No. 2 Gaels start slowly but pull away to beat Dons, 64-37, in basketball

December 23, 2013|From Sun staff reports

No. 2 Mount St. Joseph got off to a sluggish start, which suited visiting Loyola just fine.

But the Gaels found their offensive rhythm in the second half of Sunday's basketball game and won, 64-37.

The Dons (3-6, 1-4 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference) used a 2-3 zone to frustrate the Mount St. Joseph shooters. Neither team shot above 30 percent in the first half.

Ryan Conrad gave Loyola a 4-3 lead with a pair of free throws with 4:55 left in the first quarter. But two steals by Mount St. Joseph (11-2, 4-2), including a dunk by Villanova-bound Phil Booth (15 points), gave the Gaels a 7-4 lead.

In the second quarter, both teams continued to string together empty possessions, missing shots at the rim and on the perimeter. Loyola tied Mount St.Joseph at 18, but the Gaels went on a 6-1 run over the final 38.7 seconds to take a 24-19 lead at halftime.

Loyola started the third quarter with a 4-0 run and pulled to within a possession, 24-21, with five minutes left in the quarter. But, again Mount St. Joseph answered with an 11-2 run. The run started with a 3-pointer by Booth and four fast-break points by the Gaels, including a dunk by Jordan McNeil, who, along with Kyle Doran, finished with game-high 17 points.

Mount St. Joseph led 35-26 with 3:32 left in the quarter. Andrew Fava (nine points) made the second of his three 3-pointers to pull Loyola within 35-29. But another pair of turnovers by the Dons and three fast-break points by the Gaels pushed the lead up to 38-29 with 1:45 left in the third quarter.

Loyola would commit three more turnovers in a row, and the quarter ended with McNeil finishing at the rim at the buzzer for a 45-29 Mount St.Joseph lead. The Dons would be outscored 19-8 in the final frame.

L—Fava 9, Fields 7, Conrad 6, Plunkett 6, Clark 5, Williams 3. Totals 10 11-14 37.

MSJ—Doran 17, McNeil 17, Booth 15, Adams 4, Thurston 4, Barnes 2, Miller 2, Wear 2, Doles. Totals 24 12-16 646. Half: MSJ, 24-19.

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