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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola Women’s Basketball Advances to Patriot League Semifinal

Samuel Gibbs

The Loyola Greyhounds women’s basketball team defeated the Lehigh Mountain Hawks by a score of 58-51 in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Championships. This win earned them a spot in the semifinals where they will travel to Worcester, MA to face the regular season champions and top-seeded Holy Cross Crusaders. This is the second time in school history that Loyola has advanced to the Patriot League semifinals. 

Loyola finished tied for second place, the highest the team has ever finished since joining the Patriot League in 2011. The tie breaker did not favor the Greyhounds and dropped them down to the fourth overall seed. This slotted the Greyhounds to matchup with the fifth seed Lehigh. Loyola had won both prior matchups during the regular season, with a notable victory in February in which Alexa Therien ’25 scored a historic 44 points. 

This game, Therien made history again, this time in another category, rebounds. Therien set the Loyola single game record, and the single game Patriot League Championships record for most rebounds in a game with 23. 

Coach O’Banion discussed her star player Therien and all the attention she draws from opposing defenses. 

Samuel Gibbs

“She has really matured in a big way… Last year she was getting double teamed but this year she is getting triple and quadruple teamed. She got frustrated tonight but found a way to help us win by securing 23 rebounds which is the sign of a champion.”

Despite Therien having another historic performance, she wanted to credit her teammates for the win.

“Kudos to my teammates. Lau [Salmerón] had a great game, Kimmie [Hicks] had a great game, Kelly [Ratigan] was getting it done on the defensive end, Ava [Therien] as always making hustle plays. The team really handled business and it was a lot of fun.”

Therien’s co-star on Monday night was Laura Salmerón ’25. Salmerón consistently scored clutch baskets including nine points in the third quarter. She scored a game-high 20 points that night. Salmerón discussed the importance of her contribution to the win. 

“I was just trying to be as aggressive as possible. My teammates did a great job of finding me and putting me in the right positions.”

It was a big night in Reitz Arena, as multiple members of the Greyhound program were honored. Coach Danielle O’Banion was awarded Patriot League Coach of the Year. Therien was awarded Patriot League All-First Team and Kimmie Hicks ’27 was awarded All-Rookie Team. 

Coach O’Banion has progressively developed this team in her three-year tenure, laying the foundations of a strong culture and winning program. Because of this team’s success, the Loyola and Baltimore community have rallied behind the Greyhounds. The home court advantage proved true for the Greyhounds, and Coach O’Banion was extremely grateful for the consistent support from the fans.

Samuel Gibbs

She said, “The crowd tonight was electric, and I’m just glad they are excited about Women’s Basketball. We’ve been on a slow climb and we’ve dreamed about what Reitz Arena can do, and tonight was pretty darn close.”

It was a great night for the Greyhounds and Loyola Athletics as a whole, but the focus quickly turned to their next opponent, the Holy Cross Crusaders. The Greyhounds faced the Crusaders twice in the regular season, losing to them at home in January and defeating them on the road in February. 

Therien discussed what it will take for the Greyhounds to defeat the Crusaders in pursuit of making it to the championship game. 

“It’s going to take a big team effort. In uniform or not, we are going to need everyone. Our offense comes every game but our defense needs to be spot on. They got some great players so we have to go there and be prepared for a great game.

The semifinal game is set for Thursday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m. in Worcester, MA. 

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