Dec. 8, 2012
Omaha, Neb. - Loyola came all the way back from an 11-point deficit but Nebraska Omaha made the key plays down the stretch to hand the Ramblers a 65-58 defeat this afternoon at Sapp Fieldhouse in Omaha, Neb. Monica Albano poured in a game-high 21 points to lead Loyola (3-5), which suffered its fourth-straight loss, while the host Mavericks improve to 6-2 on the season.
"I thought we moved the ball pretty well and got decent looks at afternoon," said head coach Eric Simpson. "But we did not make enough of those open shots, particularly in the first half. I was proud of how we battled back in the second half and put ourselves in a position to win."
Albano and Patrice King provided much of the offense for Loyola in the opening half, scoring LU's first nine points. The Ramblers took a 14-12 lead on a Lyndsey Booker three-pointer and enjoyed a 19-15 lead later on a King basket before going cold. Loyola managed just two field goals over the final 8:12 of the half as the Mavericks took a 28-24 lead into halftime.
Both teams started the second half hot with UNO opening a 39-31 lead less than four minutes into the period. Albano answered with a three-pointer before back-to-back treys gave the home team its largest lead of the day, 49-38, at the 11:50 mark. Loyola dug in defensively and was finally able to get into a flow on the offensive end and two Taylor Johnson baskets capped an 8-1 run that drew the Ramblers within four with 7:18 to play.
The visitors kept pushing, using another Albano triple and a put-back by King to take a 53-52 lead with 5:15 on the clock. The teams traded baskets to 55-54 and Omaha regained the lead on a follow-up basket with just under three minutes left. After a couple of empty possessions both ways, UNO's Paige Frauendorfer converted a big, conventional three-point play to bump the lead to four with 1:30 to go and Loyola would get no closer than three the rest of the way, with the Mavericks sealing the game with four free throws in the final 16 seconds.
Loyola shot just 35.5% from the floor for the game while UNO shot 48% in the second half to finish at 43% overall.
Albano buried five three-pointers en route to her 21 points. She also added six rebounds and a pair of steals to lead the way. King was efficient, finishing with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting while added five rebounds and four assists, while Skube also reached double figures, scoring 10 of her 12 points in the second half.
Loyola takes an extended break for final exams before resuming play on Dec. 18 with a home game against DePaul. Tip from Gentile Arena is set for 7 p.m.