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Loyola hands Wisconsin-Green Bay first loss

Jan 22, 2010 - 1:50 AM CHICAGO(AP) -- Maggie McCloskey and Keisha Collins each scored 15 points to help Loyola-Chicago beat No. 17 Wisconsin-Green Bay 65-63 on Thursday night, handing the Phoenix their first loss of the season.

The win also snapped Loyola's 35-game losing streak to the Phoenix that dated back to 1995.

Julie Wojta scored 21 points to lead Wisconsin-Green Bay (16-1, 5-1 Horizon League), which had won its last 34 straight regular season games. Heading into Thursday night, the Phoenix were one of three unbeaten teams left, joining top-ranked Connecticut and No. 7 Nebraska.

"I felt like Loyola - give them credit - they came out tonight really wanting it more than we did," Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Matt Bolant said. "For whatever reason, we just didn't have that excitement or that passion to play. I don't know if it's the streak or the pressure of playing with it, or what."

Loyola-Chicago (10-8, 4-3) built a big early advantage and led 59-48 with about 2 minutes left before Green Bay rallied. Using pressure defense, the Phoenix cut their deficit to 63-61 with 12 seconds left, but Brittany Boeke hit two free throws to seal the victory.

Wojta scored with less than a second left for the final margin.

"They showed some resilience and heart in coming back. I thought we'd win the game. I felt that the whole game we would come back and win it," Bollant said. "We just waited to long before we made that move."

Green Bay managed just 25 first half points - its second lowest of the season - while the Ramblers got four 3-pointers from McCloskey to take a 36-25 advantage.

The Phoenix had never trailed at halftime this season and the 11-point deficit was the largest of the season for them. Wisconsin-Green Bay hadn't lost in the regular season since falling to DePaul in December 2008.