Princeton lets loose in rout of Loyola

74-54 road victory marks Tigers' most points of season

'Hounds fall to 0-9

December 30, 2003|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Loyola men's basketball team has struggled defensively, so it stood to reason the Greyhounds would have trouble stopping Princeton and its celebrated motion offense.

They did.

Loyola freshman guard Shane James scored a team-high 15 points, falling one short of his career high, but the Tigers registered their highest offensive total of the season in an easy 74-54 victory before 1,633 last night at Reitz Arena.

By design, Princeton does not normally score many points. The Tigers offense, predicated on patience, ball movement and backdoor cuts, produced an average of 59 points - and a season high of 73 - heading into last night. But against the Greyhounds (0-9), Princeton put up 45 in the first half and led 72-43 with 6:12 remaining.

The Tigers (5-4) registered 18 assists and six turnovers, and all but two of the turnovers came in the final seven minutes with many reserves playing and the outcome no longer in doubt. By contrast, Loyola had eight assists and turned the ball over 17 times.

"There's no way you can prepare for [Princeton's offense] well enough," said Loyola coach Scott Hicks, whose team lost for the 22nd consecutive time dating back to last season.

"We tried to prepare on film, just to watch the cuts. It just takes too much time in practice. It's so complex."

Princeton senior guard Ed Persia matched his career high with 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting, and Tigers leading scorer Judson Wallace added 16 points and nine rebounds. As a team, Princeton shot 50 percent from the field (28-for-56). Loyola, meanwhile, shot 36 percent (19-for-53).

James scored 13 of his points in the first half and shot 5-for-7 from the field and 3-for-4 from three-point range. He was the only Loyola player in double figures. Eleven different Greyhounds scored at least two points, but aside from James, none scored more than seven.

Loyola was playing its first game after a 16-day layoff, and it showed right at the start. Princeton scored the game's first seven points, and after the Greyhounds cut it to 9-5, the Tigers reeled off 13 straight to take a 22-5 lead with 12:53 to play in the first half.

"Coming out, I guess the guys didn't get into the game, so we had a slow start," said James, who took just one shot in the second half. "I tried to pick up my game and tried to get us going. In the second half, I tried to dish the ball, get some assists and get the other guys going."

Princeton led by at least 12 the rest of the game, and increased its advantage to as many as 29 before a group of mostly reserves scored two points in the final 6:11. At a timeout with 7:58 remaining, the Tigers had a 68-43 advantage and a 16-2 assist-to-turnover ratio.

"Our emphasis coming into the game, ironically, was not our offense, it was our defense," said Princeton coach John Thompson, whose father, the former Georgetown coach of the same name, was in attendance. "We wanted to see if we could create opportunities with our defense. We wanted to try to be a little more aggressive defensively, and the offense almost just fell into place."

PRINCETON-Venable 36 0-0 7, Logan 2-5 1-2 5, Wallace 6-10 4-4 16, Greenman 2-7 0-0 6, Persia 7-13 5-5 22, Berger 0-0 0-0 0, Schafer 1-3 0-2 2, Buffmire 1-1 0-0 2, Owings 1-4 1-2 3, Ekeruo 0-0 0-0 0, Stephens 2-2 0-0 4, Friedman 0-0 0-0 0, Reynolds 0-0 0-0 0, Rudoy 0-1 0-0 0, Schaenm 3-4, 0-13. Totals 28-56 11-16 74. LOYOLA-Allen 3-8 1-1 7, Bossman 2-7 0-0 5, Corrigan 301- 0-0 7, Bell 1-10 3-3 6, James 5-7 2-2 15, Dixon 1-2 0-0 2, Hinds 1-1 0-0 2, Nijaradze 1-1 0-0 2, Chatman 1-3 3-3 5, Chivers 0-3 0-0 0, Tuck 1-1 1-3 3. Totals 19-53 10-12 54. Half-Princeton, 45-27. 3-point goals-Princeton 7-24 (Greenman 2-5, Persia 3-9, Schaenm 1-2, Venable 1-3), Loyola 6-22 (James 3-4, Bossman 1-3, Corrigan 1-5, Bell 1-5). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Princeton 30 (Wallace 9), Loyola 37 (Allen 6). Assists-Princeton 18 (Logan 7), Loyola 8 (James 3). Total fouls-Princeton 13, Loyola 16. A-1,633.

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