The Loyola College Greyhounds ended the 2008-2009 regular season with a 70-63 win at Iona this afternoon. The ‘Hounds trailed by two, 56-54, with under seven minutes remaining, but emphatically ended the game on a 16-7 run, to end what was a seven game losing streak.
Loyola shot an even 50% from the field (22/44) and were led by freshman Anthony Winbush, whom had best game of his young career. The 6’7 forward from Alexandria, Virginia set new personal bests with 17 points and 3 made 3-point field goals. Marquis Sullivan, playing in his last regular season game of his career in Green and Grey, chipped in with 14. The tag-team duo of point guards, Brett Harvey and Brian Rudolph, knocked in 10 and 9 apiece. Those guys needed to pick up the slack offensively because Loyola and the MAAC’s leading scorer, Jamal Barney, did not appear in the contest… I’ll try to keep everyone posted as to why that was the case.
The win gives Loyola an ending overall record 12-19 which includes a final mark of 7-11 in MAAC play. It turns out their 7-11 is only good enough for an 8th place conference finish, as the Greyhounds lost the head-to-head 7th place tie-breaker with Iona. Loyola needed Manhattan to defeat St. Peter’s to create a three-way tie for 6th at 7-11 and it would’ve ended like this: 6. St. Peter’s, 7. Loyola, and 8. Iona. However, Wesley Jenkins, St. Peter’s high scoring guard nailed a 3-ball with 1 second left to propel his team to an outright hold of the #6.
Next up for #8 Loyola will be #9 Canisius in the Opening Round of the MAAC Tournament on Friday night at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York.
The way the tournament seedings break down, the difference between the #6, #7, and #8 could be huge.
The #6 is the most favorable because you get a straight pass to the conference quarter-finals Saturday afternoon, in this case St. Peter’s will take on #3 Rider.
Loyola’s fate came down today to the #7 or #8, both are forced to partake in Friday’s ‘play-in’ games, but the reason #7 is very valuable this year is because after a potential win for both on Friday… the strength of a dominant #1 in Siena will be waiting for the #8 on Saturday in their home arena. In my opinion – which isn’t going out on a limb, is that Loyola would have had a better chance of a surprising run to the semis if they had to play #2 Niagara.
Oh the MAAC.