Contact: Renee Adam
CLEVELAND, Ohio - A strong second half rally came up just short for the Cleveland State women's basketball team Monday evening, as the Vikings fell to Loyola, 72-67. The Vikings now stand at 12-15 overall and 4-10 in the Horizon League, while Loyola improves to 13-13 (8-5 HL).
For the 15th time this season the Vikings went into halftime trailing their opponent, and had to battle their way back into the contest throughout the second frame. CSU trailed 33-24 following the halftime break Monday evening, but the Vikings were able to post five straight points over the first 1:01 of the second half - including an Honesty King three-pointer - to close the gap to four at 33-29.
The Ramblers responded with a 6-0 run of their own to extend their lead to 10-points (39-29) at the 17:11 mark, and would be able to gain a double-digit advantage five more times throughout the next 8:11 - including an 11-point lead three times, their largest of the half.
Over the next 2:16, Cleveland State posted an 11-2 run, coming within one at 58-57 with 6:36 left on the clock. During this stretch the Vikings converted shots on all but one of their possessions, and went 4-for-5 from the free throw line, while forcing Loyola into two turnovers and a missed shot on three of their four possessions.
Loyola was then able to extend its lead to five (62-57) with back-to-back shots over the next 1:39, but another CSU run followed, tying the contest at 66-66 with 1:29 remaining. The Vikings were able to outscore the Ramblers 9-4 over a three-minute span, including a three-pointer from Haley Schmitt to tie the game for the first time since the 11:48 mark of the first half.
The Vikings were then limited to just one point over the final 1:03, as Loyola outscored CSU, 6-1 for the five-point victory. During the final 1:03 Loyola notched three offensive rebounds and held the Vikings to just one shot from the field.
CSU once again had three players score in double-digits, led by Shalonda Winton who notched her 15th double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Cori Coleman posted 17 points for the Vikings, including 15 during the second half, while Kiersten Greenadded 12 points on a 5-for-8 (.625) performance from the field.
Cleveland State will wrap up its regular season home schedule this Saturday (March 2), hosting Valparaiso at 2:00 p.m. Saturday will serve as Senior Day, as the Vikings will be honoring the members of the 2013 senior class - Honesty King, Kaila Montgomeryand Shalonda Winton.