Patriot League roundup: Loyola (MD) frosh Emily McAteer steps up, top takeaways and more news

Emily McAteer, Loyola. (Photo credit: Larry French/Loyola Athletic Communications)
Emily McAteer, Loyola. (Photo credit: Larry French/Loyola Athletic Communications) /

Freshman Emily McAteer stepping up to the challenge for Loyola (MD)

When you’re taking the floor as a visitor in South Bend for your first career college game, it would be easy to get caught up in the moment or the aura of Notre Dame. The banners hanging in Purcell Pavilion, and the excitement in the crowd over inducting two-time Olympian and Indiana Fever forward Natalie Achonwa ’14 into the Ring of Honor, would be a distraction for any visitor. That was the hurdle for Emily McAteer and the Greyhounds of Loyola (MD) on opening night: focus less on hoopla, more on hoop. It was a chance to step up and meet the challenge in a tough environment knowing it might pay dividends down the line.

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McAteer passed that test. In that first outing, she entered the game late in the first quarter, blocked a shot and transitioned into a three-point attempt just seconds later. The game result—an 84-60 Notre Dame win—wasn’t close, but the loss was a launching point; the victory was in the mentality, the readiness. The numbers weren’t great that day—just two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes—but it was her confidence and aggressiveness that showed teammates and Head Coach Joe Logan that she can step up when her number is called. And that’s good, because Coach Logan has needed to call her number often this season.

Due to several injuries, Loyola (MD) has been adjusting their line-ups and game tactics all season. Sophomore guard Taleah Dixon—a Patriot League All-Rookie Team member last season—was lost due to injury and has not played in a game this year. Forward Ashley Hunter, who scored 14 points in the opener against Notre Dame, played just one more game and has missed the last 13 contests because of injury. Hunter many return to action in the next few weeks. Forward Isabella Therien, who led the team in scoring last year with 14.3 ppg, was also hurt early in the season and is unlikely to return. Similarly, freshman forward Emma Glezen is done for the year.

Those unexpected changes have meant new roles and changing responsibilities for everyone on the team. McAteer has responded to that challenge too. She has come off the bench for the Greyhounds with the same aggressiveness displayed on opening night and her confidence is growing. In her first four career conference games, McAteer has averaged 25.5 mpg, 14.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg, and shot 48.8% from the field.

McAteer was recognized as the Patriot League Rookie of the Week for her 14 point, 7-rebound effort in a 76-74 loss to Colgate and a 14-point, 10-rebound performance in a 55-52 defeat against Lafayette. Despite a league record of 0-4, Loyola (MD) has played three of the league’s top four teams in close, competitive battles and lost another in overtime. In a two-point loss to league-favorite Lehigh, McAteer scored 10 points and grabbed nine boards. She’s also shot 44.4% (8-for-18) from three-point distance in league play.

Greyhound fans can look forward to more. McAteer has a knack for scoring the ball: the 6’0” forward graduated as the all-time leading scorer for Garnet Valley High School in Pennsylvania with 1,773 points. Expect Coach Logan to continue calling her number down the stretch. McAteer will be ready.

Top takeaways from week two:

Bucknell likely won’t return to Worcester. The Bison grabbed a key road win over Holy Cross this weekend, 51-40. In a battle of title contenders, the top defense in the league convincingly beat the top offense. The Crusaders entered the game scoring a league-leading 70.3 ppg but barely found their way to the 40-point mark on their own floor. They scored six points in the fourth quarter on 2-for-16 shooting and just 0-for-5 from three-point range.

The Bison look to gain the early inside track for home court in the playoffs when they travel to Lehigh this weekend. Another win over a top team in the league may mean the road to the championship will go through Lewisburg once again.

Navy is facing a challenging road. Navy is navigating league play without their top two scorers in Jennifer Coleman and Kolbi Green. The Mids are off to a 0-4 start in league play without both guards who were expected to play major roles this season.

According to a January 9th article in The Capital Gazette, a daily newspaper published in Annapolis, Green was dismissed from the team in December. Additionally, Coleman was declared academically ineligible for the spring semester and will not play again this season.

Green averaged 26.8 mpg and scored 8.6 ppg. Her 17 points and eight steals led an early-season upset of Clemson, 65-52. Coleman led the team in scoring with 10.4 ppg. The sophomore was named to the All-Patriot League Third Team and All-Rookie Team last season. She started all 29 games in 2018-2019.

Colgate’s Rachel Thompson is making a claim as Player of the Year. She’s led the Raiders to a 3-1 start in league play—the best mark for the program since the inception of the Patriot League—and an overall mark of 11-4. Thompson earned her second Player of the Week honors this year on the strength of a season-high 25 points in a 76-74 win over Loyola (MD) and a triple-double in an 80-55 win over Navy. Thompson is second in the league in scoring at 17.1 ppg and fifth in rebounding at 7.9 rpg. She tops in assists with 5.5 apg and second in both steals and free throw percentage. Thompson’s consistency—14 straight games scoring in double-digits—and ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor make her the most dynamic player in the league right now.


Lehigh (12-3, 4-0)

Bucknell (11-4, 4-0)

Colgate (11-4, 3-1)

Holy Cross (10-5, 3-1)

Boston University (7-8, 2-2)

American (6-8, 2-2)

Lafayette (6-8, 2-2)

Navy (5-10, 0-4)

Army (4-11, 0-4)

Loyola (MD) (3-12, 0-4)

Game of the Week:

Bucknell at Lehigh @4:00p.m. January 18th

Home court matters when playoff time comes around and those high stakes are on the line for both of these title contenders. This match-up is a battle between the top two teams in the league. It’s the defending champions versus the team favored to dethrone them. Each team is undefeated in league action.

A Bucknell (11-4) win makes them the team everyone will be chasing. The Bison are coming off a solid road win over another pre-season favorite, Holy Cross. Ellie Mack leads the team in scoring with 14.3 ppg and rebounding at 7.4 rpg. Securing a second road win over a league-favorite would put first-year Head Coach Trevor Woodruff and his squad in the driver’s seat. But they’ll likely be without starting point guard Marly Walls who left the Holy Cross game in the fourth quarter with an injury to her right knee.

Lehigh is tied with Bucknell at 4-0 atop the league and 12-3 overall. They are led by their senior star, Camryn Buhr. The pre-season All-Patriot League selection is averaging 12.5 ppg and 6.7 rpg. In their most recent game, Buhr hit the game-winning turn-around jumper just inside the foul line with 2.7 seconds remaining to help the Mountain Hawks defeat American, 64-63. They are undefeated at home (6-0) and on a five-game winning streak.

Defense is a premium for both teams so expect a game in the low 50s. Can Lehigh find and convert the open shots they get—or offset a low shooting percentage with a great night on the offensive boards? Bucknell is the better shooting team and defense tends to travel well. Might just come down to who can make that big fourth quarter three-pointer in the end.

The last meeting: February 13, 2019. A 73-68 Bucknell victory in which the Bison overcame an early fourth-quarter deficit to win.

Tune in to Patriot League action this week:

January 15th

Lafayette at Colgate @11:00a.m.

Holy Cross at Army @11:00a.m.

Loyola (MD) at Boston University @6:00p.m.

American at Bucknell @6:00p.m.

Lehigh at Navy @7:00p.m.

January 18th

Army at Loyola (MD) @1:00p.m.

American at Holy Cross @1:00p.m.

Navy at Lafayette @2:00p.m.

Colgate at Boston University @2:00p.m.

Bucknell at Lehigh @4:00p.m.

League news and notes:

  • Megan Walker shot a combined 7-for-12 from three-point distance in Lehigh’s wins over Boston University and American.
  • Junior guard Drew Freeland scored a career-high 17 points in Lafayette’s 55-52 overtime win versus Loyola (MD).
  • Freshman forward Kamryn Hall scored a season-high 16 points in a 72-66 loss to Boston University. Hall has reached double-figures in scoring six times this season.
  • Natalie Kucowski grabbed 16 rebounds for Lafayette in their win over Loyola (MD). The 6’3” junior has 844 rebounds and is just 10 shy of becoming the program’s all-time rebounder.
  • Loyola (MD) has lost its four league games by a combined 15 points. The Greyhounds have played three of the top four teams in the league and dropped a three-point decision in overtime to Lafayette who is in a three-way tie for fifth place.
  • Ellie Mack notched her fourth career double-double in Bucknell’s win over Holy Cross. Mack scored 19 points and collected a career-high 12 rebounds to keep the Bison undefeated in Patriot League play.
  • Lehigh has begun conference play at 4-0 for the first time since 2007-2008.
  • Lafayette’s Kucowski leads the nation in rebounding with 13.7 rpg.
  • Nia Irving scored her 1,000-career point against Army. The senior forward for Boston University is the 23rd Terrier to reach the milestone.
  • Four out of the top five most accurate three-point shooters in the league play for Holy Cross: Lauren Manis (21-for-42, 1st), Kathryn Pedi (28-for-66, 2nd), Madalyn Smith (20-for48, 3rd) and Avery LaBarbera (36-for-92, 5th) combine to make the Crusaders the top perimeter team from three-point distance in both field goals made and percentage.
  • Holy Cross is tops in the NCAA in three-point shooting percentage at 41.3%.

Patriot League Player of the Week:

Rachel Thompson, Colgate, Senior Guard

  • Secured the program’s first triple-double in an 80-55 home win over Navy. Thompson posted 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
  • Scored her 1,000th-career point in a 25-point effort for a 76-74 win over Loyola.
  • Averaged 22.5 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the week. Thompson also shot 64.3 percent (18-of-28) from the floor.
  • Thompson has led the Raiders to a seven-game home win streak—the best start at home in program history–and a 3-1 start in league play.

Patriot League Rookie of the Week:

Emily McAteer, Loyola (MD), Freshman Forward

  • Earned a double-double with 14 points and a season-high 10 rebounds in a 55-52 overtime road loss to Lafayette.
  • Scored 14 points and hauled down seven rebounds in a 76-74 loss to Colgate.
  • McAteer is shooting 44.4% (8-for-18) in league play this season and tied for fifth in scoring in Patriot League games with 14.0 ppg.
  • Her 34 minutes played against Lafayette were a season-high.

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