Greyhounds Advance To MAAC Championship Game
March 5, 2011
Bridgeport, CT - Junior guard Miriam McKenzie hit her second straight late-game basket to put the Greyhounds up, 48-47, with just 38 seconds left, and the Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team knocked down two free throws to seal a, 50-47, win over the Manhattan Jaspers in the Spark Energy Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Semifinals at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.
Manhattan senior guard Abby Wentworth came up with a steal on the defensive end taking it the length of the court to put the Jaspers ahead, 44-47, with 1:41 remaining. On the next possession, McKenzie hit a jumper in the paint to cut Manhattan's lead to one with 1:23 left in the game.
"After she made that I thought we could have gone south, missed a couple or forced a shot, but I have to give a lot of credit to our kids they kept it together," Greyhounds head coach Joe Logan said about his team's composure down the stretch.
Down one with just 50 seconds to go, the Greyhounds' defense forced a shot clock violation on Manhattan's next possession to set Loyola up for a chance to ahead.
"I thought we played really great defense for the last three minutes there, but our kids really played stepped it up down the stretch and did a great job rebounding," said Logan.
McKenzie once again pulled through late in the game for the Greyhounds, driving through the paint for the go-ahead lay-up with just 38 left, to put Loyola up by one.
After scoring six straight points for Manhattan, Wentworth, missed a jumper on the following possession forcing the Jaspers to foul for another opportunity to get the ball back. The Greyhounds' graduate student guard Erica DiClemente knocked down two free throws to extend Loyola's lead to three with 11 seconds to go.
"Katie had a great pass to Miriam and Miriam was able to put in the lay-up," Logan said about his team's ability to comeback. "I have to give our kids a lot of credit, we talked about it at half time shared the ball in the second half and rebounded well."
Manhattan's freshman guard Monica Roeder got one last shot off with seven seconds left, but her three-pointer came up short as the Jaspers' finish the season 22-9 and 13-6 in the MAAC.
The Loyola women's basketball team moves to 20-11 overall and 17-3 in the conference with the win and will advance to its first MAAC Championship game since 2005-2006, where the second-seeded Greyhounds will face the number one seed Marist Red Foxes.
Loyola was led by McKenzie, who scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Sheahin added 16 points, six rebounds, three blocks and three steals for the Greyhounds.
McKenzie drove the baseline for a reverse lay-up to notch the first basket of the game and put the Greyhounds up 2-0. Manhattan senior guard Abby Wentworth scored five straight and freshman guard Monica Roeder swished a three from the top of the arc to put the Jaspers ahead by two with 12:47 left to go.
For the next four minutes of the half, Loyola's backcourt took over as McKenzie and Sheahin combined for a 10-2 run that put the Greyhounds out in front, 18-12, for their largest lead.
Over the next 5:46, Roeder single-handedly erased the Loyola advantage as she scored her third straight basket to put the Jaspers in front for the first time since the 12:38 mark. Manhattan outscored the Greyhounds 10 to 1 over the final 6:07 of half to go into the break with a 22-19 advantage.
Loyola will face Marist on Monday in the 2010-2011 Spark Energy Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m.