Loyola College's latest loss at Reitz Arena last night came down to two key plays in the closing two minutes of a physical battle with Canisius.
Canisius executed one of the plays perfectly for a spinning layup in the lane by Darren Fenn, but Loyola completely botched its crucial play and went on to lose, 80-76, in an important Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game.
Fenn gave Canisius a 74-72 lead with 1: 22 left with his determined move and Loyola came down court with a play designed to go to Blanchard Hurd inside for a tying basket.
Hurd was holding the hot hand in the second half for the Greyhounds, prompting coach Dino Gaudio to call his number.
However, the ball never got close to Hurd, as senior center Roderick Platt tried to pass to point guard Jason Rowe, who was flashing through the lane.
Canisius was waiting for the little underhanded pass by Platt, and Jamie Cammaert stole the ball to protect the two-point lead, ending a three-game winning streak by Loyola, which also had won six of its last seven.
The Cammaert steal prompted Rowe to foul Kevin Worley with 41 seconds left and Worley hit both free throws for a 76-72 lead. Worley is the best free-throw shooter for Canisius at 85.9 percent, prompting some second-guessing on Rowe's decision.
"Anything can happen when a guy goes to the line," said Rowe, who led Loyola with 17 points, eight assists and two steals. "I had to foul soon and I took my chances."
After the two Worley free throws, Rowe tried to bring back the Greyhounds (12-13, 6-11) with a three-point shot but the ball rimmed the basket and fell off with 30 seconds left.
That was the end of Loyola's hopes, leaving the Greyhounds with the prospect of playing one of the two first-round games in the MAAC tournament Feb. 26.
"It was the same old mental mistakes that beat us," said Rowe, whose Hounds are 5-8 at home. "But we have to understand we played an outstanding Canisius team tough and can play with anybody in this league. We just have to keep our heads up for the tourney."
Another key to the victory by Canisius (15-10, 11-6) was a 22-9 edge at the foul line in the loosely officiated game.
Gaudio said: "We lost to a very good Canisius team because we didn't execute our half-court offense, didn't play good transition defense and they had a big advantage at the line."
Hurd wound up with 16 points for Loyola, and Fenn led the winners with 19 points.
CANISIUS -- Cammeaert 6-12 3-4 15, Bentick 1-1 0-0 3, Fenn 9-14 1-2 19, Worley 2-4 6-6 12, Lambkin 2-9 7-9 11, Sawyers 0-1 0-0 0, Barnhill 4-7 2-3 11, McClure 2-6 3-3 9, Jackson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-54 22-27 80.
LOYOLA -- Carroll 4-9 1-4 9, Hurd 7-10 2-2 16, Platt 3-8 2-2 8, Walker 5-12 0-0 14, Rowe 7-18 2-3 17, Blosser 1-1 0-0 2, Strong 0-2 1-2 1, Jenifer 4-6 1-2 9. Totals 31-66 9-15 76.
Halftime--Canisius, 39-35. 3-point goals--C 6-18 (Cammaert 0-4, Bentick 1-1, Worley 2-4, Lambkin 0-3, Barnhill 1-2, McClure 2-4); L 5-20 (Carroll 0-1, Walker 4-10, Rowe 1-9). Fouled out--Hurd. Rebounds--C 31 (Fenn 8); L 35 (Platt 12). Assists--C 15 (Cammaert, Lambkin 4); L 13 (Rowe 8). Total fouls--C 18; L 20. A--1,607.
Pub Date: 2/19/99