Loyola rally falls short vs. Central Conn. State

Blue Devils escape, 67-62

Hounds drop 24th in row

College Basketball

January 06, 2004|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Central Connecticut State coach Howie Dickenman stood in the hallway outside his team's locker room at Reitz Arena, looked at the statistics from his team's 67-62 victory over Loyola and slowly exhaled.

"Loyola did not quit," Dickenman said. "We were lucky ... to get out of here with a win."

The Blue Devils handed Loyola (0-11) its 24th straight loss spanning two seasons, but the Greyhounds made them work last night. Central Connecticut (3-3) led for much of the game but couldn't shake the Greyhounds.

Central Connecticut appeared to be in command with a 13-point lead with less than six minutes left, but Loyola guard Charlie Bell helped the Greyhounds slowly come back with 10 points in the final 3:08. He finished with a game-high 22 points.

"We don't have any quitters on this team," Bell said. "Losing is very frustrating. Losing really hurts."

The Greyhounds have been close in recent games, losing four of their past five by a total of 17 points. Loyola missed a shot in the final seconds of Saturday's game at Navy that would have forced overtime and the same thing happened last night.

The Blue Devils had a 65-62 lead when the Greyhound's Bobby Bossman got the ball in the left corner by the Loyola bench. But Bossman shot an air ball with four seconds left that Central Connecticut rebounded. Lenny Jefferson (10 points) then sealed the victory with two free throws.

The Greyhounds couldn't find an answer for forwards Rich Pittman and Ron Robinson. Pittman, 6 feet 6, had 14 points and seven rebounds, and Robinson, 6-7, added 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

"They're a quality team, and we had a chance to win," Loyola coach Scott Hicks said. "Our kids have shown resiliency, and if our team plays like it did tonight, there's going to be several wins on our schedule."

CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE -- Nwadike 4-8 0-0 8, Robinson 5-12 3-7 13, Sobers 2-4 2-4 6, Pittman 5-7 4-9 14, Chiera 2-9 0-0 4, Christy 0-1 0-0 0, Anderson 4-8 1-3 9, Jefferson 2-4 6-7 10, Barrett 1-2 0-0 3, Mojica 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-56 16-30 67.

LOYOLA -- Allen 2-11 3-4 8, Chivers 2-3 0-0 4, Nijaradze 2-4 3-4 7, Bell 7-15 5-6 22, James 2-5 0-0 4, Dixon 2-4 0-0 5, Bossman 2-7 0-0 6, Corrigan 2-3 0-0 4, Tuck 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 22-53 11-14 62. Half -- Cent. Conn. St., 32-26. 3-point goals -- CCS 1-9 (Barrett 1-2, Mojica 0-1, anderson 0-1, Chiera 0-4); L 7-23 (Dixon 1-2, Bell 3-9, Bossman 2-7, Allen 1-4, James 0-1). Fouled out -- none. Rebounds -- CCS 41 (Robinson 9); L 29 (Allen 6). Assists -- CCS 16 (Robinson 6); L 15 (James 5). Total fouls -- CCS 17; L 20. A -- 604.

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