The Loyola University Maryland women’s basketball team plays the first of five games away from home on Monday, December 5, when the team heads to Lehigh University to battle the Mountain Hawks at 7 p.m. for the first meeting between the two schools since the 1985-1986 season.
The game begins the longest road stretch since Loyola played six-straight away from home during the 2009-10 season.
The Greyhounds are 0-2 on the road this season with losses at Maryland and Pittsburgh. The team’s last regular-season non-conference road win came at Navy on Dec. 3, 2010.
Under Head Coach Joe Logan, the Greyhounds are 41-47 on the road and 14-20 in non-conference road games.
Logan has led Loyola to a 24-15 mark in the month of December over his six seasons at the helm. Loyola went 3-3 last season in the year’s final month.
Logan enters the contest with 99 career wins, one victory shy of tying Patty Coyle for the most wins in program history.
Both teams are coming off wins in their last game, with Loyola defeating Army, 68-64, and Lehigh beating Valporaiso, 41-39.
Scouting the Mountain Hawks
The Mountain Hawks enter Monday night’s contest with a 3-6 record after defeating Valparaiso 41-39 on Friday night.
Lehigh was picked to finish second in the Patriot League Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
The Mountain Hawks have won two Patriot League titles in the last three years.
The squad went 21-11 last year and 10-4 in the Patriot League while qualifying for the WNIT.
Sue Troyan is in her 17th season on the sidelines for Lehigh
Alexa Williams is averaging 9.8 rebounds per game to lead the conference.
This marks the fifth meeting between the Greyhounds and Mountain Hawks but the first since the 1984-85 season.
The two programs met four-straight years from 1981-1985, with Lehigh holding a 3-1 advantage in the series.
The Mountain Hawks have won three-straight in the series, defeating the Greyhounds 83-51 in Bethlehem last time out.
Only one of the games has been decided by fewer the 10 points, with Lehigh winning 62-57 in 1982-83.
Loyola vs. Patriot League
Loyola is 19-32 all-time against Patriot League opponents, with the team’s last win coming against Navy, 42-38, in the team’s home-opener this season.
Army is the second of four Patriot League teams the Greyhounds play this season. Loyola also takes on preseason Patriot League favorite American as well as Lehigh in a pair of road games.
Loyola is 12-10 all-time at home against Patriot League opponents.
Freshman Kara Marshall has averaged 11.0 points, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals since taking over as starting point guard.
The Gaithersburg, Md., native also is shooting 50.0-percent from the field and 71.4-percent from the free-throw line.
Marshall was named MAAC Rookie of the Week for the week ending Nov. 20 after scoring 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting in her first career start at Pittsburgh.
Marshall has been important in the clutch, shooting 6-for-7 in the final five minutes of the last five games while connecting on each of her two free-throw attempts.
Last Time Out
Loyola moved to .500 for the first time this season with a 68-64 win over Army on Saturday, December 3 at Reitz Arena.
The Greyhounds had a season-high 68 points with four players scoring in double figures for the first time since March 4, 2011 against Canisius.
The win was the 99th in head coach Joe Logan’s career.
On the Defensive End
Loyola has held opponents to 36.7-percent shooting from the floor over the past five games.
The Greyhounds held UMBC to 17.4-percent shooting from the field in the second half, the lowest shooting percentage for a team since holding Manhattan to 11.8-percent shooting in the second half of a game on Feb. 2, 2011.
Loyola has held three teams (Navy, UMBC, Howard) to below 32-percent shooting from the floor.
Making Things Happen
Although averaging just 2.2 points per game, freshman Steph Smith has helped the Greyhounds outscore opponents 80-67 (+13) when she is on the court over the last five games, the second-best plus-minus ratio of any player on the team.
Smith had the highest plus-minus on the Greyhounds against Howard, giving Loyola a 13-point advantage when she was playing.
Smith is averaging 3.5 rebounds per game, notching at-least one rebound in every game and three or more in five of the team’s six games.
Not Your Average Joe
Head coach Joe Logan enters Monday’s game with 99 career victories, needing just two more to become the all-time wins leader in Loyola history.
Logan has led Loyola to two 20-plus win seasons in his tenure, including tying a program record with 21 wins last season.
Coming Up Clutch
The Greyhounds are shooting 46.3-percent (19-for-41) in the final five minutes of the last four games.
Loyola has also connected on 25 of its 47 free throw attempts, good for 67.6-percent from the charity stripe.
Loyola plays its second of five-straight games on the road when they battle Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday, December 10 at 4 p.m.