Mother McAuley tops Loyola again
Updated: January 30, 2013 10:50PM
RIVER FOREST — The Mother McAuley girls basketball team nearly lost a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter Wednesday, but the No. 24-ranked Mighty Macs found a way to beat Loyola for a second time this season. This time they earned a trip to the GCAC Red championship game with the 59-54 win.
Senior guard Alyssa Siwek, the conference’s player of the year, scored a team-high 22 points, going 7-for-8 on free throws in the fourth quarter.
“I usually put them in,” said Siwek, whose team beat the Ramblers 60-57 on Jan. 18. “Sometimes, the pressure gets to you, but it’s the easiest way to get points, so why not practice them.”
Loyola sophomore guard Tyra Mills’ 3-pointer capped an 8-0 run that got the Ramblers within two, 47-45, with 5:00 remaining in the game. But that was as close as they came the rest of the way.
Mother McAuley junior guard Elizabeth Nye connected on two free throws with 30.3 seconds left that closed the door on the comeback and sent the team to Saturday’s title game against No. 5 Trinity (21-3).
“They are a good team, and they execute well,” Loyola coach Jeremy Schoenecker said. “When we needed some stops, we didn’t get them. But they attack the basket well.”
The Mighty Macs (19-5) took control of the contest in the second quarter and led 31-23 at the half. Siwek then scored a basket and made one free throw late in the third quarter to help Mother McAuley to a 45-35 advantage going into the fourth.
“My senior year has been a rush,” Siwek said. “This is a great feeling.”
Nye finished with 15 points for the Mighty Macs, and junior forward Lauren Carlson contributed 12 in the win.
Loyola senior guard Anna Schueler led all scorers with 25 points. The Ramblers (18-7) play Resurrection (18-10) for third place Saturday.