Hairston in the zone as Towson tops Loyola

Transfer sparks Tigers with 26 points, 21 rebounds in opener

Towson 83 Loyola 69

November 10, 2007|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun reporter

As opening games go, Towson's 83-69 win over Loyola last night was a best-case, worst-case scenario.

Best case: Towson flashed a menacing 1-3-1 zone defense and turned Junior Hairston loose inside for a 26-point, 21-rebound debut at Towson Center.

Worst case: Loyola took 29 three-point shots, went long stretches without a field goal and was out-rebounded by 15.

Towson coach Pat Kennedy called it the biggest win of his five-year term, while Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos labeled it the most disappointing game of his five years.

"It was an outstanding effort by Junior Hairston," Patsos said. "He wanted it more than we did. This is the most disappointed I've been in a Loyola team in four years. It was my fault. What happened in the hustle stats was my fault. That will change."

The Greyhounds, who went 18-13 last season, had no answers for Towson's zone defense or Hairston, who sat out last season after transferring from Charleston.

"I've been waiting for this for a while," said Hairston, who is 6 feet 8. "I was itching [to play] all year."

Hairston hit 10 of 15 shots, grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and blocked three shots in 38 minutes. Rocky Coleman scored 15 points, Rodney Spruill (Walbrook) added 12 and C.C. Williams had seven assists despite a wrenched back he suffered in the first half.

Tony Durant was in the middle and Hairston and Spruill on the wings of the 1-3-1 zone. "They have great wingspan," Kennedy said.

What Kennedy liked most was the balance on defense and offense. "That was just a great team victory," he said. "That was the biggest win we've had since I've been here."

Even though the score was tied at 49 with 12:30 left, and Loyola had led at 47-46, Patsos said the Greyhounds lost the game in the first four minutes when they missed their first nine shots and watched Towson take a 16-4 lead.

"Guilty as charged; we took too many threes," Patsos said.

"We didn't go inside enough against the 1-3-1," Loyola's Michael Tuck said.

Loyola was tied at 49 with 12:30 left, then went scoreless the next 3:55.

Even with that, the Greyhounds were within 73-69 with 2:33 to play. But Towson scored the last nine points, six at the foul line, to put the game away.

ken.murray@baltsun.com

LOYOLA-Isreal 2-4 2-2 6, Fofana 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 5-13 5-7 17, Sullivan 6-13 1-1 16, Miles 4-12 1-2 11, Reid 0-0 2-2 2, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Harvey 3-6 0-0 9, Ficke 0-0 0-0 0, Rudolph 0-2 2-2 2, Kelly 0-0 0-0 0, Tuck 3-6 0-0 6. Totals 23-57 13-16 69. TOWSON-Spruill 4-13 3-6 12, Hairston 10-15 5-7 26, Durant 3-10 3-3 9, Williams 2-8 0-0 4, Coleman 5-8 3-4 15, Crossin 0-2 4-5 4, Nwankwo 0-0 0-0 0, Pease 3-4 1-3 9, Raboin 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 29-64 19-28 83. Half-Towson, 31-29. 3-point goals-Loyola 10-29 (Harvey 3-5, Sullivan 3-8, Brown 2-6, Miles 2-7, Rudolph 0-1, Tuck 0-2), Towson 6-21 (Pease 2-3, Coleman 2-4, Hairston 1-2, Spruill 1-5, Crossin 0-2, Williams 0-2, Durant 0-3). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Loyola 30 (Isreal 7), Towson 45 (Hairston 21). Assists-Loyola 15 (Brown 5), Towson 19 (Williams 7). Total fouls-Loyola 22, Towson 16. A-3,417.

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