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Women's hoops roundup (March 12): Loyola falls to Army in Patriot final; Coppin drops MEAC final

Army guard Jean Parker, left, and Loyola Maryland forward Steph Smith battle for a loose ball during the first half.
Army guard Jean Parker, left, and Loyola Maryland forward Steph Smith battle for a loose ball during the first half. (Mike Groll / AP)

Tournament Most Valuable Player Kelsey Minato scored 25 points to help top-seeded Army West Point beat Loyola Maryland, 69-51, on Saturday night in West Point, N.Y., and win the Patriot League women's basketball tournament, earning the conference's NCAA tournament berth.

Aimee Oertner added 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for the Black Knights (29-2), who are making their second trip to the NCAA tournament in the past three seasons. The victory was their 19th straight and matched Lehigh's team from 2009-10 for most wins in a season by a Patriot League school.

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Loyola (16-16) pulled off an upset of No.2 seed Bucknell on Friday night in the semifinals to advance to the title game. The Greyhounds, who joined the Patriot League in 2013, were trying for their first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1995, when they won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title.

Army led 33-23 at the break and built its lead to 47-30 after four straight points by Janae McNeal. Loyola scored the final seven points of the third quarter to get within 47-37 but could get no closer.

Diana Logan scored 15 points, and Colleen Marshall added 12 for the Greyhounds.

North Carolina A&T's Whitney Martin, right, drives past Coppin State's Keena Samuels during the first half.
North Carolina A&T's Whitney Martin, right, drives past Coppin State's Keena Samuels during the first half. (Chet Strange / AP)

No. 2 seed North Carolina A&T 65, No. 4 seed Coppin State 46: Christina Carter scored 14 points as the Aggies took control early and rolled to victory in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament final in Norfolk, Va. North Carolina A&T clinched its third NCAA tournament appearance.

The Aggies (19-11), who lost in the tournament semifinals the three previous years, head to their first NCAA tournament since 2009.

Dana Brown and Kala Green added 12 points apiece for North Carolina A&T, which used a 12-0 run to lead 23-12 after one quarter. Courtney Powell had 12 rebounds for the Aggies, who had a 50-33 rebounding advantage. Tournament MVP Aprill McRae added nine.

"Extremely happy for my ladies, for our seniors," Aggies coach Tarrell Robinson said. "Our theme coming in was respect. Coming into the tournament, no one was talking about North Carolina A&T State University. Our mission coming in was to improve.

"I'm happy with our performance."

Keena Samuels had 20 points for the Eagles (16-16), whose nine-game winning streak ended.

Coppin State pulled within 44-41 late in the third quarter on a shot by Samuels, but the Aggies scored the next six points to go into the fourth up 50-41. North Carolina A&T held the Eagles to five points in the final 10 minutes and pulled away.

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