Pain reaches high point for Loyola in 66-64 loss

Greyhounds lead by nine, but fall 29th straight time

January 19, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

This one may have cut the deepest of all 29.

Against tough odds, Loyola's men were on the brink of ending the nation's longest Division I losing streak yesterday before Canisius overcame a nine-point deficit in the final four minutes and handed the Greyhounds a 66-64 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference defeat at Reitz Arena.

The result carried Loyola (0-16, 0-7 MAAC) to within four defeats of tying Grambling's all-time record of 33 straight losses, set in December of 2000.

"This one definitely hurt," said Greyhounds guard Charlie Bell, "because we thought we had it won."

Two free throws by Jim Chivers shoved Loyola into a 62-53 advantage with 4:08 remaining before Canisius guard Dewitt Doss stepped into the spotlight.

Doss scored nine of the closing 13 points for the Golden Griffins, with his conventional three-point play at 4.9 seconds accounting for the final score of the game after freshman Shane James had given Loyola a 64-63 edge with 11.3 seconds left.

After Doss' three-point play, Bell took the ball to the basket for a tying shot, but the attempt got caught up under the backboard and time expired.

Loyola coach Scott Hicks thought Bell had been fouled on the play, complaining afterward about several calls that his team didn't get while Canisius players strode to the foul line in similar situations.

"Their senior guards got the calls and there was contact on three drives by us and we didn't," he said.

"I definitely was fouled," said Bell, who was playing with a damaged ankle. "But you can't put the game on the referees, even though the calls didn't go our way. We had our chances."

The Greyhounds went the entire second half with only seven able-bodied players, including Bell, after freshman Michael Tuck went down with a sprained right ankle after leading Loyola with seven first-half points and playing a strong floor game.

That shortage of depth caught up with them down the stretch as Canisius (7-10, 2-4) used its freshness to apply considerable defensive pressure.

"We've just got to wait for our players to get healthy," said Bell. "I think we'll get one [Lindbergh Chatman] back in another week or so. We've just got to keep fighting because we're so close."

"Our kids played with a lot of confidence," said Hicks. "We tightened up a little bit with 3 1/2 minutes to go. Our kids played hard, but when you lose this much, it's hard to get out of bed."

Point guard James, whom Hicks labels the best freshman in the league, hit all four of his three-point tries and finished with 17 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Bernard Allen had a splendid all-around game with 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Kevin Downey led Canisius with 17 points and Doss finished with 13.

CANISIUS-Jones 2-7 0-0 5, Foster 1-6 0-0 3, Hanley 1-5 0-0 2, Downey 8-13 1-4 17, Doss 4-9 0-1 13, Wilson 2-4 0-4 4, Harris 0-3 2-2 2, Wyatt 2-4 0-0 4, Moton-Spruill 3-4 0-0 7, Ferris 4-7 1-1 9. Totals 27-62 8-9 66. LOYOLA-Allen 6-11 2-2 15, Tuck 2-3 0-0 7, Corrigan 2-8 0-0 4, Bell 2-14 0-0 5, James 5-7 3-4 17, Dixon 3-7 0-0 6, Nijaradze 2-3 0-0 4, Chivers 2-8 2-2 6. Totals 24-61 10-11 64. Half: Loyola 34, Canisius 32 . 3-point goals-Canisius 4-16 (Jones 1-4, Foster 1-4, Hanley 0-2, Downey 1-4, Doss 0-1, Ferris 1-1), Loyola 6-23 (Allen 1-3, Corrigan 0-4, Bell 1-8, James 4-4, Dixon 0-3, Chivers 0-1) Fouled out-none. Rebounds-Canisius 35 (Jones 9), Loyola 39 (James 9). Assists-Canisius 10 (Doss 4), Loyola 18 (Allen 6). Total fouls-Canisius 15, Loyola 14. A-500.

Lots of losses

The Loyola men's basketball team has lost 29 straight games, the longest current Division I men's losing streak. The remaining opponents for Loyola (0-16), with overall and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference records:

Date .......... Opponent ............... Record

1-23 ........ at Manhattan .......... 11-3, 6-0

1-25 ........ at Fairfield ............... 9-7, 2-3

1-29 ........ Marist ..................... 5-10, 3-3

1-31......... at Saint Peter's ........ 8-6, 4-1

2-4 .......... Manhattan .............. 11-3, 6-0

2-8........... at Rider .................... 9-6, 3-2

2-12 ........ at Siena .................. 5-10, 2-4

2-19 ........ at Niagara ............. 10-5, 4-2

2-21 ........ at Canisius ............. 7-10, 2-4

2-25. ....... Fairfield ................... 9-7, 2-3

2-29 ........ Iona ........................5-10, 3-3

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