Women's Basketball Opens MAAC Schedule on Friday in Reitz Arena

Dec. 4, 2007

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Game #8 • Loyola (4-3, 0-0) vs. Niagara (2-5, 0-0)
Friday, December 7, 2007 • 7 p.m.
Baltimore, Maryland • Reitz Arena

Game Data: Loyola opens Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play on Friday, December 7, 2007, with a 7 p.m. game against Niagara University in Reitz Arena. The contest is the second of four in a row at home for the Greyhounds and the first of 18 conference games.

FREE BOOKS!: Loyola students attending the Greyhounds' December 7 game against Niagara will have a chance to win free second-semester books. Follett, the Loyola bookstore operator, and Loyola's Student Activities Department will provide the winning student with a set of books for the Spring 2008 semester.

Series Notes: Friday's game will be the 39th all-time meeting between the schools in a series that started during the 1989-1990 season when Loyola joined the MAAC. The Greyhounds hold a 27-11 advantage over Niagara, 16-3 in Reitz Arena. The game will mark the third time that the teams have played each other in their first conference game of the year (1992-1993 and 2001-2002) with Loyola winning both of those meetings. Loyola has won the last five meetings between the teams and 21 of the most recent 26.

MAAC Openers: The Greyhounds are 9-8 in their previous 17 MAAC openers. They are 1-1 in such games under Joe Logan.

Home Sweet Home: Loyola has won all three of its games this season at Reitz Arena. The Greyhounds have won 75-percent (21-7) of their games on their home campus in Joe Logan's two-plus seasons as head coach.

Stepping Up: Loyola's freshmen came up big in the win over UMBC on Monday. Alex Berlin, Meredith Tolley and Candice Walker combined for 21 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and just three turnovers in a combined 75 minutes of action. The trio each recorded career highs in minutes played - Walker (36), Tolley (21) and Berlin (18) - against the Retrievers. They were on the floor, along with junior Siobhan Prior and sophomore Kaitlin Grant, during a 2-minute, 13-second stretch in the second half that saw the Greyhounds erase a 10-point deficit and take a 52-51 lead with 5:23 to play.

Senior Leaders: Tynisha Davis and Meghan Wood led the Greyhounds in points, rebounds and assists against UMBC. Davis made a career-high three treys and scored 12, while Wood registered her third career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. She also had four assists to pace the team.

In The Clutch: Freshman post player Meredith Tolley hit the game-winning shot for Loyola with 15.7 seconds left against UMBC. With less than five seconds remaining on the shot clock, Tolley took a pass at the high post on the right side from Siobhan Prior, turned and drilled a 12-foot jumper. Tolley finished the game 4-of-8 from the field and scored a career-high nine points.

Running Ways: In Loyola's four wins, the Greyhounds engineered a couple of runs that paced them to the victories. Here's a look at the details:

OpponentStart ScoreTimeRunEnd ScoreTimeDrexelD, 39-3015:436-0D, 39-3614:21DrexelD, 44-3610:3914-2L, 50-466:20DrexelT, 52-524:2220-10L, 72-62FinalVillanovaV, 40-366:406-0L, 42-403:59VillanovaV, 44-422:037-0L, 49-44:15Mt. St. Mary'sL, 37-3612:4012-2L, 49-376:39UMBCUMBC, 50-407:3411-1L, 52-515:23

Comeback Run: The Greyhounds trailed UMBC by 10, 50-40, with 8:29 remaining before going on an 12-1 run to take a 52-51 lead with 5:23 to play. During that stretch, Loyola was 2-of-4 from the field, 1-of-1 from 3-point range, 7-of-8 from the free-throw line and had four defensive rebounds, one offensive, two assists, a steal and zero turnovers. Meanwhile, the Retrievers were 0-of-2 from the floor, 1-of-3 from the line, had just one rebound and committed two turnovers.

Hitting The Boards: Loyola outrebounded its opponent for the second game in a row against UMBC, pulling down 40 boards to the Retrievers' 28. The Greyhounds had 15 offensive rebounds and made 16 points on second-chance opportunities.

Career Night: Kaitlin Grant logged career- and season-highs in several categories at Mount St. Mary's, turning in the first double-double of her collegiate career with 14 points and 11 rebounds. She started and played a career-best 35 minutes, while her point total set a career-high and her rebound total tied her career mark.

Driving Ms. Davis: Tynisha Davis made her first start of the season at Mount St. Mary's and played a career-high 36 minutes. The senior guard scored in double-figures (12 points) for the second-straight game (11 at Pennsylvania, 11/25). Davis also had two steals and five rebounds against The Mount. She followed that performance with a team-high 12 points against UMBC.

Woody's Work: Fifth-year senior Meghan Wood recorded her third career double-double, her first of the season, with 11 points and 12 rebounds against UMBC. During the game, she eclipsed the 500 point mark for her career. Wood is now just eight rebounds shy of 400 for her career.

Frosh Floor General: Candice Walker has started all six 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).

Solid at the Line: Loyola's shooting difficulties have not translated to the free throw line so far this season. While the Greyhounds are shooting just 34.8-percent from the field, they are making over 76-percent from the charity stripe, including 15-of-19 at Mount St. Mary's, 21-of-25 against Pennsylvania and 20-of-27 versus UMBC. Six players - Kaitlin Grant (18-of-22), Vika Sholokhova (12-of-15), Candice Walker (19-of-25), Meghan Wood (20-of-27), Tynisha Davis (9-of-10) and Ashley Alexander (7-of-10) - are shooting 70-percent or better at the line after taking 10 or more free throw attempts.

Half The Battle: If getting to the free throw line is half the battle, Loyola is winning that war. The Greyhounds are getting to the free throw line an average of 19.7 times per game, an average of 7.7 more times than their opponents through seven games. Loyola has been judicious with its fouls, being whistled for just 90, while its opponents have been tagged for 116. As of the December 2 statistical report, the Greyhounds had committed an average of just 11.2 personal fouls per game, second fewest in NCAA Division I.

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 42-25 (.627) 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 21-7 (.750) in Reitz Arena... Logan is assisted by Marti Whitmore, Alisha Mosley and Erin Brady.

Scouting the Purple Eagles: Niagara is 2-5 overall entering conference play. The Purple Eagles won their first two - at Colgate and against Youngstown State - before dropping their next five. Kristina Walton leads the team with a 14.3 points per game average, while Jennifer McNamee contributes 11.1 point. Erika Harris came off the bench in Niagara's last game, against University at Buffalo, and scored 14 with seven rebounds in her first game action of the season.

Last Year's Meetings: Loyola won both meetings against Niagara last season, defeating the Purple Eagles, 91-53, in Baltimore, and, 65-55, at Niagara. On January 19 in Reitz Arena, the Greyhounds set a school record by shooting 61.5-percent from the field, scoring a season-high 91 points. Loyola outrebounded Niagara, 42-16, and held the Purple Eagles to just two offensive boards. Brittany Dunn made 8-of-9 from the floor and scored 16. Jill Glessner scored 18, and Meghan Wood added 16 for the Greyhounds. Glessner again scored 18 points on February 3, at Niagara, as the Greyhounds scored 40 points in the paint and snapped a three-game losing streak. Wood added 11, and Vika Sholokhova had 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Up Next: Loyola continues MAAC play with a 2:30 p.m. contest on Sunday, December 9, against Canisius in Reitz Arena. The Greyhounds then take over a week off for final exams before hosting Columbia on Saturday, December 22.itz Arena