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Greyhounds Drop Close Battle To UMBC, 60-56
Nov. 22, 2011
BALTIMORE - The Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team dropped a hard-fought, close contest to in-state rival and reigning American East Champion UMBC Tuesday evening at Reitz Arena, 60-56.
Senior Miriam McKenzie led the Greyhounds (1-3) with her 10th career double-double, totaling 19 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Katie Sheahin chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds, while Alyssa Sutherland and Kara Marshall had eight each.
The 19 points gave McKenzie 1,070 in her career, moving her into 12th on Loyola's all-time list.
Michelle Kurowski paced the Retrievers with 19 points and Kristin Coles had 12 rebounds. Kurowski, Coles and Erin Brown played all 40 minutes of the contest for UMBC, as head coach Phil Stern did not make a single substitution in the second half.
Both coaching staffs, along with game personnel, donned orange ribbons for the contest in remembrance of Oklahoma State women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna, who were tragically killed in a plane crash last week.
Loyola played outstanding defense throughout the game, holding the Retrievers to 32-percent shooting (16-for-50) from the floor and outrebounding UMBC, 41-33. The 32-percent shooting was the lowest Loyola held an opponent this season, as the Greyhounds allowed the visitors to shoot just 4-for-23 in the second half.
UMBC did its damage from the free-throw line, making 25-of-29 (86.2-percent) in the game and 22-of-26 in the final half. The Greyhounds finished 9-for-17 from the charity stripe.
Loyola notched a season-high for points in the first half, taking a 30-29 lead into the locker room. McKenzie led all scorers with 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting to go with five rebounds. The team shot a season-best 43.3-percent (13-for-30) in the first 20 minutes, while holding a 19-14 rebounding advantage.
McKenzie was effective inside for Loyola, with all of her points coming off lay-ups. The Greyhounds held an 18-10 scoring advantage in the paint at halftime and had eight assists on their 13 field goals. The team finished with a season-high 11 assists in the contest.
Loyola led the entire first half after scoring on the team's first possession when Sutherland knocked-down a 3-pointer from the corner on an assist from Sheahin.
The Greyhounds built a seven-point lead early, and led by as many as eight after Sheahin capped a 6-0 run with a steal and score to put the home side up 28-20 with 6:04 remaining in the first half.
UMBC closed the gap with a 9-2 stretch to end the frame, making it a one-point game as the teams went to the locker rooms.
It was a back-and-forth second half that featured five lead changes and five ties. Loyola had a slow start offensively, with Sutherland ending an eight minute scoreless drought with a lay-up off a great feed from McKenzie that put the Greyhounds up 32-31 with 16:30 to go.
Sheahin gave Loyola its final lead of the contest and its biggest lead of the second half, knocking-down a 3 from the left wing that put the Greyhounds on top by two (37-35) with just under 14 minutes left.
After Nneka Offodile dropped in a lay-up inside to knot the game at 39 with 11:43 to play, the Retrievers went on a 10-3 run, ending with a trey by Brittany Crowell that gave UMBC a 49-42 lead at the 3:46 mark.
Loyola continued to fight and made a late comeback for the second-straight game. The Greyhounds trailed by eight with 1:06 remaining, but trimmed the UMBC advantage to three twice in the final minute.
Sheahin came up big, finishing a lay-up while getting fouled with 16 seconds remaining that cut the deficit to 57-54.
But the Retrievers hit clutch free-throws down the stretch, holding off the Greyhounds for a 60-56 victory and their second-straight win in the series.
The Greyhounds return from Thanksgiving for a 2 p.m. match-up with Howard on Sunday, November 27 at 2 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader with the men's team.