Nov. 11, 2008
Loyola Greyhounds vs. Harvard Crimson
Game No. 1 - Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tampa, Fla. - Sun Dome
Loyola opens the 2008-2009 season at the University of South Florida Shootout in Tampa, Fla., November 15-16. The Greyhounds will play Harvard in the first round, followed by a date on Sunday with either the host school or Central Connecticut State.
Harvard leads the all-time series between Loyola and the Crimson, taking two of the three games. The Greyhounds last played Harvard during the 1997-1998 season, and the Crimson dealt Loyola one of its nine losses that year, winning the December 7 game, 69-57. That game was also played as part of a tournament, as the Greyhounds visited Cambridge to play in the Harvard Invitational.
Ironically, Loyola played Central Connecticut State in the first game of the 1997 Harvard Invitational, defeating the Blue Devils, 67-44, on December 6, the only time the schools have faced one another. The Greyhounds and South Florida have never met.
Taste of Italy
Loyola took a 10-day tour of Italy during August, playing four games against local teams. The Greyhounds went 3-1, defeating three Italian League teams and falling to the Swiss National Team. For more on the Greyhounds' trip, visit the women's basketball page on loyolagreyhounds.com.
Loyola was picked to finish 5th out of 10 teams in the MAAC by the conference's coaches.
Walker Garners Preseason Nod
Sophomore point guard Candice Walker was named to the Preseason All-MAAC Second Team by the league's coaches.
Walker earned MAAC All-Rookie honors last season after leading conference freshmen in points per game (8.2), assists (83) and minutes per game (32.7).
She started all 30 games at point guard in 2007-2008 for Loyola, becoming the first freshman to start at the position for the Greyhounds since Coleen Colsher in 1991-1992. Walker also set a Loyola record for assists in a season by a freshman with 83.
Siobhan As A Starter
Loyola's top returning scorer, Siobhan Prior entered the starting lineup on December 22, 2007, and was in the opening five for the rest of the season, 21 games.
She averaged 10.2 points and 32.3 minutes per game from that point forward.
Prior led the Greyhounds in points six times during that stretch, including both games during the MAAC Championships. She had 18 in both contests.
Kaitlin Grant is the Greyhounds' top returning rebounder this season after averaging 4.4 boards per game a year ago.
Grant scored in double figures of the final two games of last season, posting 11 points against both Rider and Iona in the MAAC Championships.
She then went on to lead the Greyhounds in scoring (17.3 ppg), rebounding (11.3 rpg) and steals (4.5 spg) on the team's four-game Italian tour.
More Posting Up
Meredith Tolley also played very well in the post during the last half of the 2007-2008 season. She stepped into the starting lineup for a 10-game stretch (1/25-2/24) and averaged 9.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Tolley also made 48.5-percent of her shots from the field as a starter.
On Loyola's Italian Tour, she continued her solid play, finishing second on the team in points (14.5) and rebounds (10.3) per game during the four games.
Alex Berlin and Melissa Bangay also earned valuable experience during their freshmen campaigns in 2007-2008.
Bangay averaged 2.6 points and 1.2 rebounds per game, while Berlin posted a 1.4 points per game mark.
Their development was evident during Loyola's Italian trip, as each received extended playing time. Berlin averaged 8.0 points per and 3.0 steals per game. Meanwhile, Bangay pulled down an average of 7.3 rebounds and scored 6.8 points per game.
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 finishes of 13th on realtimerpi.com and 14th on Jeff Sagarin's RPI rankings and rpirankings.com, out of the nation's 32 Division I conferences (including D-I Independents).
Three players from the 2007-2008 team earned their Loyola degrees and exhausted their eligibility. Tynisha Davis, Vika Sholokhova and Megan Wood departed after significant contributions to the program.
Wood was the team's leading scorer a year ago, averaging 9.1 point, while Sholokhova led the squad with 6.8 rebounds per game.
Davis' scoring ability, 7.5 ppg and several huge baskets during the year, and defensive ability, will be missed.
Caps And Gowns
With Davis and Sholokhova receiving their Loyola bachelors degrees - Wood earned hers in 2007 and was pursuing her masters last year - all 12 student-athletes who were seniors on Joe Logan-coached teams have graduated.
Greyhounds In The Pros
Vika Sholokhova has moved her game across the Atlantic Ocean and is playing for Extrugasa Vilagarcia in the Spanish First Division.
2007 Graduate Jill Glessner is in her second season with the Nottingham Wildcats in the British Basketball League.
Four freshmen dot the Greyhounds' roster this season - Kathleen Excellent (Montreal, Quebec), Kiara Henderson (Hyattsville, Md.), Mallory Lawes (Elmira, N.Y.) and Miriam McKenzie (Columbia, Md.).
Head Coach Joe Logan
Joe Logan enters his fourth year as the head coach at his alma mater with a 51-39 (.556) overall record.
He recorded the 50th win of his career last season when Loyola defeated Siena in Loudonville, N.Y., on January 18, 2008.
Only Pat Coyle, now the coach of the WNBA's New York Liberty, reached that plateau in a shorter amount of time. The Loyola all-time wins leader picked up her 50th victory in the MAAC Quarterfinals against Siena on March 3, 1994, her 84th game as head coach.
Logan, who is 25-12 in games at Reitz Arena, has been a fixture on Loyola's campus for 12 of the last 16 seasons. He was an undergraduate at the college from 1992-1996, and spent the 1997-2001 seasons as an assistant coach. Prior to returning as head coach, he was an assistant at St. Joseph's from 2001-2005.
Loyola opens its home schedule on Wednesday, November 19, at 7 p.m. against Towson.
The Greyhounds host Maryland, ranked third in the Preseason Associated Press poll, on Tuesday, December 9.
Throughout the season, the Greyhounds will promote the `Pink Zone,' a WBCA initiative to raise funds for breast cancer research. Fans can donate $1 at the Loyola box office.