Loyola must love playing from behind. The Greyhounds always seem to take up a position in arrears of the opposition before battling back ferociously.
Unfortunately for Loyola, it may be why the team is winless after five starts, the latest a 77-69 loss to Rider in the Broncs' Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference debut last night at Reitz Arena.
The Greyhounds expended most of their energy coming back from a 16-point deficit at the start and a 12-point deficit in the second half to have anything left when they got within one point twice in the late going.
"We've been getting off to decent starts in games, leading some of our games at halftime," said Loyola coach Dino Gaudio. "I'll take the blame for us getting off so poorly in this one. We came out in a zone and they killed us."
Perfect description. Scoring off the opening tap, Rider put outside marksmen Greg Burston and Kevin Finestock to work and they responded with three connections from afar. In little more than five minutes of play, the Broncs were almost out of sight, 20-4.
"But we knew they'd be back, After all, this is our first game in a new league and nobody's going to make it easy for us," said Burston.
Burston had what coach Don Harnum called "his best game ever," with 25 points, three steals, six rebounds and four assists -- all of his handiwork seeming to occur just when Rider needed it most.
Loyola had all sorts of time to come back, and it did. The dTC Greyhounds went on a 17-2 run to trail 22-21, then tied the game at 31 three minutes before the break.
"That's when Jason Rowe [leg injury] went down for a bit and that hurt," Gaudio said of his point guard, who scored 22 points. "And we were missing a couple of guys we figure to be in our seven- or eight-man rotation, too."
Rider scored the last eight points of the half and the first bucket of the second half to assume a 41-31 advantage.
Back came Loyola, but just not far enough.
With Loyola trailing 54-42 with 12: 48 left, guard Mike Powell scored 13 points in a 19-8 spree that got the Greyhounds within 62-61.
After each team made two free throws, Rider's TaTa Touomou hit a three-pointer with 3: 50 to go. Loyola closed to 67-66 before the Broncs hit six straight foul shots to pull away.
Powell had a big night, matching his season average of 27 points. But down the stretch, he admitted, "I just didn't come through.
"The team depends on me and I had some good, makeable shots. I just missed them."
Northeastern 67, Navy 44: Senior forward Ty Mack scored a career-high 34 to lift the host Huskies in the first meeting between the schools.
Northeastern (2-1) forced Navy (3-3) into 17 turnovers and held the Midshipmen to 29.5 percent shooting.
Randolph-Macon 84, Western Maryland 77: Sean McAloon and Josh Soper each scored a career-high 21 as host Randolph-Macon (2-2) beat the Green Terror (3-2) in a nonconference game.
Western Maryland senior forward Will Marshall (Sparrows Point) led all scorers with 35.
Pub Date: 12/05/97