No. 13 St. Frances defeated No. 11 Loyola, 77-66, in a battle of Catholic League contenders yesterday at the University of Baltimore.
Senior center Devin Gray dominated inside the paint again for the Panthers (13-5, 8-2), leading all scorers with 31 points and 13 rebounds. Antwan Wingo added 19 points and seven assists. Sophomore guard Eric Carroll had 14 and six rebounds.
"We wanted to do more things this time," said St. Frances coach William Wells, whose team lost its first meeting with the Dons. "The last time we played cheap on defense, and they score. Today, we closed the middle down and attacked them from the three-point circle."
Loyola (12-11, 6-4), which shot only 27 of 80 from the field, was led by 22 points and 11 rebounds from Brad Garey and 18 from Paul Howard.
The Dons missed all 14 attempts from three-point range in the second half, but scored seven straight to pull within 62-54 with 5 minutes, 48 seconds remaining in the game.
St. Frances put the game out of reach, using a 13-4 run to increase the lead to 75-58 with 1:41 left, as Gray scored five and Michael Smith four.
"We knew we had to play hard," said Gray, 6 feet 6. "We didn't want to lose both regular-season games to them. That was the motivation Coach [Wells] gave us, and we're starting to get on a roll."
The Panthers, who started out 0-2 in the league, used a 9-0 start and 11 of 18 shooting to lead, 24-13, after the first quarter.
Loyola closed the gap by halftime to 36-29, then to 42-35 with five minutes left in the third quarter, but missed six of its next seven shots.
With Gray scoring eight during a 14-2 tear, the Panthers began to pull away again, increasing their advantage to 56-37.
"We can play much better," said Wells. "I think we need to be more patient and stop going away from the inside game, but we can get scoring from four positions on the floor."
Steve Kraning added 11 points for Loyola.
Elsewhere in the Catholic League, Pat Young scored 26 and Darrin Jones added 23 points and nine rebounds as No. 5 Mount St. Joseph (17-6, 8-1) defeated host Towson Catholic, 83-71.
Casey Musick and Eugene Marshall combined for 41 points to lead No. 7 Cardinal Gibbons (16-7, 7-2) over visiting St. Maria Goretti, 83-62.
Chris Wilson's 18 points led Calvert Hall (6-15, 3-8) past host Archbishop Curley (7-17, 0-10), 63-53.