Loyola College's women's basketball team produced its most complete game of the season yesterday just when it needed to most.
With little margin of error -- a loss would have meant the worst start in school history at 0-7 -- the Greyhounds shot well throughout, received a big contribution from their bench and used a pressure defense to create 36 turnovers on the way to their first win of the season, 78-50, over Coppin State at Reitz Arena.
"I think for everyone's psyche, we definitely needed not only to get a win but also to start playing better," said Loyola coach Pat Coyle. "We decided that we are going to go out and get after teams, and that is our focus the rest of the year."
Senior forward Lynn Albert and junior reserve forward Susan Bryce were largely responsible for Loyola's turnaround. Albert had a team-high 15 points and provided the lift early with seven points and four rebounds in the first half, as Loyola ran out to a 42-17 lead at halftime. Albert finished with seven rebounds and six steals.
Bryce provided the lift late, coming off the bench to score 10 second-half points, including a layup with 5: 36 left that gave the Greyhounds (1-6) their largest lead of the game at 71-39.
Julie Mesaros and Catey Peters also combined for 18 points off the bench, and Loyola's defense held Coppin to 36.7 shooting (22-for-60) for the game.
"It was very important for us to come into this game and play focused," said Albert. "Our enthusiasm was there from the minute we stepped on the court, and once we picked it up, we just kept going."
The Eagles (0-3) never threatened, and they struggled to find any rhythm on offense, having not played in nearly two weeks.
Despite a game-high 19 points from senior forward Lisa Briggs, Coppin State's deficit remained at double digits from midway through the first half, and 12 turnovers helped Loyola to a 20-7 lead with 10: 47 left before intermission.
From there, Loyola's margin grew. The Greyhounds scored 13 of the next 17 points, six of which came from Jina Mosley (10 points), as their lead ballooned to 33-11.
"You play how you practice, and we've practiced very sluggish, and that is exactly how we played," said Coppin State coach Tori Harrison. "When you have 22 turnovers in the first half, you're not going to beat anybody."
Loyola was even more in command in the second half. Although Coppin got within 51-31 with a 10-0 run early in the second half, the Greyhounds led by as many as 31 three times, the last time with Albert and Bryce combining for 12 points to push Loyola's lead to 65-34.
"We'll keep building. We are nowhere near where we can be, but this game was encouraging, everybody got a chance to play and we'll continue to get better," Coyle said.
COPPIN STATE -- Jones 0-0 2-2 2; Ready 4-13 0-1 8; Adair 2-4 1-2 5; Dockery 2-4 1-2 5; Scott 2-9 0-1 4; Briggs 9-12 1-5 19; Adams 3-12 1-4. Totals 22-60 6-21 50.
LOYOLA -- Albert 3-5 9-10 15; Fraser 1-4 2-4 5; Hewitt 1-5 3-4 6; Bryce 5-8 2-2 12; Peters 2-4 4-4 8; Cooney 3-7 0-0 6; Mesaros 3-6 4-4 10; Mosley 5-13 0-0 10; Kirsch 3-4 0-0 6. Totals 26-57 24-28 78.
Halftime--Loyola, 42-17. Rebounds--CS 44 (Adams 7); L 40 (Albert 7). Assists--CS 9 (Beckham, Ready 3); L 17 (Peters 5). A--150.
Pub Date: 12/15/96