Nov. 10, 2007
Game Data: The Greyhounds play their second game of the season on Sunday, November 11, at 2:30 p.m. against Villanova... The game is the second of 13 the Greyhounds will play this season in Reitz Arena... It is the second game of a Reitz Arena-tripleheader on Sunday... The men's basketball team hosts Pennsylvania at 12 p.m., and the volleyball team closes its regular-season with a 6 p.m. match against Iona.
Series Notes: Although the schools are only 100.4 miles apart, Sunday's game will be the fifth all-time meeting between Loyola and Villanova with each team splitting the previous four... The Wildcats won the first meeting in 1977-1978, a year before Harry Perretta took over as Head Coach at Villanova.
Tough Acts to Follow: Loyola has not fared particularly well after season-opening wins, going just 7-8 in 15 games.
Second Half Rally: Loyola's comeback from a 33-23 halftime deficit on Friday night marked the first time since December 9, 2005 that the Greyhounds have rallied from 10 or more points down at the break to win a game. In that game, Loyola outscored Iona 38-26 in the second half to win.
Five Over 10: Against Drexel, all five of Loyola's starters finished in double figures scoring. The last time all five Greyhounds starters achieved that feat was on January 10, 2005, in a 66-56 win over Siena. In that game, Katie Sherle led Loyola with 14 points, while Krystle Harrington and Brittany Dunn each had 11, and Ebony Toliver and Lauren Troupe added 10 a piece.
Saving Her Best for Last: Vika Sholokhova scored nine of her game-high 14 points in the second half, but she was at her best down the stretch, scoring eight points in the final 4:05 of the game. She made a layup to give Loyola the lead for good with 4:05 to play, added an up-an-under layup on the Greyhounds' next possession, then converted four free throws in the final 3:06. Her personal 6-0 run between the 4:05 and 2:36 marks swung the score from a one-point Drexel lead to a five-point Greyhounds advantage.
Saving Her Best for Last (Part Two): With Loyola trailing by one, 51-50, and 4:34 remaining in the game, Meghan Wood rebounded an Ashley Alexander miss, her first board in almost five minutes and only her second since halftime. She immediately put in a layup that gave the Greyhounds the lead, starting a stretch where she would finish the game with six rebounds in the final 4:34.
Windex Work: The talk in the Loyola locker room at halftime of the opening game was about cleaning up play on the glass, particularly on the defensive end of the floor. The Greyhounds outrebounded Drexel, 18-16, in the first half, but the Dragons scored off all four of their offensive boards, accounting for 10 points. In the second half, Loyola gave up six offensive rebounds to Drexel, but held the Dragons to only six second-chance points.
More Glass Gossip: Loyola had a big rebounding advantage against Drexel, outrebounding the Dragons by 16, 48-32. The Greyhounds outrebounded their opponents by more than 15 only three times in 2006-2007.
Solid at the Line: Loyola made 27-of-33 free throws against Drexel, 25-of-31 in the second half. The Greyhounds made their last 14 free throw attempts of the game, all coming in the final 3:06 of play.
The Turnover Battle: The Greyhounds came out ahead in the turnover margin against Drexel. Loyola gave the ball away only nine times, while forcing 11 Dragons turnovers. Last year, the Greyhounds had fewer than 10 turnovers only three times, the last coming at Canisius on February 1, 2007.
Assisting the Cause: Loyola finished the Drexel game with 13 assists, all but one of them coming from three players. Candice Walker led all players with five, while Meghan Wood tied her career-high with four, and Vika Sholokhova added three. Meredith Tolley added Loyola's other assist.
Good Ratio: Loyola finished with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio only four times last season in 30 games and just once in the last 12 contests. Versus the Dragons, however, Loyola had 13 assists to nine turnovers. Freshman point guard Candice Walker had five assists without a turnover in her first collegiate game.
Second Half Leader: After scoring just two points on a layup in the first half, Ashley Alexander led all players with 11 second half points against Drexel. She was just 3-of-8 from the field, but she converted 5-of-6 free throw attempts after halftime to help spur the Greyhounds comeback.
Early Opening: November 9 was be the earliest in a calendar year that Loyola has played a regular-season game... Last year's season opener, a 75-69 loss at Columbia, was the previous earliest game.
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 39-22 (.639) 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 19-7 (.731) in Reitz Arena... Logan is assisted by Marti Whitmore, Alisha Mosley and Erin Brady.
Scouting the Wildcats: Harry Perretta is in his 30th season as head coach at Villanova... He has compiled a 537-313 record... He is 21st winningest active collegiate coach and has a 141-77 record since 2000-2001... The Wildcats won their season-opener on Friday night, 64-58 at La Salle, although they were outrebounded by eight, 34-22... Stacie Witman was the only Villanova player in double-figures, but she led all players with 31 points... The senior forward made 10-of-21 shots and led the Wildcats with seven rebounds.... Laura Kurz scored nine, and Tia Grant had a game-high five assists without a turnover... Villanova was 11-of-33 from 3-point range, led by a 5-of-12 performance from Witman...
The Last Meeting: Loyola notched its second-ever win against the Wildcats last year, 61-54, on December 28, 2007, at Villanova. The Greyhounds led 29-20 at halftime, then opened the second half on a 6-0 run behind four points from Kaitlin Grant. Meghan Wood extended Loyola's lead to 43-25 with a basket at the 13:35 mark. Villanova, however, went on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 43-37 with 10:49 to play. The Greyhounds made 9-of-12 free throws down the stretch to close out the win. Wood registered 13 points and career-high 16 rebounds, while Jill Glessner scored 17. Jackie Adamshick scored a game-high 22, and Lisa Karcic added 12.
Big Shoes to Fill: In addition to the leadership that was provided by last year's senior class - Brittany Dunn, Jill Glessner, Vanessa Ruffin and Ebony Toliver - the Greyhounds lost a big portion of their statistical production. The foursome contributed 985 points, 51.1-percent of Loyola's output; 230 assists, 65.2-percent; and 339 rebounds, 31.5-percent.
Words on Woody: Meghan Wood is the only player on Loyola's roster who started more than 15 games last season. She returned from a back injury that kept her out of the 2005-2006 season to average 8.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game as a redshirt junior. Wood came by her rebounding average honestly, as she had fewer than five rebounds only four times during the 2006-2007 season. She was also a consistent scorer, hitting double-figures in points 13 times and added eight or more in 20 outings. Wood graduated last year with a bachelor of business administration degree in economics. She is currently working toward her master's of education in administration and supervision. In addition to the time she spends in class and on the court, Wood has an internship with US Lacrosse in Baltimore.
Sholokhova Scratch: Vika Sholokhova was a critical part of Loyola's success when she began playing in December after fulfilling her NCAA-required year of residency since transferring from Pittsburgh. She averaged 11.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game She posted double-doubles in six games and had a career-high 22 points against Iona on January 25.
Up Next: The Greyhounds hit the road for four-straight games, as the travel to Philadelphia for a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday, November 14, at La Salle. The Explorers lost their first game of the season, 64-58, to Villanova... Loyola then plays November 20 at Maryland, November 25 at Pennsylvania and December 1 at Mount St. Mary's before returning to Reitz Arena for a 7 p.m. contest on December 3 against UMBC.