Marist keeps Loyola down and out, 81-64

With 0-4 MAAC record, Greyhounds have won once since late November

College Basketball

January 07, 2001|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When Loyola sliced a 20-point deficit down to eight against Marist yesterday, the stage seemed to be set for an improbable comeback for the Greyhounds, hoping to jump-start their season.

But for the struggling Greyhounds, the spark was only brief as Marist pulled away to an 81-64 decision in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contest at Reitz Arena.

Loyola (3-9) remained winless (0-4) in league play with first-place Iona set to visit Reitz Arena tomorrow night.

The Red Foxes (8-6, 3-0) maintained their share of first, with senior forward Drew Samuels scoring a game-high 21 points. John Reimold led Loyola with 16 points, and Brant Mack contributed 12 points and three assists.

Since beating perennial America East power Delaware at home in late November, Loyola has won only once (59-42 over Mount St. Mary's) in its past seven contests. The schedule doesn't get easier: Upcoming is a three-game homestand against the upper division squads in the MAAC.

"With injuries and not many scholarship players, we need the players that are healthy to have a good game," said Loyola coach Scott Hicks. "We have the parts to compete with anybody. We've had games where only two or three players are playing well."

"We're just not playing like we're capable of," said Reimold, a 6-foot-6 freshman guard/forward. "We're not playing together, and we're not taking good shots right now."

After a dismal first half, Loyola (24-for-59 overall) shot better in the latter 20 minutes, but it couldn't match Marist, which shot nearly 60 percent (18 of 31) in the second half.

The Red Foxes, who have won the past four meetings with the Greyhounds, claimed their biggest lead, 48-28, after a basket by Rick Smith (Pallotti High) before Reimold drilled a three-pointer to bring the Greyhounds to 52-42 with 11:37 remaining in regulation.

A layup by Brian Carroll (10 rebounds) off an assist by Reimold moved Loyola closer at 56-48. The Red Foxes advanced the lead back to 62-48 as Samuels (the MAAC's second-leading scorer) was left open under the basket for a layup, then blocked a shot by Delonnie Southall leading to a layup by Marius Janisius.

The Red Foxes scored 15 points off 18 Loyola turnovers; the Greyhounds could produce only four points from 12 Marist turnovers. The Greyhounds' inside corps of Carroll, Southall and Apostolis Nasiou combined for 11 miscues.

"We were too careless with the ball against a team that did not press or trapped us," said Hicks. "... We need to start getting better play from our forwards. Our guards have been solid for the most part, but we're not doing a good job finishing in the post."

The Greyhounds' offense went into reverse midway in the half after closing to 15-12. Loyola went 1-for-11 in a five-minute stretch, helping the Red Foxes expand their lead to 29-15 with less than five minutes remaining in the opening half.

Able to run its offense starting from the paint, Marist built its largest lead (15 points) late in the half. The Red Foxes shot 14 of 33 in the half, while the Greyhounds struggled to a 9-for-28.

"The danger of a game like this is you're playing a young team that's still trying to find an identity," said Marist coach Dave Magarity. "They were only a couple of plays away and they can score so quickly."

Brant Mack contributed 12 points and three assists in 19 minutes for the Greyhounds, while Carroll (10 rebounds) and Southall (11 rebounds) combined for 21 rebounds. Sean Kennedy, the MAAC's assist leader, had 10 assists for Marist.

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