Friday, March 4, 2011

Women: Late Events Gives Loyola Victory

One coach found out it's good to be lucky, as well as good.

And his counterpart says he'll long rue a late game decision he believes cost his team a chance to advance.

Thus determined the outcome of Loyola's 68-53 overtime victory over Canisius in the first quarterfinal-round contest of the women's conference tournament here at the Arena at Harbor yard in Bridgeport, Conn.

Lucky?

Loyola trailed by three points with 3.7 seconds remaining in regulation when it in-bounded the ball to standout guard Miriam McKenzie. As she began speed dribbling up court she lost control momentarily.

Walk? Palming the ball?

Maybe, but no call made.

Afterwards McKenzie said that had she not bobbled her dribble she likely would have passed off to a teammate. Instead the momentary bobble caused a precious few ticks to go by and McKenzie figured she just had time for a pull-up jumper.

She pulled up from about 24 feet out and swished a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. Once there the winners ran off the first seven points and made all 16 of its free throw attempts in the extra session to secure the victory and a berth in Saturday's 9:30 a.m. semifinal-round contest.

"I had the option of taking the shot or passing and I was probably going to pass the ball before I lost my dribble," admitted McKenzie.

Canisius coach Terry Zeh, though, said he'll long remember his own late-regulation decision as the reason his team isn't moving on in tournament play.

"Until I step foot in the grave I'll be angry with myself for not fouling (when McKenzie was dribbling up court in the final seconds of regulation)," said Zeh. "We talked about it in the time out (prior to the regulation-time ending play), but I decided against fouling.

"If you foul at that point, they have to make the first shot, purposely miss the second, get the rebound and make a shot just to tie it. I feel bad because our team did everything we asked them to do and I made a mistake (by not ordering the late foul) that cost them this game. We should be playing tomorrow."

McKenzie finished with game-high totals of 19 points and 12 rebounds while sophomore guard Katie Sheahin added 17 points, four assists, three blocks and four steals.

Senior guard Micayla Drysdale led Canisius with 12 points, including a perfect 4-of-4 from the foul line in the closing seconds of regulation that pushed the Golden Griffins' lead to three before McKenzie's game-tying shot that forced the extra session.

Loyola, which finished second in the final regular-season standings, is now 19-11 overall. Canisius, one of the conference's youngest teams, finishes its season with an 11-20 record.

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Peter said...
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