Foul shooting carries Loyola over Gibbons, 65-59 No. 8 Dons hold off charge by the No. 9 Crusaders

February 18, 1996|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In its loss to Calvert Hall last Tuesday, Loyola suffered one of its worst shooting performance in recent seasons. So the odds were favorable for an improvement yesterday against Gibbons.

And there was, but the No. 8 Dons' foul shooting proved to be the difference in the closing moments, holding off a late charge by the visiting and No. 9 Crusaders for a 65-59 victory.

Senior guard Jason Vogtman scored 21 points to lead Loyola (20-6) and Matt Neumayer added 18. Josh Davalli led Gibbons (20-10) with 25 points and Vernon Collins had 18.

Winning for the second time in three tries this season against the Crusaders, Loyola (6-3 league) pulled to within a half-game of second-place Calvert Hall (7-3) in the Catholic League. The teams meet for the second time this week, today at 3:30 p.m. at Loyola.

The game also will be for first in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A League with Calvert Hall first at 9-1 and Loyola second with a 9-2 mark.

Building a 56-44 lead with 4:49 remaining, Loyola saw the lead sliced to two after a 10-0 Crusader run. But in the final two minutes, Loyola converted six of seven from the line, eight of nine overall.

"In general, we had to keep our composure coming down the stretch," said Loyola coach Jerry Savage. "I thought we did a pretty job of that. We have a veteran team with five seniors and their experience showed when it had to."

In the 53-44 loss to Calvert Hall, the Dons went 11 minutes without a field goal. Loyola had a four-minute lapse yesterday, but its real problem was holding onto the ball.

After taking the 12-point lead, Loyola turned over the ball on six of its next seven possessions, allowing Gibbons to close to within 56-54 with 2:02 left in the game after a free throw by Collins.

The Dons turned the ball over, but Gibbons gave the ball right back. Chris Malone hit two one-and-one free throws, pushing Loyola's lead to 58-54 with 1:06 remaining.

Gibbons got two back on free throws by Davalli, but Adam Shigley broke free for a layup with 31 seconds left and Loyola was back up by 60-56. Davalli only converted one of two from the line, pulling Gibbons to within three with 24.3 seconds left, but two free throws each by Shigley and Mike Sutphin closed out the game for the Dons.

"We didn't play with any intensity for the first three or four minutes of the game and got behind," said Gibbons coach Bryan Moorhouse.

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