It’s all very simple, it should have never come down to the last possession.
The Loyola College Greyhounds led Rider on Senior Night by 13 at the half and all was well. The home crowd was buzzing having just watched their team put on an offensive display that seemed almost shocking at the time. After all, Loyola putting up 47 points at halftime is a rather big, big deal.
However, Rider would answer and 9 minutes into the second half the lead was completely gone. The two teams played very evenly once Rider got back into the contest and it all came down to the last 41 seconds. Loyola had the ball and just called a timeout with 24 seconds on the shot clock. In the huddle, you know Coach Jimmy Patsos was telling his team to get a quick shot, so the ‘Hounds could get 2 possessions in the last 41 seconds, including the last.
The ball started in the hands of Marquis Sullivan on the left wing, he then fed a post-entry pass to Isaac Reid, and surprisingly Sullivan’s man, Harris Mansell, left the senior sharp-shooter to double the post. Reid then flipped the ball back to Sullivan and the jumper was in the air. Shot up…back rim, no good… long rebound… goes to Jamal Barney… Greyhound basketball, 20 seconds left, shot clock off — tie game.
As the crowd anxiously awaited on their feet, Loyola sophomore point guard Brian Rudolph waited for the clock to tick down, then made his move with about 6 second left… he drove hard down the left side of the lane… off-balance shot with his right hand… once again, no good… ball caroms of two would-be rebounders all the way back to the three-point line and into the hands of Rider… less than 2 seconds left… up-court pass to a streaking Ryan Thompson heading straight towards the rim… finger roll… off back iron… ball soars straight up in the air… and seconds later falls through the net. Rider’s players and coaches explode of the bench in excitement… but wait.
Was the shot out of Thompson’s hands when regulation had ended? Should the game be headed to OT? The refs conferred with one another for about 10 seconds before one referee signaled for a made field goal, and like that the game was over. The game was not televised, so there was no monitor for the officials to check to see if they had made the correct call. By a count of 77-75, Rider extended Loyola’s losing streak to 7 and spoiled what was a great Senior Night for Greyhounds fans .
But that was just the game. Afterward during the post-game handshakes, pushing and shoving between the two team ensued. Cooler heads would preview, but needless to say, it was an ugly and controversial way for this one to end.
However, the only one’s Loyola has to blame are themselves. On your own court, you can’t be outscored by 15 points in the second half and expect to come away with a win… it just doesn’t happen.
I’ll have more tomorrow… goodnight folks.