Brown's 33 power Greyhounds

Late free throws help Loyola hold off MAAC favorite

Loyola 77 Marist 69

January 03, 2007|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Reporter

Sight unseen, Loyola guard Gerald Brown was a third-team preseason all-star in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Given the clutch manner in which Brown performed in last night's 77-69 conquest of visiting Marist, his stock was extremely undervalued.

The junior transfer from Providence scored 33 points, collected six rebounds and had three steals to rescue the reeling Greyhounds and vanquish the MAAC favorite.

"That's my biggest win since 2002," said Brown, referring to the state title he won that year for Douglass High.

It was all done on a tender left knee, which Brown aggravated Dec. 27 in a loss at Northwestern. He remained at that university's medical center for an examination the next day, while his teammates took a bus to Michigan State, where he joined them in time for another loss Saturday.

"The Northwestern doctors wanted to do it right," Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos said. "Besides, Gerald doesn't need to be on the bus with me, watching Chariots of Fire. Our guys were mad about going 0-2 on a Big Ten trip. That's probably the first time that's ever happened to a Loyola College team."

Patsos, in his third season with the Greyhounds, declined to call it his biggest victory at Evergreen, but while they were among the Division I dregs when they upset Niagara two years ago, now they're a contender in the MAAC.

Freshman point guard Brett Harvey was just as tough as Green, as he neutralized MAAC preseason Player of the Year Jared Jordan, who had 10 assists but needed 13 shots to get 10 points, nine below his average.

Harvey grew up an hour from the Marist campus and was primed for Jordan. So were all of the Greyhounds, as Brown's steal and three-pointer gave them a 57-39 lead with 11:28 remaining.

Brown cooled after Will Whittington began to deny him the ball. That was vital to a 17-3 run that brought the Red Foxes to within 64-61 with 4:03 left, but Brown produced the play of the game on the next possession.

With the shot clock winding down, Brown made an off-balance three-pointer over 6-foot-8 Ryan Stilphen. It was the only field goal Loyola scored in the last six minutes, until Harvey stripped Jordan and fed Omari Isreal for an easy two with 26 seconds left.

"Gerald had a hell of a game," Marist coach Matt Brady said. "He made the mid-range jump shot, and I hadn't prepared our guys for that. We wanted to take away the drive and take away the three, but he had a lot of catch and shoot."

The Greyhounds made enough free throws late to improve to 6-6, 2-1 in the MAAC. Disrupting Jordan extended to the Greyhounds' big men, as Isreal drew a huge player control foul from him in transition. The transfer from Notre Dame and Josko Alujevic combined for 23 points.

Marist (10-4, 2-1) had won seven of eight before last night. While the Red Foxes were host to a tournament last week, Loyola was playing at Reitz Arena for the first time since Dec. 8, when it had begun MAAC play with an uninspired loss to Saint Peter's.

One of the worst defensive teams in the nation last season, Loyola limited Marist to 25 percent shooting in the first 16 minutes, when the Greyhounds took a 29-13 lead. The Red Foxes cut it to 34-26 at the break.

It was another game, another rotation for the Greyhounds, as center Hassan Fofana watched on crutches, but Michael Tuck rejoined them after resting his knee tendinitis at Michigan State.

Fofana injured his ankle the night Isreal joined the Greyhounds. Fofana underwent surgery last week, and is out indefinitely.

MARIST-Farmer 1-6 1-2 4, Stilphen 5-8 8-8 18, Smith 4-10 1-2 10, Whittington 6-14 2-3 19, Jordan 5-13 0-0 12, McNamara 1-1 0-1 2, Benjamin 1-3 2-2 4, Carter 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-56 14-18 69. LOYOLA-Isreal 4-8 2-5 10, Alujevic 4-6 4-6 13, Brown 11-21 8-9 33, Harvey 2-6 0-0 6, Sullivan 3-8 0-0 7, Manning 1-1 0-0 3, James 0-1 0-0 0, Wright 0-0 0-0 0, Tuck 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 27-55 14-20 77. Half-Loyola, 34-26. 3-point goals-Marist 9-27 (Whittington 5-13, Jordan 2-3, Smith 1-4, Farmer 1-6, Carter 0-1), Loyola 9-26 (Brown 3-8, Harvey 2-6, Manning 1-1, Tuck 1-2, Alujevic 1-3, Sullivan 1-5, James 0-1). Fouled out-Tuck. Rebounds-Marist 32 (Jordan 10); Loyola 32 (Brown 6). Assists-Marist 16 (Jordan 10); Loyola 20 (Harvey 6). Total fouls-Marist 21, Loyola 22. A-1,852.

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