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Lady Celts Fall to Loyola in Inaugural Game

Gaby GuzmanThe UST Women's Basketball team began its inaugural season last Saturday, suffering an 85-55 defeat at the hands of Loyola University. Coach Mike Ricks was disappointed with the final score, but was excited about the home crowd and the team's potential.

"We're never happy with a loss, especially by such a wide margin, but we give Loyola credit,” Ricks said. “They are a very good team -- one of the best in the country. I still think that there are so many things to be excited about. We played very hard today and saw a lot of positives from everyone who played. Our first home crowd was great as well; they stuck with us when things got tough."

Gaby Guzman got the Celts off to a quick start, scoring the first 2 points in Lady Celts basketball history. St. Thomas battled through much of the first half, but Loyola's rebounding advantage eventually led them to a 43-24 halftime lead.

The Celts started the second half slowly, giving up 6 straight points, but they continued to fight, taking a bite out of Loyola's lead before finding themselves down 30 at the final buzzer.

Guzman paced the Celts with 17 points on 4-8 shooting. She was also 7-8 from the foul line. Sheila Onyekwere and Hershiira Boone-Rodgers contributed 9 and 8 points, respectively.

Next the Celts will face the University of Houston at Hofheinz Pavilion at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7, in what will be a challenging game.

The Celts hope that their tough early schedule will pay dividends down the road. "This is a marathon and not a sprint," Ricks said. "The story of this team will be told in March when people can look at our entire body of work, not on a Saturday afternoon in October."

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