March 18, 2008
The Loyola College women's basketball program will bid farewell to a Meghan Wood-led senior class, but the Greyhounds look forward to the 2008-09 season, buoyed by the emergence of a freshman class headed by point guard Candice Walker.
The Greyhounds finished with a 13-17 record and went 7-11 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which had perhaps its deepest field ever of quality teams. Loyola posted its third win as many tries over Rider in the first round of the MAAC tournament, but lost in the quarterfinals to second-seeded Iona.
It was a season of ups and downs for the Greyhounds, who had a five-game win streak and a four-game run sandwiched around a 1-10 skid. That mid-season swoon included the prolonged absence of Wood, who sustained a knee injury in mid-January.
Wood, who took a red-shirt season in 2005-06 with a back injury, averaged a team-high 9.1 points on 50.4 percent shooting from the field, best among Loyola's regulars. She also averaged 6.0 rebounds, the second-best figure on the team.
Walker started every game at the point, led the Greyhounds in minutes played and assists, and earned MAAC All-Rookie honors.
How balanced was the team's scoring? No one averaged in double figures, and eight different players were the high scorer over the course of the season.
Loyola was tough at Reitz Arena, where it opened the campaign with non-conference wins over Drexel of the Colonial Athletic Association and Villanova of the Big East. December saw the Greyhounds beat UMBC, which played in the 2007 NCAA tournament. On the MAAC road, Loyola beat Rider, Manhattan and Siena.
Coach Joe Logan finished his third season at Evergreen with a 50-39 composite record.
- Senior Meghan Wood was Loyola's top scorer, with 9.1 points per game, and second-leading rebounder, at 6 6.0.
- Despite missing nine games after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, Wood was second on the team in assists, with 41.
- Wood had 22 points and 12 rebounds in a Dec. 22 win over Columbia.
- Vika Sholokhova, a 6-3 senior, averaged 8.3 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds.
- Sholohkova had 22 points and 11 rebounds in a Jan. 11 two-point loss to Marist, which went on to earn a No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament.
- Senior guard Tynisha Davis averaged career highs of 7.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. She also led the regulars in free throw percentage, .822.
- Freshman point guard Candice Walker earned MAAC All-Rookie honors.
- Siobhan Prior, a junior guard from Nottingham, England, stepped up in January, collecting 14 points in a loss at Fairfield and 19 in a setback at Iona.
- Walker was the only Greyhound to start all 30 games, and averaged a team-high 32.7 minutes per game.
- Walker's team high 83 assists are the most ever by a Loyola freshman, bettering the 77 Colleen Colsher dished out in 2001-02.
- While Wood was out injured, freshman Meredith Tolley moved into the starting lineup. She averaged 5.1 points and 3.3 rebounds.
- Loyola was 7-3 when it hit 60 points.