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January 8th, 2014

Minato’s Career Game Leads Army To Win At Loyola

Army G Kelsey Minato (5) scored a career-high 29 points and closed the game on a personal 6-0 run to give the Army women’s basketball team a 66-62 overtime victory. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.
BALTIMORE, Md. - Sophomore Kelsey Minato scored a career-high 29 points and closed the game on a personal 6-0 run to give the Army women’s basketball team a 66-62 come-from-behind overtime victory against Loyola in Patriot League action on Sunday afternoon at Reitz Arena. With the win, the Black Knights improve to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference, while the Greyhounds, who led by as many as 10 points in the second half, fall to 3-10 and 0-2.

With her 29-point performance, Minato extended her double-digit scoring streak to 29 games. Minato scored just four points on 2-of-5 shooting in the opening half, but put up 19 points on 6-of-14 shooting in the second frame before adding six more in overtime. The sophomore converted 4-of-10 from beyond the arc, while equaling her career high of 10 field goals made.

“My hat’s off to Loyola, they came out and played incredibly well,” said Army head women’s basketball coach Dave Magarity. “I’m very proud of the way our team competed in the second half. I’ve been involved in a lot of games, and this was one of those games where we just found a way to win down the stretch. It’s a huge win for us, because now we’ve got some big challenges coming up with Lehigh, Navy, Holy Cross and Bucknell. Three of our next four games are on the road and it’s a very challenging part of our schedule.”

Senior Jen Hazlett finished with 10 points and six rebounds for Army, while junior Olivia Schretzman grabbed a career-high-tying 15 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. Freshman Danielle Failor contributed nine points and seven boards off the bench, and sophomore Aimee Oertner tallied nine points on 4-of-5 shooting. Sophomore Brigette Ocran added five points and three rebounds in a reserve role.

Junior Nai Brown paced Loyola with a career-best 24 points, while coming away with six boards, and freshman Lisa Mirarchi notched 17 points and four assists, converting 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. Sophomore Tiffany Padgett had nine points and five rebounds, and senior Nneka Offodile registered eight points and six boards.

The Greyhounds struck first in the overtime period, as Padgett knocked down a three-pointer to give her team a 58-55 advantage 47 seconds into the extra session. Hazlett cut Loyola’s lead to one after converting a pair of free-throws with 3:43 left to play. Brown brought the Greyhound lead back to three with a bucket 1:23 later before Hazlett’s three knotted the contest at 60-60. Brown put the hosts back up by two at the 2:20 mark, but Minato answered for the Black Knights, burying a baseline jumper and a floater in the lane 59 seconds apart to give Army a 64-62 lead, its first since the 10:36 mark of the first half. Loyola missed a pair of free-throws with 12 seconds left on an opportunity to tie the game before Minato sank two free-throws four ticks later to seal the victory.

Loyola netted seven of the first eight points to open the contest before Army used an 11-4 run to take command of a 12-11 lead. Mirarchi knocked down a pair of free-throws for the Greyhounds at the 10:56 mark before Ocran scored each of the next five points for the visitors, as the teams stood tied at 17-17 with 7:43 left in the half. The Black Knights shot just 20 percent from the floor (2-of-10) and 25 percent the free-throw stripe (1-of-4) in the frame’s final 6:50, while the Greyhounds connected on 44 percent of their attempts (4-for-9), including three three-pointers to control a 32-22 halftime advantage.

Army scored the first five points of the second half, thanks to buckets from Oertner and Minato, to trail 32-27. Loyola netted 10 of the next 15 points to build its lead back to 10 before Minato and Failor led the way during a 15-5 Army run that deadlocked the game at 47 apiece. The Greyhounds used an 8-4 run in the ensuing 2:58 to control a 55-51 advantage with 1:48 left in regulation. Hazlett knocked in two free-throws with 1:30 remaining before Minato’s jumper with 21 ticks on the clock knotted the contest at 55-55.

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