Loyola's rally falls short in 61-56 loss to Manhattan

Jaspers start fast, hold on to drop Greyhounds to 2-9

January 03, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Manhattan entered last night's game at Loyola sporting a nine-game winning streak and the most prolific offense in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Before an intimate gathering at Reitz Arena, however, the host Greyhounds made the Jaspers struggle for their points, but couldn't produce enough of their own in falling, 61-56.

After trailing by as many as 20 in the second half, Loyola used a furious 27-9 run, capped by three-pointers by sophomores Lindbergh Chatman and B.J. Davis in the final 32 seconds, to cut the lead to 58-56 with 10 seconds left.

Manhattan, however, then put the game away by hitting three of four free throws in the final seconds.

"We played a good team today, and at the end of the game we showed signs of being a real good team," said Davis, who led the Greyhounds with 16 points, including 10 in the second half. "We picked up the intensity, and I think Manhattan got a little complacent."

But the comeback wasn't enough to satisfy Loyola coach Scott Hicks.

"I'm happy with the finish - that's it," Hicks said. "I didn't think our team competed with enough intensity for 40 minutes. I thought we competed like heck for the last nine minutes ... but I didn't think we brought enough of that enthusiasm to start the game."

Loyola (2-9 overall, 1-2 MAAC), which has lost four straight and seven of eight, shot just 33 percent from the field, and was held to under 20 points (17) in the first half for the third straight game.

Down by 11 at halftime, Loyola cut the lead to eight on a fast-break layup by freshman Lucious Jordan with 17:55 left - the first points of the game for Loyola's leading scorer, who entered the game averaging 13.9 points a game - and nearly cut it to five moments later when Jordan's attempted three-pointer from the top of the key went in and out.

But the Jaspers (10-1, 2-0), whose only loss was to No. 16 Syracuse, weathered the threat and extended their lead to 35-22 on a turnaround jumper by Jason Benton and three-pointer by Luis Flores.

"Any league win on the road is a good win," Manhattan coach Bobby Gonzalez said. "When you get up 20 points and there's a lot of time to go in the game, that's a tough situation to be in, actually. The other team has no pressure ... and next thing you know they start chipping away."

The Jaspers built their lead to as many as 13 early in the first half before the Greyhounds, buoyed by their swarming defense, held Manhattan without a field goal for 7:04 later in the half.

Loyola, however. proved equally impotent on offense, getting as close as seven on Donovan Thomas' put back before going the final 5:52 of the half without a field goal.

MANHATTAN-Holmes 0-5 6-6 6, Coughlin 2-5 1-2 6, Benton 6-9 3-6 15, Flores 6-11 2-3 15, Green 3-8 6-8 14, Tyler 2-4 0-0 4, Johnson 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 19-44 19-27 61. LOYOLA-Thomas 3-5 1-4 7, Allen 1-3 0-0 2, Jordan 1-11 0-2 2, Jenifer 4-11 2-4 11, Davis 4-8 6-6 16, Chatman 3-8 4-5 12, Desmond 0-1 0-0 0, Nijaradze 0-2 2-2 2, Southall 2-4 0-1 4, Chivers 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-54 15-24 56. Halftime-Manhattan, 28-17. 3-point goals-Manhattan 4-12 (Green 2-3, Flores 1-2, Coughlin 1-4, Johnson 0-1, Holmes 0-2); Loyola 5-19 (Davis 2-3, Chatman 2-4, Jenifer 1-5, Allen 0-1, Chivers 0-1, Jordan 0-5). Fouled out-none. Rebounds-Manhattan 33 (Holmes 33); Loyola 38 (Thomas 10). Assists-Manhattan 9 (Green 3); Loyola 6 (Jenifer, Desmond 2). Total fouls-Manhattan 18; Loyola 21. A-250.

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