Loyola gives Iona fits before falling, 67-61

Defeat is Greyhounds' ninth straight in MAAC

January 09, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

The Loyola men's basketball team took several steps forward last night by matching the best team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Iona, blow-for-blow.

"Our kids played extremely hard against an extremely talented team," Loyola coach Scott Hicks said.

Unfortunately for the Greyhounds, those strides kept them just short of the win column in league play, as they dropped a 67-61 decision to the visiting Gaels. Freshman forward John Reimold finished with 15 points to lead Loyola (3-10, 0-4), which is looking for its first victory since Dec. 16.

It was Reimold who provided his team with the high point for the night, hitting an off-balance three-pointer while fading away to tie the game, 57-57, with 3:50 remaining. But late mistakes doomed the Greyhounds, starting when they committed a technical foul for having too many players on the court.

Delonnie Southall had made two free throws with 2:54 left when Hicks substituted Apostolis Nasiou for Southall. But there was confusion when those on the Loyola bench began signaling for Nasiou to get back into his position on the 2-3 zone defense. Southall "thought it meant get back onto the court," Hicks explained.

Having six men on the court clearly warranted a technical foul. The damage, one free throw by Earl Johnson to give Iona a 60-59 lead, was far from catastrophic when the time remaining is considered.

But it may have wreaked havoc on the psyche of the Greyhounds. What ensued was errant shooting from the line and the field, as well as some turnovers. Loyola was outscored 7-2 for the rest of the game for its ninth straight league defeat.

"That kind of took the air out of us," Loyola center Brian Carroll said after scoring seven points and grabbing 12 rebounds. "You can't put your finger on it, but something is going on."

Other than those three minutes at the end of the game, Hicks couldn't have asked for a better game from his team, which nearly provided Iona coach Jeff Ruland with one of his worst nightmares.

"I'm happy we won the basketball game; we've got to give them a lot of credit," Ruland said after Loyola held his team 14 points below its average. "At the beginning, we didn't come out to play, and one of these days, it's going to bite us in the you know what."

Ruland had enough problems with his freshman center, Greg Jenkins, who scored a game-high 18 points but also yawned during the pre-game scouting report. Another problem was Loyola's loyally adhered-to plan to run the shot clock down as much as possible to keep the ball out of Iona's hands.

This was done because Loyola has only about seven functional players, which makes it tough to get into constant fast breaks. The slowdown program worked. Iona's lead was 33-31, and it never grew to any more than six points.

IONA-Matthews 2-3 0-0 4, Wilson 2-11 3-4 7, Jenkins 8-13 2-2 18, Grant 4-6 4-6 12, Johnson 1-5 5-5 7, Wofford 1-1 0-0 0, Norris 4-8 0-0 10, Fields 2-9 1-2 6 Carruthers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-56 15-19 67.

LOYOLA-Carroll 3-7 1-2 7, Nasiou 6-12 0-1 12, Reimold 5-9 1-2 15, Davis 6-14 0-0 14, Jenifer 4-8 2-4 10, Mack 0-0 0-0 0, Southall 0-2 3-4 3. Totals 24-52 7-13 61. Halftime-Iona 33-31. 3-point goals-Iona 4-9 (Johnson 0-1, Wofford 1-1, Norris 2-5, Fields 1-2); Loyola 6-15 (Nasiou 0-1, Reimold 4-8, Davis 2-5, Jenifer 0-1). Fouled out-Carroll. Rebounds-Iona 34 (Matthews 6), Loyola (Carroll 12). Assists-Iona 13 (Wilson, Grant, Johnson 3 each), Loyola (Jenifer 5). Total fouls-Iona 16; Loyola 18. A-479.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.