Loyola tops Canisius to end 12-game skid

Strong second half leads way to 54-51 win

Jordan sets pace with 18

College Basketball

February 02, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The 13th time was the charm for the Loyola men's basketball team last night.

Winless in their previous 12 games, the Greyhounds finally meshed all their offensive weapons in the second half and rallied to beat Canisius, 54-51, before 856 at Reitz Arena.

In a grind-it-out Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference meeting with a team playing its fourth game in seven days, Loyola prevailed on perseverance and grit.

"We made some offensive plays in the second half and that was the difference," Loyola coach Scott Hicks said. "In the first game, Canisius did a good job of making the big ones when it needed to. Tonight, it was our turn."

The Golden Griffins beat Loyola, 74-65, last Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y., but entered the rematch having lost two straight and playing without the school's all-time leading three-point shooter, Toby Foster (injured foot).

Loyola (3-17, 2-9 MAAC) had a typically sub-par shooting effort before halftime, going more than six minutes without scoring and trailing at the break 26-19.

But leading scorer Lucious Jordan, a freshman, got his game going, Donovan Thomas was effective inside, and the team's only senior, Damien Jenifer, helped the Greyhounds take control.

The result was Loyola's first win at Reitz Arena in almost a year.

"It feels good," said Jordan, who bunched 12 of his game-high 18 points in the second half. "We had a nice crowd, and everybody was behind us.

"We usually have a problem finding ways to score, but tonight we just did it."

Loyola, a 36.5 percent shooting team averaging only 58 points, hit 47.8 percent of its shots after halftime.

Jenifer fed Jordan on the fast break for a 40-39 lead with 10:45 remaining that capped an 8-0 Greyhound run.

Canisius (6-14, 3-8) briefly regained the lead before three free throws by Thomas put Loyola in command. At the end, a free throw each by B.J. Davis and Bernard Allen clinched the win.

The Golden Griffins had one final shot to tie, but Dewitt Doss' attempt bounded off the rim as the clock expired, leaving them 1-8 on the road, with the lone victory coming at Morgan State.

"We've been getting two different halves," Hicks said. "Today, we won our half by more by showing poise down the stretch. Our young kids got better. I think we've played better than our record."

CANISIUS--Mallory 3-8 0-0 7, Hampton 3-7 0-1 ,6 Bush 0-8 1-2 1, Doss 4-9 0-0 8, Dux 5-13 2-2 14, Jones 0-2 0-0 0, Ravello 1-2 0-0 2, Ferris 5-9 1-2 13. Totals 21-58 4-7 51.

LOYOLA--Allen 0-4 1-2 1, Nijardze 1-1 0-0 2, Jordan 6-10 5-8 18, Jenifer 2-8 0-0 6, Davis 3-11 5-6 11, Chatman 0-2 0-0 0, Thomas 4-8 4-7 12, Southall 2-4 0-0 4, Chivers 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-49 15-23 54.

Halftime--Canisius, 26-19. 3-point goals--Canisius 5-21 (Ferris 2-5, Dux 2-6, Mallory 1-4, Hampton 0-1, Jones 0-2, Doss 0-3); Loyola 3-9 (Jenifer 2-2, Jordan 1-3, Davis 0-4). Fouled out--none. Rebounds--Canisius 33 (Hampton 8); Loyola 35 (Thomas 10). Assists--Canisius 7 (Hampton, Doss 3); Loyola 8 (Jenifer 5). Total fouls--Canisius 21; Loyola 15. A--856.

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