Loyola ends up short and falls to Manhattan

February 07, 2009 |

The Loyola College men’s hoops team went on a 16-4 run late in Saturday evening’s MAAC match up with Manhattan, but the Jaspers were able to hang on late and pick up a huge road win 72-65 in Baltimore.  The loss is the Greyhounds’ second consecutive and drops them under .500 in league play at 6-7 and to 11-14 overall.

It seemed as though Loyola had completely bottomed out with 5:47 left to play in front of their home fans, but they were able to turn it on with smothering defensive intensity and with a Marquis Sullivan 3-ball the Greyhounds found themselves down just 1 with 1:28 left to play.  During the run Coach Jimmy Patsos used a lineup featuring a 6’4 Brad Farrell as its tallest player.

Give him his credit when it’s due… Coach P. pushed the right button sacrificing size and muscle for shooting range and quickness in employing an effective full court press.  On the floor for Loyola during the run was Rudolph, Harvey, Barney, Sullivan, and Farrell.

However how many times have we seen  a team come all the way back late, but can’t for whatever reason, be it fatigue, time, or whatever, get the game tied or go ahead.

Farrell knocked down a pair of FT’s with 23 seconds left to pull Loyola within 2 at 67-65 but that would be the closest the ‘Hounds would get under a minute.  As Farrell’s second free throw was in the process of tickling twine Manhattan guard Chris Smith broke the length of the floor beating the Loyola defense and was hit in stride with a long touchdown pass.  Smith went up strong, Brian Rudolph would catch-up, but Smith (younger brother of J.R.) dunked with one hand and ended any chance of a comeback.

Coming of a 28% shooting performance at Fairfield Sunday, the Greyhounds’ offense once again struggled to get on track.  Most glaring tonight was the 13 free throws they missed.  Going 18-31 from the line is never acceptable; leaving that many points on the table is deadly and especially frustrating considering Loyola leads the MAAC and ranks in the top 20 nationally in FT%.

Sullivan, the senior guard, drained 5 triples and led four teammates in double figures with 15.  Farrell and the MAAC’s leading scorer Jamal Barney had 12 while Brett Harvey chipped in 11 off the bench.

Both Loyola and Manhattan were tied coming into the contest with a MAAC record of 6-6.  The loss knocks them down to a sixth place tie with Iona.

Loyola will now go on the road Monday night and take on conference heavyweight Siena.  The Saints were handed their first MAAC loss Saturday at Rider after running off 12 straight to start the season.  The ‘Hounds can play with them, for whatever reason they match up relatively well.  Last season Loyola beat them 2 out of 3 while earlier this year a more talented and veteran Saint team had to scratch for a close road win at Reitz. Tip time will be 7pm.