Loyola wins 3rd in row, upends Iona, 73-64

Winning streak is longest in 6 years

James scores 19

February 13, 2005|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

There have been times in recent years when the atmosphere inside Loyola's Reitz Arena has been more akin to a business law class than a college basketball game. Yesterday against Iona, however, a raucous crowd of 2,818 - believed by the school to be its largest since 1990 - helped the Greyhounds reclaim something else they had been sorely missing.

A winning streak.

Facing a team that had beaten them 15 straight times, the Greyhounds fed off the energy of the crowd to pull away after halftime in a 73-64 win, giving them their first three-game winning streak in six years.

"We got a big crowd today, and they gave us a lot of energy," said point guard Shane James. "We played off of that."

James, who finished with a team-high 19 points and six assists and had just one turnover, led his team on a 16-2 run to open the second half that put Loyola (6-17, 5-9 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) ahead to stay.

"We had the killer instinct today, and that really helped us," said forward Freddie Stanback, who along with teammate Charlie Bell contributed 15 points.

Scoring played a big role, however, it was Loyola's 46-31 rebounding advantage that made the biggest difference against a team that had won six of its previous seven.

"How can we outrebound that team by 15?" Patsos said. "We were just hungry."

Loyola held a slim lead for most of the first half, dominating the boards and hitting four of its first six three-pointers. Up by five late in the half, however, the Greyhounds went cold, forcing shots and hitting just one shot in the final five minutes, while Iona stormed to the lead.

"We came in for halftime, and I was a little mad," Patsos said. "I said, `OK, it's easy to say great crowd, good effort, TV game, you tried. No more trying, you're here to win.'"

Loyola dominated in the first six minutes of the second half, forcing the Gaels (11-13, 7-7) into turnovers and poor shots, then turning them into easy scoring chances at the other end.

Loyola took a 50-38 lead by hitting five of its first seven shots of the half, then extended the lead to 17 on James' three-point play minutes later.

Patsos, in his first season as a head coach after 13 years as a Maryland assistant, said the streak is a nice start.

"These kids are learning, and they're working as hard as any team in the country," he said.

IONA-Henson 3-4 2-2 8, Jenkins 9-16 4-5 22, McCullough 3-11 1-1 8, Soliver 0-7 3-4 3, Burtt Jr. 3-8 0-0 7, Evans 2-6 0-0 5, Springer 4-6 1-3 9, Corbin 0-0 0-0 0, Clarke 0-0 0-0 0, Marshall 0-2 0-0 0, Wachsmann 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 25-62 11-15 64. LOYOLA-Stanback 5-10 4-4 15, Allen 2-7 2-4 7, Corrigan 2-13 0-0 4, James 5-11 9-9 19, Farrell 3-5 0-2 6, Manning 1-1 0-0 3, Bell 4-9 6-6 15, Chivers 0-0 1-2 1, Alujevic 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 23-57 22-27 73. Halftime-Iona, 36-34. 3-point goals-Iona 3-12 (Evans 1-2, Burtt Jr. 1-3, McCullough 1-3, Henson 0-1, Marshall 0-1, Soliver 0-2), Loyola 5-12 (Allen 1-1, Alujevic 1-1, Bell 1-1, Manning 1-1, Stanback 1-3, James 0-1, Corrigan 0-4). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Iona 31 (Jenkins 8), Loyola 46 (Allen 12). Assists-Iona 14 (McCullough, Soliver, Evans 3), Loyola 13 (James 6). Total fouls-Iona 17, Loyola 16. A-2,818.

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