Loyola women can't catch up to Marist, 72-69

Greyhounds get 13 points in last 1:21 but exit MAAC

College Basketball

March 07, 2003|By Dan Hickling | Dan Hickling,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

TRENTON, N.J. - Despite a spirited last-minute rally, No. 8 seed Loyola fell just short in its bid to make it out of the preliminary round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference women's basketball tournament.

The Greyhounds (11-18, 7-12 MAAC) dropped a 72-69 squeaker to No. 7 Marist yesterday before a sparse crowd at the Sovereign Bank Arena.

"We've had about a thousand close games since I've been here," said Candy Cage, Loyola's second-year coach. "I can't explain it. It must be poor coaching down the stretch."

Actually Cage did well in the final moments to ready her team for a last-minute run.

Down by 10 points with 3:13 remaining, Cage's charges began chipping away until coming within two points, on Katie Netherton's layup with three seconds left.

"We don't ever feel we're out of it," Cage said. "Never."

But the Greyhounds were kept at bay by Marist's 6-for-8 performance from the free-throw line in the final minute. The Foxes (13-15, 9-10) walked off with their first MAAC tournament triumph.

Loyola trailed 35-31 after a see-saw first half that featured seven lead changes.

The Greyhounds were most effective when they were able to get their running game in gear, reeling off runs of 8-2 and 7-0. The latter put them up 23-19 with 5:19 left before halftime.

But they couldn't build from that, and fell behind when Marist countered by hitting five of 11 first-half three-point attempts, then used its inside game to cap the first half with an 11-4 spree.

"Give credit to their defense," said Loyola point guard Shontrese Smith (game-high 18 points). "They didn't give us many options."

The Foxes took their largest lead at 54-43 with 9:50 to go on a little hook by top scorer Stephanie DelPreore (16 points).

But Loyola slowly rallied and made its best offensive stand by scoring 13 points in the final 1:21.

"There was a feeling of optimism," said Smith. "I've seen teams come back from way back in a short amount of time."

Said Cage: "That was our best offense in about two months. We thought we'd go out with a bang."

LOYOLA-Valderas 2-2 0-0 4, Mitchell 6-8 0-0 15, Scherle 2-6 1-2 5, Cobb 1-4 0-0 2, Smith 7-13 4-6 18, Henn 0-2 0-0 0, Harrington 3-5 1-3 7, Dessart 4-4 1-3 9, Netherton 4-8 0-0 8, Troupe 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 29-55 8-16 69. MARIST-DelPreore 7-9 2-2 16, Magarity 5-8 2-2 12, Keller 6-9 2-3 15, Vecchio 1-4 5-6 8, Vilardi 0-4 1-3 1, Whitney 1-5 2-2 4, Wancel 1-3 2-2 5, Sullivan 2-5 0-0 5, Vetter 2-6 0-0 6. Totals 25-53 16-20 72. Half: Marist, 35-31. 3-point goals: L 3-9 (Mitchell 3-4, Henn 0-1, Smith 0-1, Troupe 0-3); M 6-21 (Vetter 2-6, Keller 1-2, Vecchio 1-2, Wancel 1-2, Sullivan 1-3, DelPreore 0-1, Magarity 0-1, Vilardi 0-2, Whitney 0-2. Rebounds: L 35 (Mitchell 6); M 27 (Keller, Vecchio 5). Assists: L 21 (Smith 7); M 22 (Vecchio 8). Total fouls: L 19, M 15. A: n/a.

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