Greyhounds stay perfect

Loyola 71, UMBC 64

November 28, 2005|By GARY LAMBRECHT | GARY LAMBRECHT,SUN REPORTER

The Loyola Greyhounds could have blown last night's game against visiting UMBC.

Senior point guard Andre Collins, who lit up the Retrievers early, could hardly move in the final 10 minutes after suffering severe cramps in both legs. Sophomore forward Michael Tuck, the team's rock in the paint, ended a frustrating, 18-minute night by fouling out midway through the second half. The Greyhounds' offense turned the ball over 11 times in the second half and ran on fumes in crunch time.

But Loyola turned back a strong comeback by the Retrievers and hung on for a 71-64 victory before 1,600 at Reitz Arena.

Playing after an eight-day layoff that followed their season-opening victory at Towson, Loyola, 6-22 a year ago, did what it had to do to produce a 2-0 record for the first time in six years and sweep its nonconference series with its Baltimore rivals.

"They're starting to believe," Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos said. "We're grinding, so I can't complain. Maybe we're learning how to win."

Collins scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the first half to lead the Greyhounds to a 35-28 halftime lead. Senior guard Linton Hinds came off the bench to score all 14 of his points in the second half. Senior Josko Alujevic had 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Freshman forward Jawaan Wright scored all seven of his points in the second half and added eight rebounds.

UMBC, which was led by senior forward John Zito (20 points) and had its own problems - 1-for-13 shooting from three-point range and a 7-for-17 night at the foul line - made the Greyhounds earn it. The Retrievers, who never led after scoring the game's first basket, fell behind by 16 points in the first half but kept coming until they had cut Loyola's lead to 43-40 with 13:45 left on a layup by Zito.

Then, after Hinds scored 12 points to lead an 18-6 run that put the Greyhounds in front 61-46 with 9:57 left, the Retrievers responded again. With bench players such as freshman guard Tom Young (six points, five rebounds) and junior forward Mike Housman (eight points, seven rebounds) helping Zito, and with junior guard Chris Pugh hounding the ailing Collins, UMBC closed to within 66-62 with 52 seconds left.

But Loyola, which managed just one basket over the last 7:06, stayed cool enough to win. Wright, Alujevic and Collins combined to make five free throws in the final 27 seconds to seal the victory.

"We didn't expect [UMBC] to bow down," Collins said. "The guys stuck it out. They believe in closing out games."

gary.lambrecht@baltsun.com

UMBC -Dinkins 2-5 2-3 6, Zito 10-14 0-2 20, Housman 3-4 2-4 8, Pugh 3-11 0-0 6, Bilal 0-2 0-0 0, Hodges 3-12 1-3 7, Eshietedoho 0-0 0-0 0, Greene 2-7 2-3 7, Seaborn 1-2 0-0 2, Timba 1-2 0-0 2, Young 3-5 0-2 6. Totals 28-64 7-17 64. LOYOLA-Collins 6-13 5-5 21, Hinds 4-6 5-5 14, Alujevic 4-8 2-2 11, James 1-7 2-2 4, Tuck 2-2 2-4 6, Farrell 0-0 0-0 0, Stanback 1-6 2-4 4, Khaleel 1-2 0-0 2, Sullivan 1-3 0-0 2, Wright 3-5 1-2 7. Totals 23-52 19-24 71. Halftime-Loyola 35-28. 3-point goals-UMBC 1-13 (Greene 1-4, Bilal 0-1, Pugh 0-2, Hodges 0-6), Loyola 6-20 (Collins 4-8, Hinds 1-1, Alujevic 1-3, James 0-1, Sullivan 0-2, Stanback 0-5). Fouled out-Tuck. Rebounds-UMBC 35 (Housman 7), Loyola 39 (Alujevic 9). Assists-UMBC 12 (Pugh 5), Loyola 17 (Collins, James 6). Total fouls-UMBC 20, Loyola 21. A-1,600.

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