Greyhounds edge Siena at home

Former Douglass star Brown has first double double and hits game-winning free throws

Loyola 72 Siena 71

January 30, 2007|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN REPORTER

Jimmy Patsos had lucky shoes on his feet, blood on his sweat-soaked shirt and admiration in his heart for his Loyola College team last night.

The Greyhounds and their coach gutted out a 72-71 win over Siena at Reitz Arena, solidifying their unlikely hold on first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Loyola (13-8, 9-2) had lost its past two home games, so Patsos changed everything from his footwear to his game-day routine to his strategy.

For the first time this season, he used only seven players. The Greyhounds had their worst shooting night from the field (40.6 percent) in a win, and their kismet extended to local product Kenny Hasbrouck missing three shots in the final minute that would have won it for Siena (11-10, 6-5).

"Siena has been one of the best programs in the league, they had won here six years in a row," said Patsos, who opened a small cut on his ring finger while revving his team and fans through a harrowing game. "We play with zero distractions on the road. That's not the case here."

The usual suspects delivered for Loyola, which was picked to finish fifth in the MAAC, but it was still an unusual effort.

Junior guard Gerald Brown (Douglass) scored the winning points on a pair of free throws with 1:04 left. The conference's leading scorer was limited to five field goals and 18 points, but with leading rebounder Michael Tuck out with an ankle injury, Brown got a career-high 12 and his first college double double.

Junior forward Omari Isreal had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and sophomore guard Marquis Sullivan (Archbishop Spalding) had 20 points on a career-high six three-pointers.

Hasbrouck, who played at Cardinal Gibbons and was the MAAC Rookie of the Year last season, missed a long three with 23 seconds left. The Greyhounds rebounded and got the ball to Sullivan, an 89.7 percent free-throw shooter. He hurried it to Isreal, who barely makes half of his, but before Siena could foul him, the Notre Dame transfer missed a layup.

The Saints got the rebound, but Hasbrouck missed a foul-line jumper with five seconds left and a three from the left corner at the buzzer.

"It felt good," Hasbrouck said.

Three weeks after it won at Siena in overtime, Loyola specialized in making shots that had a high degree of difficulty, as reserve guard Shane James had an improbable put-back that put the Greyhounds ahead to stay with 8:50 left and freshman point guard Brett Harvey had two huge threes down the stretch.

It all rescued Patsos, who fretted that his eighth technical of the season nearly became the difference.

"I owe cystic fibrosis $800," Patsos said, of a foundation he donates to every time he loses his cool. "That's OK."

paul.mcmullen@baltsun.com

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