Loyola women fall to Marist in MAAC tournament final

Greyhounds come up short in bid for NCAA tournament bid

March 07, 2011|By Jon Meoli, The Baltimore Sun

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The Loyola women's basketball team came up short in its quest for the NCAA tournament Monday, as No. 21 Marist (30-2, 19-0) earned the automatic bid with a 63-45 win over the Greyhounds (20-12, 15-4) in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship game.

"We won it the way we've won it all year," Marist coach Brian Giorgis said. "You worry because Loyola always comes back. To be able to not allow that puts a feather on the MAAC season."

Marist shot just 4-for-20 to open the game, allowing Loyola to jump out to a 14-5 lead seven minutes into the first half. The Greyhounds led until Marist freshman Leanne Ockenden hit a 3 with 55 seconds to play in the first half to make it 25-23 at halftime.

"The run at the end of the half helped us a lot," said Marist's Erica Allenspach, who scored a game-high 21points and was named tournament MVP. "There are 40 minutes in the game. You don't win the game in the first five minutes."

The Red Foxes, who lead the nation in scoring defense and are in the top five in scoring percentage, held the Greyhounds scoreless for the first four minutes of the second half and went on a 20-6 run to put the game out of reach.

Despite the loss, Loyola coach Joe Logan saw a lot of positives for his team to take into the WNIT.

"I'm really proud of how we came back after starting the season 0-5," Logan said. "We battled defensively all day."

Sophomore Katie Sheahin scored a team-high 17 points for Loyola, and added eight rebounds. Junior Miriam McKenzie added nine points for Loyola and joined Sheahin, Allenspach, and Marist's Elise Caron (nine points) on the MAAC All-Tournament team.

xcxjmeoli@baltsun.com

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