Dec. 6, 2009
This week: No. 22 MarylandNo. 22 Maryland Terrapins (7-1 overall, 0-0 ACC)
Loyola Greyhounds (3-4 overall, 0-0 MAAC)
When: Sunday, December 6Where: Comcast Center (College Park, Md.)Time: 2 p.m.
Loyola started the week off with a thriller at Towson. The game came down to the final seconds but the Greyhounds' Charles Street Rivals prevailed, taking a 68-66 victory. Towson's Simona Petronyte knocked down a decisive three-pointer to break a 65-65 tie with just five seconds left. Miriam McKenzie led the `Hounds with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists. Meredith Tolley and Kaitlin Grant both added in 12 points each, with Grant pulling down a team-high nine boards.
Scouting the Terrapins
This will arguably be the toughest test the `Hounds will face early in the season, as they face a Terrapin team at the Comcast Center that is currently riding a program-record 42-game home winning streak. Maryland fell out of the national rankings with a loss to Mississippi State in Starkville, but otherwise has not missed a beat. This team can score, and the Terps are 3-0 when putting up 80 or more points. Diandra Tchatchouang wasted no time in establishing her presence in College Park. This week, the freshman forward earned Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Week honors after averaging 13 points per game over three games for the Terps last week. The 6-3 freshman out of La Courneuve, France joined the team late in the fall, and has been one of the top European prospects throughout her prep career.
This local rivalry dates all the way back to Loyola's third season in 1973-74. Maryland leads the all-time series 15-3. Loyola took two straight from the Terps in the 1997-98 season (57-50) and the 1998-99 season (50-43). Both were season-opening wins under head coach Pat Coyle.
Senior forward Kaitlin Grant's 12 steals against the Mount was the most steals in a Division I women's basketball game since Georgia Tech's Jillian Ingram recorded an identical number Feb. 29, 2008. The senior forward tied for 16th on the NCAA DI single-game list. Just seven players have recorded 13 steals and eight have recorded 14. Grant now holds the all-time school record for a single game. The previous women's record was eight, which she matched last season, while the men's record was 10.
Miriam McKenze staged a coming out party during opening weekend. 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 2009-2010 season. In the 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 two days later in Loyola's home opener, posting her first career double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Sutherland Steals the Show
In limited action off the bench, freshman forward Alyssa Sutherland has managed 10 takeaways, the second-most on the team behind Kaitlin Grant's 24. Sutherland started the season off with four against Army in Loyola's home-opener, keying a second-half surge for the Greyhounds. Sutherland has excelled in transition, taking most of those steals to the hoop for fast break layups. Against Tulane in the Navy Classic, Sutherland put up career-high numbers in points (seven) and rebounds (six) while grabbing a game-high three steals.
The first week of play featured two dominant post players on opposing teams and Loyola's senior post player Kaitlin Grant making big contributions. Grant put in two double-digit performances with 19 points at La Salle and 16 against Army. The defense of Grant, Erica DiClemente and Meredith Tolley nearly shut down post players Morgan Robertson (La Salle) and Erin Anthony (Army), limiting the two players to little more than free throws. Backup post player, freshman Alyssa Sutherland, also stepped up with four big steals in the second half against Army.
Grant Gets Preseason Nod
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.