BALTIMORE, MD. - A shorthanded Marist women's basketball team held Loyola without a field goal for a six and a half minute stretch in the second half as the Red Foxes held on for a 67-60 win at Reitz Arena Sunday afternoon in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game.
Brandy Gang (Hartville, Ohio) scored 17 points to lead a Marist offense that was without leading scorer Corielle Yarde (Reading, Pa.). Kristina Danella (Manalapan, N.J.), who started in Yarde's place, had 16 points and Casey Dulin (Milford, Conn.) finished with 13 points and tied career-highs with eight rebounds and seven assists. She and Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.) had three steals apiece to lead the Red Foxes defense which had 11 steals as a team.
The offense started off fast for the Red Foxes (22-7, 17-1 MAAC), as Danella hit a three-pointer just six seconds into the game after Gang won the opening tip.
The score was 10-8 before the Red Foxes went on a 14-7 run that included three-pointers by four different people. Gang and Dulin each hit one before Natalie Gomez (Andover, Mass.) hit a long jumper. Danella and Emma O'Connor then hit shots from beyond the arc to bring the score to 24-15 with 7:41 remaining in the first half.
Loyola (13-16, 9-9 MAAC) would not let Marist pull away and pulled within four at the end of the half, scoring 12 of the final 18 points, at 31-27.
Danella led all scorers at the half with nine points and Beynnon was right behind her with seven. Dulin had five points and four assists. The Red Foxes had six steals in the half, led by two by Ockenden.
Marist opened the second half on another 14-7 run to open up their largest lead of the afternoon at 45-34 with 12:07 remaining. Gang scored eight points in the stretch, including starting things off with a layup. The next four points came from a pair of free throws from each Danella and Dulin. Gang then hit two three-pointers, sandwiched around a layup from Kelsey Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.).
The Greyhounds would not go away however, after they were held without a basket for six and a half minutes. Led by three three-pointers from Katie Sheahin, Loyola brought the Red Foxes lead down to three at 58-55 with 3:07 left.
The defense tightened up again, not allowing another basket until Loyola hit a layup and a three-pointer in the final 20 seconds. Meanwhile, Marist scored seven of their final nine points on free throws to provide the final margin.
The Red Foxes will head to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. for the MAAC Tournament this weekend. They assured themselves the top seed last weekend and will play in the quarterfinals on Friday at 1:30 p.m. against the winner of a play-in game between #8 Canisius and #9 Saint Peter's.
Notes - The Red Foxes were also without injured freshman Briana Holmes (Columbus, Ohio) and only had 10 total players dressed for the game... Marist leads the all-time series with Loyola 30-12... Head Coach Brian Giorgis is 21-3 in his career versus the Greyhounds.