Loyola women sent home after coming back, 72-70

Canisius gains in MAAC despite rally from 'Hounds

March 06, 2004|By Dan Hickling | Dan Hickling,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ALBANY, N.Y. - Loyola's stay in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference women's basketball tournament ended yesterday with a gut-wrenching 72-70 second-round loss to Canisius.

Down by 16 points with 16:05 to play and showing only faint signs of an offense until then, the fifth-seeded Greyhounds stormed back and even led by a point with 41 seconds left.

But Becky Zak responded with four foul shots for No. 4 Canisius (18-10), the last two with just five seconds to go, denying Loyola (14-15) a superb comeback win.

"It hurts," said guard Lindsay Cobb, Loyola's lone senior. "It hurts pretty bad. But you've got to leave with a good feeling, because we could have just picked up, folded, and [gone] home."

But they didn't. And Cobb, who started every Greyhounds game for the past three seasons, was a big reason.

"She's been a tremendous leader for such a young team," Loyola coach Candy Cage said. "We wanted to keep her season going just a little bit longer. Not so much for them, but for her. They're really feeling it, right now, for Lindsay."

It was Cobb's three-pointer, the only one Loyola hit in the game, that lit the fuse on the Greyhounds' comeback. "We told her, `Senior, let's go,'" Cage said. "We called a play for her. It was the play that got us going."

Until then, the Greyhounds were desperate for any kind of spark.

They fell behind 18-6 after a 14-2 run by the Golden Griffins, and although they trimmed the deficit to five at one juncture, the Greyhounds were back in a double-digit hole by halftime, 38-27.

But later, with Loyola trailing 49-33, Cobb's big shot sent the Greyhounds on a 15-4 spree that cut Canisius' lead to 53-48 with 12:07 to go.

Four minutes later, after Jill Glessner scored off a pass from Cobb to tie the game at 57-57, Loyola eased into the lead on a free throw by Lauren Troupe, who finished with a team-high 17 points.

"We just chipped away in the second half," Cobb said. "It was an unbelievable comeback. These young kids are easy to convince. If you say you've got a chance, they'll believe you. We had them. We definitely had them."

The lead changed hands six times until Katie Scherle hit a jumper with 57 seconds to go, putting the Greyhounds ahead again, 70-68.

But they couldn't hold on.

Zak, who led all scorers with 21, came through with her late free throws, and Cobb's desperation heave from midcourt caromed off the backboard as time expired.

LOYOLA-Troupe 7-11 3-5 17, Scherle 4-9 3-7 11, Cobb 4-10 0-0 9, Harrington 8-19 0-1 16, Glessner 4-9 1-2 9, Toliver 0-0 0-0 0, Valderas 1-5 0-0 2, Wood 0-0 0-0 0, Dunn 0-0 6-6 6. Totals 28-63 13-21 70. CANISIUS-Brown 4-11 4-6 12, Steeves 2-6 1-2 5, Zak 7-15 6-6 21, Stevens 2-10 0-2 5, Wittlieb 5-11 0-0 14, Radunske 0-1 1-2 1, Chesko 0-0 0-0 0, Lamparski 4-7 1-1 10, Richards 0-1 0-0 0, Lyte 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 26-64 13-19 72. Half: Canisius, 38-27. 3-point goals-Loyola 1-7 (Troupe 0-1, Cobb 1-6), Canisius 7-17 (Zak 1-4, Stevens 1-3, Wittlieb 4-8, Lamparski 1-2). Rebounds-Loyola 44 (Scherle, Glessner 7), Canisius 40 (Brown 9). Assists-Loyola 14 (Glessner 5), Canisius 14 (Zak 5). Total fouls-Loyola 21, Canisius 20. A-n/a.

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