BALTIMORE, MD. - Siena's defense smothered Loyola for almost the entire game, but the Saints could not capitalize on the offense end and fell 55-45 Sunday afternoon at Reitz Arena. Lily Grenci had another yeoman like effort for the Saints, posting her third double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Loyola (6-11, 2-4) closed the game on an 11-4 run and hit key free throws down the stretch. After starting the game by missing seven of their first 10 foul shots, the Greyhounds made 14 of their final 16 to capture their fifth straight win over the Saints (4-11, 2-4).
Loyola jumped out to an early 16-7 lead at the 9:38 mark of the first half before the Saints' defense clamped down. Siena closed the half on a 14-5 run to tie things at 21 apiece at intermission.
The Saints built their lead to as much as six points, 30-24, with 16:08 remaining thanks to their defense. Siena forced 20 Loyola turnovers, although they were only able to turn them in to 11 points.
Although Siena controlled the tempo and seemed to be starting to pull away, the Saints could not match their success on the offensive end. That left the door open for Loyola to make its late run and outscore the Saints 31-15 down the stretch.
Siena shot just 27.1% (13-48) from the field and only 3-18 from three against the Loyola zone. Tehresa Coles joined Grenci in double figures with 12 points and added three steals.
But while Grenci and Coles were strong, the Greyhounds shut down the Saints' second and third leading scorers Cristina Centeno and Maja Gerlyng. The duo, which entered the game both averaging double figures, combined for just 10 points on 3-14 shooting.
Katie Sheahin paced Loyola with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Kara Marshall added 14 points and four steals and Miriam McKenzie contributed 10.
The Saints return to action Friday when they host Fairfield at 7 p.m. at the ARC for the 12th Annual "Pink Zone" Game raising money and awareness for breast cancer research. For more information on the game which will be broadcast throughout New York State on Time Warner Cable Sports, visit www.sienasaints.com/pinkzone.