Once again, St. Peter's bids farewell to Loyola, 66-41

Bongard finishes career with team-high 11 points

Metro Atlantic women

March 05, 2000|By Tim Reynolds | Tim Reynolds,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ALBANY, N.Y. -- She walked to the bench at 11: 33 Saturday morning, the final time she would be on court as a member of the Loyola women's basketball team.

With no outward signs of emotion, Jennifer Bongard grabbed a towel with one hand, a drink with the other, and started shouting encouragement to teammates. With that, she moved on to the next chapter of her basketball life, as she is likely to be part of Loyola's staff in some capacity next season.

Bongard's final chance at a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship ended at Pepsi Arena yesterday, as sixth-seeded Loyola lost to second-seeded St. Peter's, 66-41, in the semifinals.

"I'm definitely not ready for it," said Bongard, who finished with a team-high 11 points, all coming in the second half. "You're never ready to stop playing."

Loyola, which lost to St. Peter's in the semifinal round for the third time in the past four seasons, closed its season at 12-17. St. Peters, the defending tournament champion, improved to 22-7 and will play in today's 5: 30 p.m. championship game against top-seeded Fairfield, a 76-72 winner over fifth-seeded Siena.

Bongard is the team's only senior, and Loyola coach Cindy Anderson said the 22-year-old Philadelphia native is more than capable of helping a team in a non-playing capacity.

"She understands the game," Anderson said, "and that knowledge will make her a very valuable teacher of the game."

St. Peter's led virtually wire-to-wire, building a 10-point halftime lead that never got smaller than nine in the second half. The Peahens did it with defense. After shooting 43.1 percent in its upset win over Niagara on Friday, the Greyhounds connected on 26.6 percent of their shots yesterday.

Bongard and Erica Rath -- who combined for 40 points Friday -- had zero in the first half. Rath finished with two points.

The Greyhounds turned the ball over five times, an amazing stat considering their previous season low was 12. But they were out-rebounded 49-32, were 0-for-7 from three-point range and got to the foul line a mere 12 times.

"We were taking the ball to the hole," Anderson said. "It just wasn't going in."

And as such, the Greyhounds aren't moving on.

LOYOLA -- Mitchell 1-3 0-2 2, Bongard 4-16 3-5 11, rath 1-6 0-0 2, Smith 3-11 1-1 7, Cohen 2-7 2-2 6, Slater 4-10 0-0 8, Wilson 2-7 1-2 5, Mager 0-3 0-0 0, Basse 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-64 7-12 41.

ST. PETER'S -- Harris 0-2 0-0 0, Aghedo 3-9 1-1 7, Greene 8-18 1-3 18, Daniels 6-10 0-0 12, Dames 1-3 4-4 6, Dickinson 2-5 4-6 9, Wicks 4-4 0-0 8, Cromer 1-2 2-2 4, Carbone 1-2 0-0 2, Reid 0-0 0-4 0. Totals 26-55 12-20 66.

Halftime--St.Peter's 31-21. 3-point goals--L 0-7 (Smith 0-1, Bongard 0-3, Sater 0-3); SP 2-7 (Dickinson 1-1, Greene 1-4, Daniels 0-1, Carbone 0-1). Rebounds--L 32 (Bongard 6); SP 49 (Aghedo 16). Assists--L 11 (Cohen 4); SP 11 (Dames 4). Total fouls--L 20; SP 16. A--N/A.

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