Feb. 16, 2008
CHICAGO - Loyola used a 17-2 run in the first half to take control and used terrific free throw shooting to work through a cold-shooting second half in a 63-57 win over UIC this afternoon at the Gentile Center. The win snaps LU's six-game losing streak to its crosstown rival and improves the Ramblers' season record to 6-17 (4-8 Horizon). The Flames drop to 8-15 (4-8) with the loss.
The first half was close in the early stages but UIC was able to edge out to a 20-14 lead after a Briana Hinkle hoop. Maggie McCloskey answered with a three-pointer to cut the deficit in half and the hoop seemed to spark the Ramblers into action. Shannon Finnegan scored off an offensive rebound and Keisha Collins knocked down a jumper to give LU the lead back, 21-20. Finnegan hit a pair from the line before Shanice Sadler scored for the Flames but the bucket did not even stem the tide and another McCloskey three-pointer capped the run that ended with the Ramblers enjoying a 31-22 lead at the 2:25 mark of the period. UIC's Jessie Miller knocked down a three of her own to make it a six-point game but Loyola managed to up the lead to double figures (35-25) on a pair of VanBogaert free throws before settling for a 35-27 lead at halftime.
The Ramblers looked primed to blow the game open in the early moments of the second half, rattling off eight straight points - including treys from McCloskey and Jessica Hylton - to open their largest lead of the game (43-29) less than two minutes into the half. However, baskets would prove to be hard to come by for both teams, as each struggled to find the range. Loyola managed just four points over the next nine minutes but UIC was only able to get the deficit down to four. A driving lay-up by Brittany Boeke pushed the lead back to six as the Ramblers managed to keep the visitors at bay. Two McCloskey free throws and another hoop from Boeke restored an eight-point lead (53-45) with 5:51 to go and four more points from the freshman made it a 57-46 game with 3:46 showing on the clock. The Ramblers maintained their double-digit lead as late as the two-minute mark before UIC trimmed it to four (59-55) on a Sadler three-pointer with 36 seconds left. However, as it had all game, Loyola took care of business at the free throw line with Collins and Boeke each hitting a pair from the stripe to help seal the victory.
After shooting 41% in the opening period, Loyola hit just 6-of-26 (23.1%) after halftime, relying on a 22-of-25 (88.0%) effort from the free throw line to pull through. By contrast, UIC, which shot just 37% for the game and 32% in the second half, struggled from the charity stripe, knocking down just 9 of 20 (45.0%).
Boeke and McCloskey led a balanced attack with 15 points apiece while Hylton added 11 points. Elyse VanBogaert was the fourth in double figures and the sophomore notched her second double-double in as many games this season against UIC with 10 points and 10 boards. Miller led UIC with 13 points.
Loyola returns to action next week with a pair of home games beginning with a Thursday night (Feb. 21) game against Milwaukee.