Loyola falls flat in MAAC opener vs. Saint Peter's

Peacocks set tone with early 15-0 run

Saint Peter's 66 Loyola 55

December 09, 2006|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Reporter

Dr. Frankenstein's notes would have been more useful to Jimmy Patsos than any coaching manual last night.

Loyola College was devoid of life in the first 20 minutes against the team predicted to finish last in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and the Greyhounds paid for it with a 66-55 loss to Saint Peter's.

It was no way to start MAAC play, as Loyola (4-3, 0-1) begins a four-game road swing at Manhattan tomorrow and doesn't return to Reitz Arena until Jan. 2.

"You play how you practice, and we practiced bad all week," said Patsos, Loyola's third-year coach. "I learned a lesson tonight. Our program has had so little success, and I should have reminded them of where we were coming from, rather than praising them for winning two straight."

Down by 14 points early in the second half, Loyola got a lift from Gerald Brown (Douglass) and Michael Tuck during a 13-0 run that had it within a basket, but Patsos got a momentum-deflating technical foul, and the Greyhounds scored just one basket in a 14-minute span.

Patsos was concerned about the focus of his leading scorer before the game, as he benched junior guard Brown at the start for academic issues. Loyola took an early 7-2 lead, then decided to observe the semester break early, as Saint Peter's took control with 15 straight points to take a 27-15 lead.

How disgusted was Patsos during that stretch? He put on his sportscoat, and during a second quick timeout brought in five new players, one being seldom-used walk-on Sal Gaetani.

Loyola got called for at least three illegal screens, but Patsos didn't blame the officiating crew that slapped him with a technical with 14:55 remaining.

At the time, the Greyhounds had the ball and trailed by three. They had one more chance to tie the score with a three-pointer, but every Greyhound went cold, and breakdowns on the defensive boards led to a series of second chances for the Peacocks.

Brown, who turned a knee and was gimpy in the last 12 minutes, scored 25 points and Tuck had 12. Those two combined to make 12 of their 29 shots. Their teammates took as many and made only six. Sophomore guard Marquis Sullivan didn't score in the last 31 minutes.

Loyola last scored fewer than 55 points in February 2005.

The Greyhounds' 31.0 percent shooting - including 5-for-30 from three-point range - was nothing new against Saint Peter's (3-5, 1-0). The Peacocks had to replace two-time NCAA scoring champion Keydren Clark, but they had been stout at the defensive end during the four-game losing streak they brought to Reitz.

Raul Orta, a junior wing out of Puerto Rico, led Saint Peter's with 19 points.

"Three of their guys started in the [MAAC tournament] final last season, and they know the meaning of emotion," Patsos said. "We're an immature team. We won two games on TV, everyone told us we were great, and we believed that. That is my fault."

paul.mcmullen@baltsun.com

SAINT PETER'S-Martin 3-5 2-2 9, Sowell 5-6 3-6 13, Orta 5-9 8-10 19, Spann 4-8 7-12 16, Spitler 1-7 2-4 4, Brock 0-6 0-0 0, Graham 0-0 0-0 0, Gore 2-4 0-0 5, Reeves 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 20-47 22-34 66. LOYOLA-Alujevic 0-6 2-2 2, Fofana 1-2 1-2 3, Harvey 2-8 0-1 5, Sullivan 1-6 0-0 3, James 2-5 1-3 5, Brown 7-18 8-11 25, Manning 0-2 0-0 0, Gaetani 0-0 0-0 0, Ficke 0-0 0-0 0, Wright 0-0 0-0 0, Tuck 5-11 2-2 12. Totals 18-58 14-21 55. Half-Saint Peter's, 33-20. 3-point goals-Saint Peter's 4-16 (Gore 1-2, Martin 1-3, Spann 1-3, Orta 1-3, Spitler 0-1, Reeves 0-2, Brock 0-2), Loyola 5-30 (Brown 3-11, Harvey 1-4, Sullivan 1-6, James 0-1, Tuck 0-1, Manning 0-2, Alujevic 0-5). Fouled out-James, Tuck. Rebounds-Saint Peter's 42 (Spitler 11), Loyola 36 (Fofana 8). Assists-Saint Peter's 8 (Spann 3), Loyola 11 (Harvey 5). Total fouls-Saint Peter's 20, Loyola 24. A-2,315.

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