Mental preparation had to share equal billing with the physical work after Loyola College bounced back from a 27-point loss at Iona College last Saturday to beat the Gaels in overtime yesterday, 66-65.
An Alumni Day crowd of 1,328 at Reitz Arena saw junior scoring leader Kevin Green (21.6) win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game with a steal of an inbounds pass and a layup with 20 seconds left. It was Loyola's first victory over Iona (9-10, 5-3) in eight meetings.
Aside from Green's heroics -- he finished with a team-high 18 points -- three teammates produced plays equally important and well-timed.
Tracy Bergan's three-point shot with 26 seconds remaining iregulation tied the score at 57. It forced the overtime when Iona's top scorer, Sean Green (22.3 average; 24 yesterday before fouling out in the overtime), missed a shot from the corner in the last second.
The Greyhounds (7-10, 1-6) were down -- as they had been most of the game -- 65-62 when George Sereikas turned a rebound into a major-league stuff shot for 65-64 with 24 seconds left.
Green's steal and basket followed but 20 seconds still remained. Iona called time with 13 seconds to go, but the best shot wound up being an off-balance effort by Antoine Lewis that bounced off the rim with five seconds on the clock.
There was a scramble for the ball on the floor and Loyola's Kevin Anderson controlled it and from his knees, flung the ball over his head the length of the court and time expired as Lewis caught up with it.
"We talked about being positive after the last game, then worked hard through the week," Loyola coach Tom Schneider said. "And we showed them a lot of films where we had played well.
"Our primary thoughts were to cut down on the turnovers, get better rebounding, and force them to play our game."