Loyola rallies past Mount St. Joseph 4th-quarter surge clinches 53-50 win Boys basketball

January 11, 1993|By Bob Clark | Bob Clark,Contributing Writer

Hounded by the quick hands of the Mount St. Joseph defense for most of the afternoon, No. 12 Loyola regrouped in the final quarter to emerge with a 53-50 victory over the Gaels at Blakefield yesterday.

The victory raised Loyola's overall record to 10-5 and improved its MSA A Conference Armstrong Division record to 4-1. The Dons are 2-1 in the Catholic League. St. Joe dropped to 6-8 overall, 2-3 in the MSA and 1-3 in the Catholic League with its second loss of three points or fewer in the past week.

"St. Joe gave us trouble. They hustled and played hard," said Loyola coach Jerry Savage. "We had to play a real good last quarter to beat them."

Loyola trailed 39-33 going into the final quarter, but the Dons put a halt to what had been a game-long turnover binge early in the fourth quarter.

Warren Parker, who finished with 11 points, opened a 10-0 run by the Dons with a jumper and climaxed it less than three minutes later with a three-pointer to put Loyola ahead 43-39.

The scrappy Gaels, who forced 23 turnovers in the game, tied the score in the next minute on a follow shot by Ray Allen and a long jumper by Greg Lessner. But Parker answered with a short bank shot and then fed Jerry Hunt for an inside basket and the Gaels never got even after that.

A three-pointer by Lessner (13 points) reduced the Dons' lead to 51-50 with seven seconds to go, but two free throws by Michael Jackson provided the final margin of victory.

"Parker hit those two or three jump shots and that gave Loyola some momentum," said Gaels coach Pat Clatchley. "We're playing great defense, but we need to be more efficient around the basket and take care of business at the foul line."

The Gaels hit five of 12 foul shots and 21 of 59 field-goal attempts.

Donte Abron led St. Joe with 16 points, and Wes Unseld Jr. and Jerry Hunt led Loyola with 14 and 13, respectively.

St. Joe was clinging to a 12-11 lead midway through the first quarter, but Loyola, hurt by a flurry of turnovers, managed one basket the remainder of the period and the Gaels increased their lead to 18-13.

The second quarter was a study in ineptitude. Both teams shot poorly from the field, combining to make six of 23 field goals. The turnovers that had plagued Loyola in the first quarter continued, but the Gaels also had trouble controlling the ball. When the buzzer sounded for halftime, each team had managed seven points and St. Joe held a 25-20 lead.

Loyola closed to within a point early in the second half but could never move in front until the fourth quarter.

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