Loyola left reeling by 1-2 punch

January 21, 1995|By Bill Tanton | Bill Tanton,Sun Staff Writer

Yesterday began badly for the Loyola basketball team. Its second-leading scorer, sophomore Darius Johnson, left the squad by mutual agreement with coach Brian Ellerbe.

It ended worse for the Greyhounds, as they lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game to Fairfield, 69-66, at Reitz Arena.

Loyola held a 32-23 halftime lead, but Fairfield controlled the boards in the second half and began hitting three-pointers to take the lead for the first time at 50-48.

Loyola regained the lead once at 57-56 on a basket by freshman John McDonald, but then quickly lost it and never again got back on top.

The Greyhounds, after trailing by five with little over a minute to go, attempted a comeback. They pulled within 67-66 with three seconds left, then fell back at 69-66 when the visitors' Greg Francis made two free throws.

At the buzzer, McDonald heaved one from midcourt, but it bounced off the front of the rim.

"Paul [Cormier, Fairfield coach] got his guys ready to play in the second half," said Ellerbe. "They were tougher in the second half than we were. You've got to play 40 minutes, not 20."

Loyola (5-10, 1-2) has now lost six of its past seven games. Fairfield is 8-7, 2-2.

Scott Sytulek was high scorer for the winners with 16 points. McDonald, with 14, led Loyola, which had five players in double figures.

After some sparring in the opening minutes, Loyola grabbed a 7-4 lead on a basket from underneath by B. J. Pendleton and a 12-4 advantage on another shot from underneath by Pendleton with 15:45 left in the half.

Loyola extended its lead to 11 points at 22-11 on another field goal by Pendleton with 8:20 remaining.

The Greyhounds' Julian Tate sank back-to-back baskets with 4:56 left to make the score 27-16.

Fairfield's Francis hit a three-pointer to pull the visitors within 29-21 at 1:58, but at the buzzer Loyola's McDonald hit a three-pointer, and the Greyhounds held a 32-23 halftime lead.

FAIRFIELD -- Sytulek 6-10 2-2 16, Bowman 4-7 5-7 13, Cohen 2-4 0-0 4, Francis 4-15 4-4 14, Wall 1-3 0-0 3, Clarke 2-4 2-2 6, Gattis 1-2 0-0 3, Miller 2-7 0-0 6, Peacock 0-1 0-0 0, English 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 24-57 13-15 69.

LOYOLA -- Tate 5-8 2-4 12, Pendleton 5-10 1-3 11, Wallace 3-9 4-4 10, McDonald 4-10 2-3 14, Owens 4-12 0-2 9, Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Walker 0-0 0-1 0, Gabriel 0-0 0-0 0, Credle 3-9 4-4 10. Totals 24-60 13-21 66.

Halftime--Loyola 32-23. 3-point goals--F 8-25 (Sytulek 2-3, Francis 2-10, Miller 2-6, Gattis 1-2, Wall 1-1, Clarke 0-1, Peacock 0-1, English 0-1); L 5-11 (McDonald 4-6, Owens 1-4, Williams 0-1). Rebounds--F 41 (Sytulek, Clarke 7); L 33 (Wallace 9). Assists--F 8 (Francis, Peacock, Miller 2); L 14 (Owens 5). Total fouls--F 20; L 16. Fouled out--none. A--714.

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