Opponent: Canisius Golden Griffins When: Saturday, January 8 Where: Reitz Arena Time: 2:00 p.m.
With a couple of conference road wins the Loyola University Maryland women's basketball team will play four games at Reitz Arena starting with Canisius on Saturday. Tip-off set for 2 p.m. This will be the 49th meeting for the Greyhounds and Golden Griffins.
Scouting Canisius Canisius is 5-8 and 1-1 in the MAAC this season. The Golden Griffins lost to Fairfield (60-51) on Sunday and defeated Saint Peter's (60-56) on Tuesday. Last season, Canisius was 12-19 and 5-10 on the road. The Golden Griffins are led by Jen Morabito who has 107 points, an average of 11.9 a game. Jamie Ruttle has 104 points, an average of 8.7. Jen Lennox leads on the boards with 63, an average of 4.8 a game. Canisius is coached by Terry Zeh who is in his seventh season with the Golden Griffins. Loyola is 22-26 all-time against Canisius. The Greyhounds split with the Golden Griffins last season with both teams winning on the road.
Loyola-Canisius Series History Canisius leads the series, 26-22. The Greyhounds and Golden Griffins split last season with both teams winning on the road. Canisius defeated Loyola 73-67 at Reitz Arena and the Greyhounds defeated the Golden Griffins 72-71 in overtime on the road.
Three Point Shot The Greyhounds hit 15 three pointers against Manhattan which is the most in school history. It is also tied for second in the MAAC with Niagara who had 15 at home against Rider on December 3, 2004. The most three pointers in the MAAC is 16 set by Marist at home against Canisius on February 10, 2008. With a couple of road wins against Manhattan and Rider this is the fourth time the Greyhounds have started the conference 2-0 (2010-11, 2008-09, 2007-08, 2006-07).
Sheahin POW Katie Sheahin named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced on January 3, 2011. Sheahin had a double-double for the Greyhounds in the win over Manhattan on Sunday. She had a career high 19 points, with 11 coming in the second half, and 10 assists. Against the Jaspers, Sheahin shot 6-of-7 from the field including connecting on two three pointers and was 5-of-6 from the free throw line. She had seven rebounds, two blocks and three steals. Against UMBC, Sheahin had 15 points with 13 coming in the second half. She also had a career high seven steals against the Retrievers. She shot 6-of-12 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. She had three rebounds and three assists. This award is the first of Sheahin's career and the second this season for a Loyola player.
DiClemente Honored Erica DiClemente named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week announced on December 13, 2010. She scored 23 points in consecutive games last week against then-No.22 Maryland and Mount St. Mary's, set career-highs in points in the process. Shot 9-of-15 from the field against the Mount and led the Greyhounds to a 74-58 victory. She scored 15 of her points in the first half and finished the game 5-of-8 from behind the 3-point line. She led Loyola with a season-high eight rebounds versus the Mountaineers. Against Maryland, she made 7-of-14 field goal attempts and knocked down 4-of-6 threes. She tallied 15 of her points after halftime versus Maryland. Her 46-point week raised her scoring average to a team-best 13.2 points per game this season, a mark good for sixth in the MAAC. She is shooting 45.4-percent from the field and her 40.4-percent from the 3-point range is fourth best in the league. The award is the first of DiClemente's career and the first this season for a Loyola player.
Single-Game Assist Record Katie Sheahin tied a 14-year old single-game assist record. Sheahin's 11 assists tied the Loyola single-game record, matching Corey Hewitt's mark of 11 against South Carolina on December 29, 1996. Sheahin had her first double-double of the career with 11 points and 11 assists.
Strong Perimeter The Greyhounds look to have a strong offense this season with the return of Miriam McKenzie, Erica DiClemente and Katie Sheahin who scored a combined 1,032 points of Loyola's 1,833 points last season. Loyola will be strong around the perimeter with returning four guards this season including Candice Walker who was injured last season.
"We think we will have opportunities to score," said Head Coach Joe Logan. "The biggest thing we will be looking for from them (McKenzie, DiClemente and Sheahin) is consistency. They will cause some matchup problems on the perimeter.
"We are going to be guard heavy, offensively. But we think that is a good problem to have. We think that good guards help you win games and good guards help you win championships. We think our posts will contribute as well."
"We think Katie is really going to have to step up and be a defensive stopper, Erica DiClemente's experience being here as a fifth-year senior is going to help her and Miriam McKenzie's athletic ability will help," said Logan. "We have pretty good defenders on the perimeter and they are all different. So that is a good problem to have as far as the versatility on the defensive end.
"In the post, Alyssa Sutherland is a sophomore who got a lot of good experience last year and learned from Kaitlin Grant. We think she gives us a little bit of a taller presence then we had in the past and Meredith Tolley is going to rely on her age and experience to help her defend. We are a little bit further along defensively then we have been in the past. We are deeper and more athletic than we have been in the past as well."
Progressing Nicely The Greyhounds added three freshmen to this season's roster. In her senior season, Nicole Krusen scored 359 points and shot 77-percent from the free throw line. She was the all-time leading scoring for her high school with 1,638 points, making 345 three pointers during her career. Nneka Offodile senior season scored 238 points, 27 blocks and had 120 rebounds.
"Nicole Krusen and Nneka Offodile had a really good summer," said Logan. "They were both here for summer school and were able to work out with our strength coach which we think is a huge asset.
"We are looking for Nneka to come in as a bigger presence and for her to rebound and score when she is available. She is going to be a pleasant surprise for us and a lot of people in the league who don't know about her.
"Nicole Krusen is just a tremendous three-point shooter and understands the game. She is a great shooter and good passer.
Junior First Team Junior guard Miriam McKenzie was named to the preseason All-MAAC First Team after earning All-MAAC First Team honors last season. She played in and started all 30 games, averaging 33.7 minutes a game and scoring 501 points, an average of 16.7 a game. She had 85 assists, 228 rebounds, 11 blocks and 35 steals.
In McKenzie's two years as a Greyhound, she has played in 39 games, averaging 28.7 minutes per game and scored 546 points, averaging 14.0 points per game.
All-MAAC Honors Sophomore Katie Sheahin was named to the preseason All-MAAC Third Team after earning MAAC All-Rookie Team honors as a freshman. She played in 24 games in her first year as a Greyhound, averaging 28.0 minutes a game and scoring 211 points, an average of 8.8 per contest. She shot 70-percent from the free throw line and had 110 rebounds. She also chipped in 41 assists, 21 blocks and 51 steals.
Picked Third Overall Marist was picked to win the MAAC title, receiving all ten first place votes for 100 points in the poll. The Red Foxes won their fifth straight MAAC Championship last season. Following Marist was Iona with 90 points, and Loyola was picked third with 70. This is the highest the Greyhounds have been picked to finish under Coach Logan. Last season, they were picked seventh, and in the 2008-2009 season they were picked fifth.
"We always say it is not about where you start it is where you finish," said Logan. "We really as everyone in the MAAC really want to win the MAAC Championships. We are talented enough to do that. The challenge is the rest of the league is very talented as well."
Following the Greyhounds was a tie for fourth with Fairfield and Manhattan both receiving 64 points. They were followed by Niagara (51), Canisius (44), Siena (34), Saint Peter's (20) and Rider (13).
14-16, 9-9 Last Season Last season, the Greyhounds were 14-16 and 9-9 in the conference after losing to Fairfield 70-66 in the quarterfinal round of the 2010 Citizens Bank Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships at the Times Union Center, in Albany N.Y. Miriam McKenzie led the way for Loyola last season averaging 16.7 points per game playing an averaging of 33.7 minutes a game. She also led in rebounds having 228, an average of 7.6. Erica DiClemente averaged 10.7 points per game playing in a total of 1,029 minutes a game. She averaged 5.0 rebounds a game and shot 77-percent for the free throw line.
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Next Up For Loyola The Greyhounds will play three more game at Reitz Arena starting Monday, January 14 with Marist at 11:30 a.m. Fairfield will pay a visit on Friday, January 14 at 4:30 p.m. and Iona will conclude the home stretch on Sunday, January 16 at 2:00 p.m.