Navy Outlasts Women's Basketball In Patriot League Quarterfinals
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The third-seeded United States Naval Academy closed out the game on a 21-8 run to escape the sixth-seeded Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team at Alumni Hall Monday night, handing the Greyhounds a 63-55 loss in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 Patriot League Championships.
Freshman Isabella Therien, the Patriot League Rookie of the Year, led all players with 18 points, while sophomore Stephanie Karcz, the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds and dished out six assists.
Freshman Delaney Connolly also added 15 points for Loyola (9-21 overall) and junior Ashley Hunter was one rebound shy of her second double-double, turning in 11 points and nine rebounds.
Taylor Dunham led Navy (24-6) with 13 points, while Hannah Fenske added 11 points. Kaila Clark and Laurel Jaunch each had 10.
Therien knocked in the opening basket, but Navy quickly responded with a 9-0 run to pull ahead 9-2. Therien snapped the streak with her second field goal of the game and then Hunter and sophomore Alexis Gray turned in three-point plays to keep Loyola within five, at 15-10. Navy ended the quarter with a 17-10 advantage, though.
Connolly entered the game to start the second quarter and sparked a 7-1 run for the Greyhounds by converting a pair of free throws. Therien capped off the streak with a 3-pointer, cutting Navy's lead to one, at 18-17. The Midshipmen responded and stretched their lead back to five, at 22-17, but Hunter and Therien pulled Loyola back within one, 22-21, before Hunter's layup at the 3:55 mark gave the Greyhounds their first lead of the game, 23-22.
The lead would be brief though, as a trey from Morgan Taylor put the Mids back in front, 25-23. Karcz's free throw would close out the quarter and bring Loyola within one at the halftime break, 25-24.
Although the Greyhounds gave up the first six points of the second half, Hunter and Therien combined to give Loyola a 9-2 run and tie the game at 33 all. Navy wouldn't let Loyola take the lead, as it worked for six-straight points, but Karcz closed the quarter with back-to-back baskets to get the Greyhounds back within two, at 39-37.
Connolly then drained a 3-pointer to put Loyola ahead 40-39 at the start of the fourth quarter. The lead briefly switched back to the Mids, but back-to-back baskets from Therien and a trey from senior CaLee Gelbaugh gave Loyola its largest lead of the game, at 47-42.
Loyola would be unable to hold onto the lead though, as Navy strung together 14-unanswered points to turn its five-point deficit into a nine-point advantage, 56-47. Loyola would pull within four, on a pair of jumpers from Connolly, with 1:42 to play, but the Greyhounds would be unable to get any closer as the Midshipmen stretched their lead back to eight, at 60-52, and held on for the 63-55 victory.