Early in the third quarter Tuesday, senior guard Adie Morrill grabbed a rebound, dribbled the length of court, made a layup and got fouled.
Her eventual 3-point play got Loyola within one possession for the first time since the first quarter and jump-started the Ramblers’ comeback in their 41-36 win over Mother McAuley in a GCAC Red game at home.
After Morrill scored, freshman forward Isabella Ogliore tied the game at 26-all and followed with one free throw to give Loyola a 27-26 lead. The Mighty Macs tied it up at 29-all, but senior guard Julia Martinez’s basket with 36 seconds remaining in the third put the Ramblers ahead for good at 31-29.
For a team that trailed by as many as nine in the first half, the Ramblers owned the final two quarters, outscoring the Mighty Macs 23-12.
Loyola (17-4, 3-1) scored the first six points of the fourth — courtesy of senior guard Erin Dillon’s 3-pointer, senior forward Lilly Wehman’s layup and Martinez’s free throw — to build a 37-29 advantage with 5:11 to go.
“The difference was our communication [on defense],” Loyola head coach Jeremy Schoenecker said. “We did a much better job of it in the second half.”
Mother McAuley (16-6, 2-3) got within four twice, but Loyola got enough stops down the stretch to pull out the victory.
Martinez finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Dillon added nine points, while Ogliore scored six points.
Schoenecker said he continues to be impressed by the progress of Ogliore, who played her first varsity game Dec. 22.
“She’s still feeling her way around, but she’s a tough kid,” he said.
The Ramblers close out conference play Friday at Wintrust Arena in Chicago against St. Ignatius in the Jesuit Cup. In his 10th season at Loyola, Schoenecker never has lost to the Wolfpack.