Nov. 18, 2009
This Week: Navy ClassicNavy Midshipmen (3-0 overall, 0-0 Patriot)
Liberty Flames (2-0 overall, 0-0 Big South)
Tulane Green Wave (1-0 overall, 0-0 C-USA
Loyola Greyhounds (2-0 overall, 0-0 MAAC)
When: Friday and Saturday, November 20-21
Where: Alumni Hall (Annapolis, Md.)
Time: 7 p.m./TBA
The Greyhounds will follow up a 2-0 opening with the Navy Classic this weekend. All four teams come into the Annapolis event with an unbeaten record on the line.
Miriam McKenzie quickly established herself as an offensive force last week. Making the most of her first two career starts, the sophomore guard out of Columbia, Md., put up a total 44 total points, 15 rebounds and four assists in the first two games of the season. Last Friday, in the season-opener at La Salle, McKenzie more than doubled her previous career-high of 11 points with 23 in the Greyhounds' 69-55 win over the Explorers. McKenzie broke out early, putting up 18 easily in the first half. She nearly bested that performance Sunday in Loyola's home opener, posting her first career double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Miriam McKenzie wasn't the only `Hound to step up to the plate this weekend. Despite having three players out with injuries, Loyola notched two strong wins by a margin of 14.5 points with two strong defensive performances and solid overall team effort. Kaitlin Grant put in two double-digit games with 19 points at La Salle and 16 against Army. The senior also totaled eight steals, five assists and 11 rebounds. Devon Carey, in her second career start, had a career-high 11 points filling in as the starting point guard. The defense of Grant, Erica DiClemente and Meredith Tolley nearly shut down La Salle and Army's two post players, Morgan Robertson and Erin Anthony. The two players made little other than freethrows. Freshman Alyssa Sutherland also stepped up with four big steals in the second half of Sunday's game against Army.
Scouting the Mids
Navy comes into its own tournament this weekend with the strongest opening in more than 10 years. Freshman Jasmine Pitts was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week after helping the Mids go 2-0 in Elon's Phoenix Classic and defeat Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, Monday night. Navy comes into the game Friday night 10-2 all-time against the Greyhounds since the 1978-79 season. The two teams last faced each other 20 years ago.
Scouting the Flames
The two-time defending Big South Champions have already notched two blowout wins this season, both at home against North Carolina opponents. Three players scored in double figures in Liberty's 60-42 win over UNC Greensboro Tuesday, after stomping on Winston-Salem State 71-26 Friday night. The Flames have held both opponents to marks of less than 30 percent from the field.
Scouting the Green Wave
Tulane is coming off a season-opening win against Louisiana-Monroe at home, last Friday. Chassity Brown led the Green Wave with a game-high 22 points in the 86-52 victory. Freshman Olivia Grayson also had an impressive showing with a game-high 10 rebounds in her first collegiate performance.
Grant Gets Preseason Nod
Senior Forward Kaitlin Grant was named preseason all-conference at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference media day in New York, N.Y., last week. Grant was nominated to the conference's third team. Grant has played in all of Loyola's 90 games over the past three seasons and was last year's team MVP. The senior forward averaged 11.2 points per game and led Loyola with 8.1 rebounds per game and 55 steals and was second on the team with 97 assists. One of the MAAC's top rebounders last season, Grant had seven double-doubles and her team-high .486 field-goal percentage was fourth in the MAAC.
Lucky No. 7
The Greyhounds were picked seventh in the coaches' poll during last months' Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference media day, in New York, N.Y. Loyola received a total of 49 points in the poll. With 100 points, four-time defending champion Marist was unanimously picked as the conference's champs for the upcoming season and the Red Foxes' Rachele Fitz was touted as the preseason Player of the Year choice. Fitz has taken top honors in the MAAC the past two seasons and was named Rookie of the Year after her freshman season.Iona received 90 points and was the unanimous second place pick.
The Greyhounds added two new freshmen to the mix this season. Katie Sheahin and Alyssa Sutherland come to Evergreen after standout prep careers. Sheahin, a guard out of nearby Brookeville, was a decorated player at Our Lady of Good Counsel. During her time with the Falcons, Sheahin was named Team MVP and helped her team to a 2005-2006 WCAC Championship and a No. 1 final ranking by the Washington Post. Sutherland, a forward, was a three-sport athlete at West Genesee High School in Syracuse, N.Y., and set the school's all-time scoring record. Both come from athletic backgrounds. Sutherland's mother played soccer at LeMoyne College and her father was an All-American wrestler at Buffalo. Sheahin's father played football for Ole' Miss and her two older brothers currently play football at Salisbury and Towson.