Loyola's tips trip Towson

Follow-up baskets, Collins' debut lift Greyhounds in season opener for 2 local rivals

Loyola 80 Towson 67

College basketball


Second-chance points and a guard getting a second life lifted Loyola to an 80-67 victory over host Towson in the season opener for both teams last night.

Coach Jimmy Patsos cried wolf about the Tigers beating up his team inside, but Loyola had a 47-28 bulge on the boards and prospered on putbacks when its half-court game dried up.

"Never in 27 years of coaching have I had a team out-rebounded by 20," Towson coach Pat Kennedy said. "When our big guys saw the size of Loyola, maybe they thought they could dominate. They absolutely killed us on the glass, and that was the difference."

Andre Collins, a senior transfer who had an NCAA championship ring but not enough playing time at Maryland, made his first four shots, all from three-point range, and led Loyola to an eight-point lead in the first four minutes.

Collins, who made just three of his next 14 attempts, scored 19 of his 22 in the first half and ran the offense in the second. He had seven turnovers and forced some passes that were better suited to Nik Caner-Medley than the Greyhounds, but was delighted to play a college game for the first time since December 2003, when he left the Terps.

"If I can get 22 and a win every time out, I'll be happy," Collins said.

Collins must make an impact immediately, as senior wing Charlie Bell, the only Greyhound to average in double figures last season, is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Two teams that combined for 11 wins last season played a fun first half for a Towson Center crowd of 3,898. Loyola led by as many as 11 in the first half, and used a 9-0 run to take a 53-42 lead with 14:30 left. The run included a technical on Towson's Velmar Coleman, who called time to get out of a double team, then flipped the ball at Collins' head.

The lead grew to 66-52 on a three-point play off a putback by sophomore Michael Tuck, who had a game-high 11 rebounds. Senior Josko Alujevic and freshman Jawaan Wright also had second-chance baskets off long caroms as the Greyhounds put the game away against Towson's 1-3-1 zone.

Senior forward Lawrence Hamm matched his career high for Towson, 24 points. After a rash of offseason injuries and a suspension, Kennedy started two junior college transfers and a pair of freshmen, Tim Crossin and Coleman, an All-Metro selection out of Walbrook High who debuted with 16 points but nine turnovers.

Both teams could look markedly different come conference play.

Loyola will add 6-10 Hassan Fofana, like Collins a transfer from Maryland, at the end of the first semester.

Gary Neal could be practicing with Towson as early as next week. Two weeks ago, Neal was acquitted of a sex-offense charge that got him dismissed from La Salle in the summer of 2004.

Neal wants to play for the Tigers, and athletic director Wayne Edwards said that an administrative committee is reviewing his case.

A Calvert Hall grad who had a fine freshman year at La Salle, Neal has been a full-time student at Towson since January, and could be eligible at the end of the first semester.


LOYOLA-Collins 7-18 3-4 22, Hinds 3-5 2-3 8, Alujevic 5-7 3-4 13, James 4-5 4-6 12, Tuck 2-5 4-5 8, Farrell 0-0 0-0 0, Stanback 3-11 0-0 6, Khaleel 0-1 0-2 0, Sullivan 0-4 1-2 1, Wright 3-4 4-5 10. Totals 27-60 21-31 80. TOWSON-Pratt 1-7 0-0 2, Hamm 10-14 4-6 24, Jackson 1-2 0-0 3, Tubbs 0-0 0-0 0, Raboin 0-0 0-0 0, Crossin 3-8 0-0 8, Coleman 6-11 2-7 16, Abraham 5-13 4-8 14. Totals 26-55 10-21 67.

Halftime-Loyola 42-38. 3-point goals-Loyola 5-22 (Collins 5-14, Sullivan 0-3, Stanback 0-5), Towson 5-16 (Coleman 2-4, Crossin 2-5, Jackson 1-2, Hamm 0-1, Pratt 0-2, Abraham 0-2). Fouled out-Crossin, Hamm. Rebounds-Loyola 47 (Tuck 11), Towson 28 (Hamm 9). Assists-Loyola 11 (Alujevic 4), Towson 19 (Coleman 5). Total fouls-Loyola 21, Towson 20. A-3,898.

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