup for the first time since missing nine games with a knee injury. Wood came off the bench in three games before starting at Canisius.

Without Woody: Loyola played without Meghan Wood for nine games after she had arthroscopic surgery on her right knee January 23. The Greyhounds went 3-6 during that stretch, but the Greyhounds actually scored more points (61.4 per game) without Wood, who is the team's leading scorer this season. With Wood in the lineup, Loyola is averaging just 56.7 points (19 games).

Davis In Doubles: Tynisha Davis has scored in double figures nine times this season, averaging 13.4 points per game in those contests, and Loyola is 5-4 in games when Davis scored 10 or more points.

When Walker Scores: Loyola has gone 7-5 in the 12 games that Candice Walker has scored 10 or more. She is averaging 13.5 points, including 16.5 in two games against Marist, the MAAC regular-season champion.

Shooting Slump: In the two games at Niagara and Canisius, Loyola shot just .330 (38-of-115) from the field and .270 (10-of-37) from 3-point range.

Before Buffalo: Prior to those games, the Greyhounds shot .429 (88-of-205) in its four previous games, all wins. Loyola made 36.6-percent (15-of-41) from 3-point range. During that stretch, three players - Siobhan Prior, Tynisha Davis and Meghan Wood - averaged in double figures.

Career Nights: Three of Loyola's freshmen recorded career-high scoring outputs at Niagara. Meredith Tolley (20), Melissa Bangay (7) and Alex Berlin (6) each scored the most in a single game of their young careers.

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

Slow Road Starts: Loyola is now 0-9 when trailing at halftime in road games. The Greyhounds are being outscored 31.9 to 25.5 in the first half of road games. They are shooting just .348 from the field, while their opponents are knocking down almost 43-percent of their first-half shots.

Post Passing: One of the biggest things missing from Loyola's arsenal during Meghan Wood's nine-game absence due to injury was her ability to kick out passes to perimeter players. Despite missing nine contests, Wood is second on the team with 38 assists, Fellow post player Vika Sholokhova has gotten into the assist game, too. She has 10 in the last four games.

Keep Them Under 20: Niagara's Sarah Wilson was the ninth opponent to score 20 or more points in a game against the Greyhounds this year. With the loss, Loyola dropped to 3-6 in those games.

The Big 5-Oh: Loyola'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.

Few Field Goals: Loyola won on February 15 at home against Rider 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 in a 54-25 loss to Delaware on December 14, 2003.

Sixties Preservation Society: Loyola is now 7-3 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 39-10 when they score 60 or more during Joe Logan's two-plus years at the College.

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 50-38 (.568) 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 25-12 (.676) in Reitz Arena... Logan is assisted by Marti Whitmore, Alisha Mosley and Erin Brady.