Loyola can't line up victory over Niagara

'Hounds miss free throws, stumble in late going in tumbling at home, 60-57

College Basketball

January 16, 2001|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For the second straight game, untimely turnovers and poor free-throw shooting - two areas that have hurt the Loyola College men's basketball team all season - prevented the Greyhounds from getting their first win since mid-December.

Aided by 24 points from senior Demond Stewart, a road-weary Niagara squad walked out of Reitz Arena with a 60-57 victory last night. It was the fifth straight loss and ninth in the past 10 games for Loyola (3-11, 0-6 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference).

"They should have won, but when it was crunch time, we found some ways to win," said Niagara coach Joe Mihalich, whose team was coming off a 59-56 loss at Marist. "Our guys have some experience down the stretch. Our guards are battle-tested, and they are winners."

Said Loyola coach Scott Hicks, "I thought our team gave 100 percent effort. We played with confidence, and for the most part, we played very well. Two areas we were just not good enough were defensive rebounding and foul shooting."

The Greyhounds, who have shot just 62 percent from the foul line for the season, were only 4-for-13 from there against Niagara. Despite that, they still had a chance to win in the game's waning moments.

Up 60-57 with 10 seconds left, freshman Tremmel Darden went to the line with a chance to put the Greyhounds away, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one. Loyola rushed the ball up, and the Greyhounds' leading scorer, freshman John Reimold, got an open look at a three-pointer, but it didn't fall.

"I should have made it. It felt good, but I just missed," said Reimold, who scored 21 points on 9-for-18 shooting and added 10 rebounds. "We just don't play well at the end of games."

Stewart, whose 24 points put him over the 1,000-point mark for his career, broke a tie score with a basket just under the three-minute mark to give Niagara a 55-53 lead. After Loyola freshman B. J. Davis missed a foul shot, Stewart's backcourt mate, Daryl Greene (12 points), nailed a three-pointer to push the margin to five points.

Davis (11 points) then hit two free throws to pull the Greyhounds within three, but Loyola turned the ball over near center court on the subsequent possession. Stewart and Reimold then traded baskets, setting the stage for Reimold's last-second attempt.

"I am just glad they missed right there," Stewart said. "That game could have gone either way."

Niagara (8-9, 5-3) won despite shooting 32 percent from the field and 22 percent from three-point range. Junior Michael Schmidt joined Stewart and Greene in double figures with 17 points, including seven straight in an early second-half run in which Niagara erased a five-point halftime deficit, turning it into a 43-40 lead.

Point guard Damien Jenifer was the third Greyhound in double figures with 11 points. The point guard also added nine rebounds.

"We are disappointed that things aren't going our way right now, but our time will come," Reimold said. "We are going to start winning some games."

"We don't have time to dwell or feel sorry for ourselves," Hicks said. "We just have a small margin [for] error to win. We need seven or eight players on our team to play well."

NIAGARA - Darden 0-5 0-1 0, Schmidt 7-16 0-0 17, Reaves 2-9 3-4 7, Greene 4-12 2-2 12, Stewart 8-20 8-10 24, Kukla 0-1 0-0 0, Villafane 0-0 0-0 0, Defoudis 0-0 0-0 0, Cohen 0-2 0-1 0, Carron 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-65 13-18 60.

LOYOLA - Nasiou 1-5 0-0 2, Carroll 4-9 0-4 8, Reimold 9-18 0-0 21, Jenifer 5-8 1-2 11, Davis 4-11 2-3 11, Mack 1-4 0-0 3, Dickey 0-0 0-0 0, Southall 0-4 1-4 1. Totals 24-59 4-13 57. Halftime-Loyola 31-26. 3-point goals-Niagara 5-23 (Darden 0-2, Schmidt 3-9, Greene 2-6, Stewart 0-5, Kukla 0-1); Loyola 5-15 (Reimold 3-7, Davis 1-4, Mack 1-3, Southall 0-1). Fouled out-Nasiou. Rebounds-Niagara 45 (Reaves 11); Loyola 44 (Reimold 10). Assists-Niagara 9 (Greene 5); Loyola 13 (Jenifer 4). Total fouls-Niagara 16, Loyola 16. A-729.

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