The Loyola University Maryland women’s basketball team closes out its non-conference schedule on Thursday, December 29, when the Greyhounds make the short trip up North Charles Street to take on local rival Towson at 7 p.m.
The Greyhounds are closing out a five-game road trip, their longest road stretch since playing six-straight away from home during the 2009-10 season.
Loyola is 1-5 on the road this season and 15-23 in non-conference road games under Head Coach Joe Logan.
Logan earned his 100th career victory with the win at George Washington, tying Patty Coyle for the most win in program history.
Scouting the Tigers
The Tigers enter Thursday’s contest with a 9-2 overall record with their only losses coming on the road to a pair of top-10 opponents in Maryland and Connecticut.
Towson has won five-straight games since losing to Connecticut back on Nov. 30, posting a 5-0 mark in December.
The Tigers are 5-0 at the Towson Center this season.
Krystal Parnell leads Towson in scoring at 12.5 points per game, while Tanisha McTiller is next at 11.5. Nyree Williams leads the Tigers in rebounding at 9.6 per game.
Towson was picked to finish 11th in the highly competitve Colonial Athletic Association. The team is receiving votes in the Mid-Major Top-25.
Series with Towson
This marks the 38th meeting between the Tigers and the Greyhounds in a rivalry that dates back to the 1974-75 season.
Towson owns a 25-12 advantage in the all-time series, including wins in each of the last five contests.
Loyola’s last win in the series came on Dec. 21, 2005 when the Greyhounds defeated the Tigers 70-62 at Towson.
Loyola is 5-15 on the road against Towson.
Head coach Joe Logan is 1-5 all-time against Towson.
Loyola vs. Colonial Athletic Association
Loyola is 21-50 all-time against members of the Colonial Athletic Association, including 9-29 on the road.
The Greyhounds did grab a win the last time they played a team from the CAA, defeating Old Dominion 67-65 on March 16, 2011, in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Head coach Joe Logan is 4-6 against members of the CAA, with five of the losses coming against Towson. Logan has led Loyola to a 2-1 record against Drexel, a 1-0 record against Old Dominion and a 1-5 mark against the Tigers.
Loyola begins Metro Atlantic Athletic Coference play on Monday, Jan. 2 when the Greyhounds host Niagara at 4:30 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader with the men’s team.
Last Time Out
The Greyhounds struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first half and dropped a 63-48 decision against Patriot League favorite American on Dec. 21.
Loyola shot 30-percent from the floor in the first half and turned the ball over 15 times, leading to a 32-16 halftime deficit that the Greyhounds could not climb out of.
Loyola outscored American 32-31 in the second half, helped by a 17-4 run that cut the deficit to 10 with just over a minute and a half remaining in the game.
Katie Sheahin led Loyola with 22 points, six assists and three steals. Nicole Krusen had 12 points in the game, hitting four 3-pointers.
Logan Earns 100th career victory
Head coach Joe Logan enters today’s game with 100 career victories, needing just one more to become the all-time wins leader in Loyola history.
Logan earned his 100th career win when Loyola defeated George Washington, 70-62, on the road on Dec. 18.
Logan has led Loyola to two 20-plus win seasons in his tenure, including tying a program record with 21 wins last season.
Ranking Near the Top
Junior guard Katie Sheahin currently ranks in the top-10 of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in four major categories.
Sheahin is third in scoring (14.2 points), seventh in rebounds (6.0), eighth in assists (3.4) and first in steals (3.6).
Since struggling against Lehigh, Sheahin has carried the Greyhound offense, averaging 23.0 points per game of her last three contests and shooting 41.2-percent from the floor.
Beyond the Arc
Sophomore guard Nicole Krusen enters the week ranked first in the MAAC in 3-point shooting percentage, connecting on 51.2-percent of her attempts (21-for-41).
She also ranks fifth in the conference at 2.1 made 3-pointers per game.
After struggling the first four games of the season, Krusen is 20-for-36 from downtwon in her last six games and is third on the team averaging 11.0 points per game.
Krusen has hit five 3-pointers in a game twice this season, becoming just the third Loyola player in program history to accomplish the feat.
Sheahin Named MAAC Player of the Week
After matching a career-high with 28 points against George Washington on Dec. 18, junior guard Katie Sheahin was named MAAC Player of the Week for the first time this season and third time in her career.
Sheahin also had a season-high seven assists along with four rebounds and three steals.
At the Stripe
The Greyhounds enter the week ranked third in the MAAC and 48th in the country, shooting 73.4-percent from the free throw line.
Loyola has shot over 80-percent in four of the team’s first ten games this season.
Coming Up Clutch
Loyola connected on 13 of its final 16 attempts from the charity stripe against George Washington, continuing a trend of hitting clutch free throws this season.
Loyola is 53-of-76 from the free throw line in the final five minutes of games, good for 69.7-percent from the line. Krusen, McKenzie, Sheahin, Kara Marshall and Nneka Offodile are all shooting over 75-percent in those situations.
No Sophomore Slump
Sophomore forward Nneka Offodile has made her mark as a starter this season, averaging 6.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
Offodile had a career game against George Washington, setting career highs in points (11), blocks (4) and assists (3).
Offodile ranks fifth in the conference with 10 blocks.
Better In the Second Half
Loyola is averaging 11.1 more points in the second half this season, scoring 33.8 points in the second compared to 22.7 points in the first.
The Greyhounds also are shooting 39.2-percent in the second half compared to 29.4-percent in the first.
Not An Easy Road
The Greyhounds are playing a difficult non-conference slate that is littered with teams chosen to finish at the top of their conferences.
Loyola took on nationally-ranked Maryland, along with Pittsburgh from the BIG EAST.
The Greyhounds also have played UMBC (chosen to win the America East), Navy (2010-11 Patriot League champion), Army (receiving votes in Mid-Major Top 25), Howard (chosen to finish second in MEAC), Lehigh (won 3 of last 4 Patriot League titles and picked second this season) and Patriot League favorite American in non-conference action.
We Must Protect This House
The Greyhounds have jumped out to a 3-1 start at Reitz Arena, with the team’s lone loss coming to UMBC by four points.
The Greyhounds are outscoing opponents by an average of 57.0 to 54.5, and have held teams to 31.1-percent shooting from the field.
Off The Bench
Freshman Nai Brown provided a spark off the bench for the Greyhounds against American, scoring five points and helping Loyola outscore the Eagles 28-18 when she was on the floor.
Brown scored a season-high eight points off the bench in a loss against Lehigh, also recording the highest plus-minus ratio for the Greyhounds at +5 in that contest.
Stealing the Show
Junior guard Katie Sheahin enters action this week ranked 20th in the nation and first in the MAAC, averaging 3.6 steals per game.
The Brookeville, Md., native set a career high with eight steals at Pittsburgh. It was the fifth time in her career that Sheahin had seven-plus steals in a game. She ranks first in Loyola history, averaging 3.1 steals per game and is third
Seven of Loyola’s first ten games have been decided by eight points or less.
In those seven games, the contest was within one posession heading into the final minute of play.
Loyola owns a 4-0 record in games when leading with five minutes remaining. The team is 0-6 in games when trailing with five minutes remaining.
Follow Women’s Basketball on Twitter and Facebook
Keep up with Loyola women’s basketball on Facebook and Twitter. Like Loyola University Maryland women’s basketball on Facebook (www.facebook.com/wbbloyola) and following us on Twitter (@LoyolaWBB). You can also follow Coach Joe Logan on Twitter (@CoachJoeLogan).