Loyola deals Siena 1st league loss

Jenifer, Adams fill void, halt Rowe-less skid, 71-63

January 22, 2000|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Loyola College's basketball team shocked Siena College last night with a gutty performance under adversity, dealing the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference-leading Saints a 71-63 loss before a crowd of 1,200 at Reitz Arena.

Amid speculation that Loyola's standout senior point guard Jason Rowe is through for the season due to academic policy violations, the patient but intense Greyhounds overcame a relentless full-court press by Siena for the victory.

Loyola sophomore point guard Damien Jenifer made almost all the right decisions against the pressure of Siena (12-5, 6-1 MAAC) and was easily the unsung hero of the evening with 12 points, seven assists and three steals.

Loyola (6-10, 3-5) was led by senior forward Blanchard Hurd (18 points, nine rebounds) and senior guard Jerome Adams (15 points, all in the second half).

Hurd refused to call the win a miracle.

"When you have a point guard like Damien Jenifer, you can win a big game like this," Hurd said with a big smile. "Jason Rowe is a great player and we miss him, but we strung it together tonight for my biggest win here that I've played in."

Hurd and his mates were so poised last night that they were able to end Siena's five-game winning streak even though the Greyhounds hit only 10 of 19 free throws in the final 4: 30.

Loyola coach Dino Gaudio acknowledged that his team has been through a lot of adversity recently, but he did not call it his biggest win at Loyola.

"The win over Iona two years ago was probably our biggest," said Gaudio. "Our record would be turned around if we could hit free throws. I've said that all along."

Rowe's presence also would help. Gaudio said there was a "remote chance" the senior would play again for Loyola, which is 1-3 without the Buffalo, N.Y., star.

Loyola athletic director Joe Boylan said the Rowe issue is "in the hands of our academic people. It's an academic matter."

Rowe was in the crowd last night and said, "I'm here for support now. I hope to be back. We'll see. It's been tough watching."

But last night Rowe had to take a back seat to a scrappy bunch of Greyhounds who did what very few people expected.

"We proved we could play without Jason," said sophomore guard Anthony Walker. "Jason has so much talent, but we have to go on and we showed we could tonight."

The Greyhounds broke open a 38-38 tie at 13: 29 in the second half by going on a 16-2 run behind the three-point shooting of Adams. The senior hit three from beyond the arc in the 16-2 run and two free throws for 11 of the 15 points.

Adams had four three-pointers in the second half.

"I was here an hour early tonight practicing my shooting," said Adams. "And I was feeling it when I went in the game. It was a great night for us."

Jenifer said he and the Greyhounds were able to beat the Siena press because of "all the repetitions we ran in practice against it. We have confidence in ourselves now and I hope it carries on."

Loyola did commit 21 turnovers against the Siena press, but the Saints also had 21 turnovers in the game and shot just 29 percent from the field in the second half.

SIENA -- Cantamessa 1-2 2-2 4, Osinski 2-5 1-2 5, Deters 1-5 0-0 2, Faison 0-8 4-6 4, Stewart 6-12 1-1 17, Knapp 2-5 3-5 9, Buhrman 1-3 1-2 3, Archbold 4-7 1-2 11, Taylor 2-2 0-0 4, Clinton1-3 2-3 4, Karangwa 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-53 15-23 63.

LOYOLA -- Thomas 2-8 0-2 4, Carroll 2-4 4-7 8, Hurd 7-15 4-6 18, Nasiou 0-0 0-1 0, Jenifer 2-5 8-12 12, Walker 3-8 1-2 9, Mack 2-2 0-0 5, Adams 4-7 3-4 15. Totals 22-49 20-34 71.

Half--Siena, 31-29. Three-point goals--S 8-18 (Osinski 0-1, Faison 0-3, Stewart 4-6,Knapp 2-3, Buhrman 0-1, Archbold 2-3, Clinton 0-1); L 7-14 (Walker 2-6, Mack 1-1, Adams 4-7). Rebounds--S 28 (Osinski 10); L 35 (Hurd 9). Assists--S 12 (Knapp 3); L 16 (Jenifer 7). Total fouls--S 25, L 22. Fouled out--Cantamessa. A--1,142

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