Dec. 16, 2008
vs. La Salle Explorers
Game No. 10 Friday, December 19, 2008
Baltimore, Md. Reitz Arena
The Greyhounds wrap-up their three-game homestand with their final home contest of 2008 when they take on La Salle at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 19, 2008.
The game will be the first for Loyola since December 9. The 10-day layoff for first semester final exams is the longest in-season stretch without a game.
Friday's game will be the 10th all-time meeting between the Catholic schools. La Salle has experienced the majority of success in the series, holding an 8-1 advantage.
The Explorers and Greyhounds were at one time Metro Atlantic Athletic and Northeast Conference opponents. They were both in the NEC from 1989-91 and played three times - all La Salle wins - during that stretch. The schools then met twice in 1991-1992, with the Explorers coming out on top both times, as MAAC opponents.
Loyola's lone win in the series came during the 1979-1980 season.
Last season's meeting, a 51-50 La Salle win, was the first between the schools since 1992.
The Greyhounds took a 50-49 lead with 26 seconds left as Ashley Alexander made one of her career-high four threes from the right side, but Jamie Walsh made a 17-foot jumper with 14.9 left to win it for La Salle. Vika Sholokhova led Loyola with 16 points and 10 boards, while Alexander scored 14.
The game will be the 100th of Joe Logan's head coaching career. He is 57-42 in his first 99.
Last Time Out
Loyola pulled within two at the under 12 first-half media timeout against No. 15/16 Maryland.
The Terrapins, however, closed the half on a 25-8 run to take control of the game and snap Loyola's 5-game winning streak.
Meredith Tolley and Kaitlin Grant each scored 12 for the Greyhounds, while Siobhan Prior and Ashley Alexander had 10. Grant led Loyola with eight boards.
Stopping A Scorer
Despite the loss, Loyola held Maryland's two-time All-American, Kristi Toliver, to just two points on 1-of-8 shooting. The point guard also coughed up the ball five times in 31 minutes of action.
Reversal Of Fortunes
After recording a two-game school record for shooting percentage (more following), Loyola had its lowest field goal mark (16-of-56), .286, against the Terps.
But, Good Signs Still
The Greyhounds went to the free-throw line 17 times in the second half and shot .824 from the stripe in the game.
They also tied their season-high with six 3-pointers.
The four double-figure scorers for Loyola were the most it produced in meetings the last two years against Maryland.
Mallory Lawes played a career-high 17 minutes against the Terps and led Loyola for the first time in assists. She dished out a season-best four.
Loyola's .604 shooting percentage at Manhattan was not only its best of the season, but it was the second-highest mark in school history.
Loyola shot .615 on January 19, 2007, at Niagara when it made 40-of-65 field goals.
The 32 field goals made were also the most by the Greyhounds since the game against Niagara.
The Greyhounds followed that performance with a .585 effort against Rider.
Loyola's combined 63-of-106 (.594) is the best two-game percentage in school history, bettering the 65-of-115 (.565) against Niagara and Manhattan in 2006-2007.
Siobhan Prior has led the scoring performances for Loyola in each of the last two games with 22 and 21 points (more later).
Prior made 15-of-19 shots in those games (.789) and was 7-of-8 from behind the 3-point arc.
Siobhan Prior's 22 points against the Jaspers eclipsed her previous best of 19 set January 25, 2008, at Iona.
She also made a career-best nine field goals and was 9-of-11 from the field.
Prior's .818 field goal percentage was the highest by a Loyola player since Brittany Dunn was 8-of-9 (.889), and Meghan Wood was 7-of-8 (.875), at Niagara on January 19, 2007.
She recorded her second-straight 20-plus point effort on Sunday against Rider with a team-high 21.
Twenty Topped Twice
Prior's back-to-back 20-plus point games marked the first time a Loyola player has accomplished that feat since Katie Scherle scored 20 against Manhattan on February 3, 2005, and 20 versus Canisius two days later. Earlier that season, Jackie Valderas has 20 and 21 in consecutive games.
Not Quiet As A Mouse
Ashley Alexander's nickname is `Mouse' for her quiet demeanor, but she was not quiet on the court against Manhattan.
Alexander made 5-of-9 shots and 4-of-5 free throws to score 15 points. She also had two assists, four rebounds, a block and a steal.
Her point output matched the her total on December 4, 2006, at St. Francis (Pa.)
Kaitlin Grant has led the Greyhounds in rebounding during each of the last seven games.
Prior to that streak starting, she had led the team in rebounding just four times in her career.
The win over the Mount was the second game in a row where Loyola has trailed by 10 points only to come back to win.
The Mount led by 10 on two occasions (7:12 and 4:02, 2nd half), and Bucknell was up by the same amount (14:18 and 10:03, 2nd half).
Those Loyola comebacks were fueled by solid final 10 minute increments. In the last two games, the Greyhounds have held Bucknell and The Mount to a combined .280 field-goal percentage (7-of-25), and Loyola has forced 11 turnovers.
Loyola, in turn has made 44-percent of its shots (11-of-25) and committed just one turnover during that span.
The Greyhounds have also gone 24-of-28 (.857) from the free-throw line in the final 10 minutes of the games.
Grant Grabs MAAC Award
Rebounds aren't the only thing Kaitlin Grant has grabbed recently. She also picked up the MAAC Player of the Week Award for November 23-30 after scoring 19 points and pulling down nine boards.
The award was the first of Grant's career and the first for a Loyola player since Vika Sholokhova earned the honor on February 12, 2007.
Kaitlin's Big Game(s)
Kaitlin Grant scored 13 in the first half against Harvard and finished with a career-high 21 points. Her previous best was 16 at Iona (1/25/08).
Grant went for a double-double against Towson with 13 points and a then career-high tying 11 rebounds.
Against Bucknell, Grant scored 19 points, 13 in the first half. She scored six of the first half's final eight points, all during an 8-0 Loyola run to guide the team to a 26-20 halftime advantage.
She followed that performance with an 11-point, 13-rebound output against Mount Saint Mary's. Her 13 boards, 5 assists and 38 minutes were career-highs.
Berlin Breaks Out
After playing a career-high 23 minutes, and scoring a then-career-best six points at Army (11/23), Alex Berlin stepped up in an even bigger way against Bucknell.
The sophomore guard scored all 14 of her career-high point total in the second half against the Bison. She made 11-of-12 free throws in the victory.
Belrin also played excellent defense during the second half. She helped limit Bucknell's leading scorer, Amanda Brown, to just 12 points on 18 shots. During a 9-minute, 38-second stretch to end the game, Berlin limited Brown to just 1-of-4 from the field.
Getting To The Line
Led by Alex Berlin's 11-of-12 from the line, the Greyhounds were 22-of-24 from the stripe against Bucknell.
The 91.7-percent from the free-throw line was the best Loyola has put up in a game (with 15 or more attempts) during Joe Logan's three-plus seasons at Loyola.
Loyola has attempted an average of more than 20 free throws per game through five contests, making 97-of-125 attempts.
Loyola made just four of its first 12 shots against Harvard and trailed 14-11 with 11:58 to go in the first half.
The Greyhounds went on a 26-12 run over the next 8:28 to lead 37-23 with 3:30 to play before halftime.
Loyola used two big runs to beat Bucknell. The Greyhounds went on an 8-0 run to close the first half ahead, 26-20, then used a 16-0 run to rally from 10 down in the second half.
In the come-from-behind victory over Mount St. Mary's Loyola went on a 9-0 run in the final 2:18 to close the game and overcome an 8-point deficit.
During the second half at Manhattan, Loyola scored 14 unanswered over a 5-plus minute stretch to extend its lead to 15 and take control of the game.
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 trip, visit the women's basketball page on loyolagreyhounds.com.
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.
Including nine games this year, she has averaged 11.4 points and 31.9 minutes per game, tops on the team during the last 30 games.
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).
Caps And Gowns
With Tynisha Davis and Vika Sholokhova receiving their Loyola bachelors degrees - Meghan Wood earned hers in 2007 and was pursuing her masters last year - all 12 student-athletes who were seniors on 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.
Through seven games this season, Glessner is averaging over 23 points per game for the Wildcats.
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.
Head Coach Joe Logan
Joe Logan enters his fourth year as the head coach at his alma mater with a 57-42 (.576) overall record.
He recorded the 50th win of his career last season when Loyola defeated Siena in Loudonville, N.Y., on January 18.
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 27-13 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.