Loyola takes a stand by beating St. Peter's; Rowe and Platt combine for 39 in 86-61 victory, first at Reitz since Dec. 19


The Loyola College basketball team finally stood up yesterday and chased away the Reitz Arena demons in rousing fashion.

The Greyhounds wiped out a perplexing home-court jinx with an impressive 86-61 victory over St. Peter's in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game that let the rest of the league know that explosive point guard Jason Rowe and his teammates still can play with the MAAC's upper-echelon teams.

It was Loyola's first win this season over a top-five MAAC team and ran its recent surge to 5-2. The victory cooled off the Peacocks (10-12, 8-6), who had won five of their previous six.

Before yesterday, Loyola (10-12, 4-10) had not won a home game since Dec. 19 when it beat Mount St. Mary's. The Greyhounds, who had been picked for fifth in the MAAC preseason poll, took a 3-7 home record into yesterday's game.

"No matter what our record is or how we're playing, no one wants to play us because they don't know which Loyola team will show up," said Rowe, who combined with Roderick Platt for 39 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals. "They fear us. We have to realize the fear in other teams and go after them."

Rowe was much more under control the entire game than he has been in some other outings and finished with 21 points, seven assists, four steals and two rebounds. The junior had only two turnovers in 31 minutes.

"I've gone back to watching videotape lately, and it's helped me a lot," Rowe said. "I roomed with Mike Powell last year, and we watched a lot of tape. But I kind of got away from it this season, and I was getting too excited out there and making bad decisions."

Rowe credited coach Dino Gaudio with a strategy adjustment that helped the Greyhounds overcome the bigger Peacocks' first-half domination on the boards.

"He sent two guys down to box out on the weak side, and we out-rebounded them [21-14] in the second half," Rowe said.

Platt, a 6-foot-10, 265-pound senior, had a career-high five assists to go with 18 points and nine rebounds.

When it was jokingly suggested that Platt might be in the running for some time at point guard with those five assists, Rowe said: "Don't tell him that. That's the worst thing anybody can tell him."

Platt said with a smile, "Maybe I could be a point guard."

And maybe Loyola has solved its home-court problem.

"I think we've taken it easier at home and relaxed too much," Platt said.

Gaudio said: "This is the team that played on the road the last five games and won four of them. The whole key is getting more than two guys [Rowe and Platt] playing well."

Freshman Loyola guard Anthony Walker had one of his better games yesterday with 13 points in 26 minutes. Blanchard Hurd and Ryan Blosser each scored eight points in the balanced attack.

ST. PETER'S -- Sellers 4-8 0-2 9, McQueen 2-2 0-0 4, Holmes 2-6 0-2 4, Bellinger 6-14 0-0 14, Allen 3-10 0-0 6, Rodgers 2-5 2-5 7, Johnson 2-4 0-0 4, Orr 2-6 0-0 4, Brown 2-4 1-2 5, Spencer 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 27-64 3-11 61.

LOYOLA -- Blosser 2-5 2-2 8, Hurd 4-7 0-2 8, Platt 7-10 4-6 18, Walker 5-9 0-0 13, Rowe 8-13 2-3 21, Nasiou 1-2 0-0 2, Mack 0-1 0-0 0, Strong 3-6 3-4 9, Jenifer 1-2 1-1 3, Boffa 0-2 0-0 0, Adams 1-1 0-0 3, Amoss 0-0 0-0 0, Barley 0-0 0-0 0, Miller 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 32-58 13-20 86.

Halftime--Loyola, 37-27. 3-point goals--St. Peter's 4-18 (Sellers 1-4, Bellinger 2-4, Allen 0-6, Rodgers 1-2, Orr 0-2), Loyola 9-17 (Blosser 2-3, Walker 3-6, Rowe 3-6, Boffa 0-1, Adams 1-1). Fouled out--Holmes. Rebounds--St. Peter's 39 (Holmes 9), Loyola 35 (Platt 9). Assists--St. Peter's 15 (Allen 7), Loyola 22 (Rowe 7). Total fouls--St. Peter's 18, Loyola, 35. A--1,132.

Pub Date: 2/08/99

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