Girls Basketball: Loyola edges out Mother McAuley in 2OT
Updated: February 1, 2012 10:10PM
Loyola’s Maggie Nick did not have to wait long for second chance Wednesday to put her team in the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference finals.
The 5-foot-7 sophomore, who missed a short jumper in the lane with two seconds remaining in the first overtime that would have won the game, made a pair of free throws late in the second overtime to seal Loyola’s 68-62 double-overtime victory over Mother McAuley in the GCAC semifinals at Trinity.
Nick finished with 12 points, but none were bigger than the two with 40 seconds left that gave the Ramblers a 66-62 lead, the biggest by either team over the last 11 minutes of play.
“My teammates gave me the confidence and my coaches told me that I can do it,” Nick said. “I really focused and I put them in. I blocked out everything else and my teammates helped me to get through it.”
No. 14 Loyola (21-6) will face No. 3 Trinity (24-1) in the championship Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in River Forest. McAuley (16-10) will play St. Ignatius (17-9) for third place at 4:00 p.m.
Loyola opened the second half against McAuley with a 9-2 run to build a 39-26 lead. The Ramblers still led 44-31 with 1:27 remaining in the third quarter before the Mighty Macs’ full-court pressure began to take a toll on the Ramblers.
“The first time we played them it was back and forth the whole game and we ended up winning,” Nick said. “We didn’t underestimate them. They’re really good and they came back, but we did a good job staying together and playing together.”
McAuley finally pulled even on two Tiffany Fortune free throws with 1:04 remaining in regulation. Both teams had chances to win in regulation, but Loyola turned the ball over with 8.5 seconds left and McAuley reciprocated with 1.0 seconds remaining.
“We couldn’t hit anything today, but they kept fighting,” McAuley coach Laurie Jakubczak said. “We live and die by our defense. We reached way too much during the game and put them on the line too much. But when it came time, we put pressure on them and got back in the game.”
McAuley led only once during the final 24 minutes, taking a 61-59 lead on a basket by Fortune 1:18 into the second overtime. But Loyola’s Lauren Kriz pulled Loyola even with a pair of free throws seven seconds later and the Ramblers never trailed again.
Kriz led Loyola with 18 points, Anna Schueler added 11 and Colleen McShane had eight. Alyssa Siwek scored 11 points for McAuley before fouling out with 2:31 remaining in the first overtime. Brenna Nolan and Fortune also had 11 points for the Mighty Macs.