UMBC is too strong for Loyola, 76-66

For third straight year, Retrievers advance to Battle of Baltimore final

November 18, 2001|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Despite losing much of its offense and rebounding after last season, UMBC still entered last night's first-round game in the Battle of Baltimore with a distinct edge in experience over host Loyola.

It didn't take the Retrievers long to prove it. In a game that quickly turned into a physical, defensive battle, UMBC took the lead in the early minutes and led by double digits the entire second half in a 76-66 win in the season opener for both teams before 2,104 at Reitz Arena.

"I think all of these early season games are going to be a matter of limiting your mistakes and defending the other team," UMBC coach Tom Sullivan said. "We feel that if we can get in the game and get ahead of people, they can't get points on the board."

UMBC advanced to tomorrow's championship game against Towson, a 53-51 winner over Coppin State in the early game.

It will mark the Retrievers' third straight trip to the final. Loyola failed to advance for the first time in tournament history.

The Greyhounds, who started three freshmen and a sophomore, never got on track offensively, shooting just 32 percent from the field. B.J. Davis, Loyola's top returning scorer, was 3-for-14 from the field.

"They're equally as young, but their underclassmen are more experienced," Loyola coach Scott Hicks said. `They have versatile players, size and athleticism. They made it very difficult for us to score."

The Retrievers, meanwhile, had four players in double figures, led by sophomore guard Ron Yates (game-high 21) and sophomore forward Peter Mulligan (15 points, 11 rebounds).

For Yates, a 6 feet 5, it was a career performance, besting his previous collegiate high by nine points.

Both teams looked sloppy in the first half, and it didn't take long for the game to degenerate into a foul-shooting contest.

After Loyola broke out to a quick 5-0 lead on a three-pointer by Lucious Jordan and 10-footer by Bernard Allen, UMBC gained control of the game, turning up its intensity on defense and scoring 18 of the next 24 points to take an 18-11 lead with 10:14 left to play in the half.

The Greyhounds, who made just seven of 28 field-goal attempts and turned the ball over 11 times in the half, rarely found easy looks at the basket, and scored just one field goal in a span of 11:30.

The Retrievers, meanwhile, slowly began to pull away.

They took the lead when Yates stole the ball from Allen at Loyola's end and Justin Wilson finished the play with a layup at the other end.

Then, following a block at the defensive end, UMBC extended its lead to 32-20 on a fast-break slam by Yates.

UMBC led by as many as 13 in the half before taking a 35-24 lead into the break. Yates had 13 points, hitting five of seven shots from the floor.

UMBC-Yates 8-16 4-6 21, Mulligan 4-9 7-8 15, McClurken 6-11 0-3 12, Gogerty 1-2 0-0 2, Wallace 3-8 4-4 10, Washington 2-6 3-6 7, Wilson 1-2 1-3 3, Snyder 0-0 2-2 2, Williams 0-1 0-2 0, Young 1-1 2-6 4, Feeley 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 26-60 23-40 76. LOYOLA-Allen 4-7 3-4 11, Nijaradze 0-1 2-2 2, Jordan 3-9 6-8 13, Jenifer 2-9 3-4 7, Davis 3-14 0-2 7, Chatman 5-13 0-2 12, Thomas 0-1 4-6 4, Roch 0-0, 0-0 0, Dickey 1-1 3-4 6, Soutall 1-2 2-2 4, Chivers 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 19-59 23-34 66.

Half-UMBC, 35-24. 3-point goals-UMBC 1-9 (Yates 1-4, Mulligan 0-2, Wallace 0-2, Washington 0-1), Loyola 5-21 (Allen 0-1, Jordan 1-5, Jenifer 0-3, Davis 1-5, Chatman 2-5, Dickey 1-1, Chivers 0-1). Fouled out-L-Allen, Jordan. Rebounds-UMBC 46 (Mulligan 11), Loyola 43 (Allen 11). Assists-UMBC 9 (Wilson 3), Loyola 7 (Jenifer 4). Total fouls-UMBC 26, Loyola 29. A-2,104.

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