Fast-learning Marist schools Loyola, 85-50

Struggling Greyhounds are dropped to 1-8 at home

College Basketball

February 04, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The euphoria lasted less than two days for the Loyola College men's basketball team.

After breaking a 12-game losing streak and winning at home for the first time Friday night, the Greyhounds reverted to their youthful, error-prone ways yesterday and were squashed by Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference leader Marist, 85-50, at Reitz Arena.

It was Marist's seventh consecutive victory over Loyola, and none of the previous six was more convincing. Loyola suffered its most lopsided loss since December 1994, when it also fell by 35, and fell to 1-8 at home this season.

The Red Foxes obviously learned from the first meeting six days earlier, when they strained to beat Loyola.

"I think we learned our lesson at home," said Marist coach Dave Magarity. "They played so well up there and got up seven or eight on us. But they're so young, and they just had one of those games."

Loyola (3-18, 2-10) actually took a 9-5 lead before the Red Foxes reeled off 14 straight points. An 8-0 run later in the first half put them in total command.

"I'm disappointed with our effort and focus," said Loyola coach Scott Hicks. "Our execution didn't carry over from the Canisius game. One mistake led to another mistake to another mistake."

Early in the second half, Marist (15-6, 9-3) led by 12 before launching another streak, this one of 15 points, to soar in front 55-28. Several times thereafter the lead ballooned to 35.

"We have to be mentally tough when a good team like this makes a run," said a disappointed Hicks. "We have to have the discipline to make sure it doesn't get away."

The Red Foxes are not extraordinarily talented, according to Magarity, but "have a lot of kids who all sort of fit into their roles. Other teams in our league are more athletic, but I'm really happy with the type of players we have."

Senior leader Sean Kennedy, one of seven Division I players to have a triple double this season (Jan. 5 vs. Niagara), contributed 17 points and four steals to the rout. And, he did nothing to harm his No. 6 national ranking in assists, getting six yesterday.

Nick Eppehimer carried the offense early and finished with 16 points and freshman Brandon Ellerbee had 14.

Damien Jenifer, Loyola's lone senior, led his side with 11 points, but three of his baskets were bunched into a late spurt when the game was decided.

The team's second-leading scorer, B. J. Davis, was blanked on nine attempts, chiefly because of David Bennett's defense.

Turnovers (18) and characteristically poor shooting (31.4 per cent, including 0-for-13 from long range) were the bugaboos for the Greyhounds, who have not won two straight since the Battle of Baltimore Classic in 1999.

Marist had an 18-1 edge in points off turnovers the first half and rambled on to its sixth win in seven games.

MARIST--Eppehimer 7-12 1-1 16, Smith 3-9 0-1 6, Castleberry 4-5 0-0 8, Kennedy 5-12 5-6 17, Bennett 1-4 1-1 3, Young 3-5 1-1 7, Ellerbee 4-6 4-5 14, Sosler 1-1 0-0 2, Copes 1-2 0-0 2, Walker 0-1 0-0 0, Tullis 5-7 0-0 10. Totals 34-64 12-15 85.

LOYOLA--Allen 1-2 3-4 5, Nijaradze 1-6 5-5 7, Jordan 4-10 1-2 9, Jenifer 5-8 1-1 11, Davis 0-9 0-0 0, Chatman 0-1 0-0 0, Thomas 2-4 3-4 7, Koch 0-0 0-0 0, Desmond 0-1 2-2 2, Dickey 1-3 0-0 2, Corrigan 1-1 0-0 2, Koch 0-1 0-0 0, Southall 1-2 2-4 4, Chivers 0-3 1-2 1.

Totals 16-51 18-24 50.

Halftime--Marist 36-22. 3-point goals--Marist 5-19 (Eppehimer 1-4, Smith 0-4, Kennedy 2-3, Bennett 0-2, Ellerbee 2-4, Walker 0-1, Tullis 0-1); Loyola 0-13 (Allen 0-1, Jordan 0-1, Jenifer 0-1, Davis 0-4, Chatham 0-1, Dickey 0-1, Koch 0-1, Southall 0-1, Chivers 0-2). Fouled out--none. Rebounds--Marist 35 (Young 8); Loyola 34 (Allen 8). Assists--Marist 13 (Kennedy 6); Loyola 4 (Allen, Jordan, Davis, Koch 1). Total fouls--Marist 20; Loyola 16. A--264.

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