Loyola's hot spell comes to a chilling conclusion Niagara, 12-0 deficit prove too much to overcome


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Loyola's quarterfinal game in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament began an hour behind schedule Saturday night. And unfortunately for the Greyhounds, they also got a late start.

Loyola (13-14), which had been the hottest team in the MAAC over the past month, fell to Niagara, 53-43, at the Marine Midland Arena. The Greyhounds never overcame an early, 12-0 deficit.

Loyola's top three players had subpar games. Senior forward Anthony Smith put up two air balls and shot 3-for-12. Mike Powell, an all-MAAC guard, didn't score in the first half and threw a lob pass off the back of the rim in the second. Jason Rowe, an all-rookie selection from Buffalo, didn't score in the first 39 minutes and committed a season-high nine turnovers.

"He wanted to do so well for Buffalo, and he took himself out of the game," Loyola coach Brian Ellerbe said. "Defensively, we didn't play awful, but you can't win anything scoring 43 points."

The Greyhounds entered the MAAC in 1989, and only once have they survived the first round.

In 1994, the Greyhounds posted several stirring upsets that earned the school its only bid to the NCAA Division I tournament.

Niagara (11-16) had lost 11 of its past 14 games in the regular season.

Pub Date: 3/03/97

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