Quick-starting Loyola stays one step ahead of UMBC Greyhounds score first 8 en route to 73-61 victory

November 20, 1998|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

From the opening tip last night, the story of the UMBC-Loyola men's basketball game was that of Loyola moving and UMBC countering.

And from beginning to end, Loyola's moves were slightly stronger than UMBC's countermoves, resulting in a 73-61 victory in the first game of the Battle of Baltimore at the Towson Center.

Led by four players in double figures, Loyola raised its record to 2-0 on the season.

The Greyhounds, who began their season opener against Howard last Saturday with a 12-2 run, scored the first eight points of the game last night and never trailed.

"We had a seriousness of purpose," Loyola coach Dino Gaudio said, explaining the quick starts. "We came out of the gate ready to play because we have great team leadership."

Said UMBC coach Tom Sullivan: "They came out with a great deal of intensity. They jammed the ball down on us and we over-reacted. We knew it would take time to get out of the hole."

The Retrievers, down eight, 11, 14 and 15 points all before halftime, invariably slashed their way back but never overcame the deficit.

Down 41-26 at the half, UMBC scored the first eight of the second half, as the zone defense it used to climb back in the first half harassed Loyola into 14 of its 18 turnovers.

Kennedy Okafor, who led the Retrievers with 14 points and 12 rebounds, cut the Greyhounds' lead to 41-35 on a layup with 15: 08 to go in the second half.

A layup by Kerry Martin would bring UMBC to within four at 50-46 with 8: 55 to go, but eventually the Greyhounds settled down. Roderick Platt, who finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, scored four points in little more than a minute to give his team a 56-46 lead with 7: 38 remaining.

Loyola made 16 of 18 free throws down the stretch to close out the victory. Jason Rowe led the Greyhounds with 17 points, Blanchard Hurd added 15 and Jamal Hunter scored 10.

Though UMBC was thought to be the more physical of the two teams, it was the Retrievers who got beaten up inside early.

On offense, the Retrievers looked jittery in the opening minutes, with their players failing to create movement on offense, and turning the ball over. They were scoreless until Isaac Green's basket at the 14: 59 mark.

Loyola's front court of Hurd and Platt helped themselves, scoring six of their team's first eight points. Hurd's basket with 14: 43 left in the half gave the Greyhounds a 10-2 lead.

UMBC showed signs of resurgence, cutting Loyola's lead to 15-8 on an Okafor basket before succumbing to one of many small Loyola runs.

Baskets by Hunter, Damien Jennifer, Rowe and Hurd added up to a 9-2 run that gave Loyola a 24-10 lead at the 8: 12 mark.

UMBC fought its way back, using a basket by Nick Grella to cut Loyola's lead to 30-23 with 2: 39 left in the first half. But the Greyhounds scored eight consecutive points in 1: 18 and took the 15-point lead into the half.

In addition to Okafor, three other UMBC players scored in double figures. Tim Hyland scored 13 points off the bench, while Grella and Terence Ward scored 10 points apiece.

LOYOLA -- Carroll 1-3 3-4 5, Hurd 7-12 1-2 15, Platt 3-7 5-8 11, Jennifer 3-6 2-2 9, Rowe 4-11 6-6 17, Blosser 1-2 0-0 2, Hunter 2-9 5-6 10, Nasiou 0-1 0-0 0, Adams 1-2 1-2 4. Totals 22-53 23-30 73.

UMBC -- Green 2-4 1-2 5, Okafor 6-14 2-4 14, Grella 5-7 0-0 10, Ward 4-10 0-0 10, Giddens 1-5 0-0 2, Hyland 5-15 1-2 13, Martin 3-3 1-1 7. Totals 26-58 5-9 61.

Halftime--Loyola 41-26. 3-point goals--LC 6-18 (Carroll 0-1, Jennifer 1-1, Rowe 3-10, Blosser 0-1, Hunter 1-3, Adams 1-2). UMBC 4-14 (Ward 2-4, Giddens 0-4, Hyland 2-6). Fouled out--Green, Hyland. Rebounds--LC 37 (Platt 11), UMBC 34 (Okafor 12). Assists--LC 16 (Platt, Rowe 4), UMBC 18 (Giddens 6). Total fouls--LC 12, UMBC 23. A--1,949.

Pub Date: 11/20/98

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