Collins, 'Hounds rally, clinch winning season


Andre Collins has led the Loyola offense all season. He came through again yesterday, helping rescue the Greyhounds in a game in which the offense constantly struggled.

Collins scored a game-high 25 points and sparked a second-half rally that helped Loyola clinch its first winning season in 12 years with a come-from-behind 59-54 victory over Canisius in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game before 2,551 at Reitz Arena.

This was the regular-season finale for both teams, who will meet again Friday at 9:15 p.m. in the first round of the MAAC tournament in Albany, N.Y. Loyola has a 15-12 record (8-10 in the conference) and will be the sixth seed. Canisius (8-19, 6-12) ended up ninth.

Collins played a big role in several ways during the Senior Day game. After the Greyhounds turned in a lackluster effort that helped Canisius take a 28-20 halftime lead, Collins spoke up in the locker room.

"Senior Day is a funny day," said Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos, who got his 13th technical foul in the first half. "It's kind of a melancholy day. Andre just said that we can't let all these people down -- and we've got 20 minutes left."

Collins personally took charge by sparking a 13-0 run that gave Loyola a 44-34 lead with 9:06 left. He made a three-point jumper while falling down, hit another outside shot and added an assist plus a pass that helped set up another basket. Collins had a direct hand in nine of the 13 points and scored 14 in the second half.

The Greyhounds forced three turnovers during that run and often forced the Golden Griffins to take shots from farther away. Loyola also got most of the rebounds during that stretch and set up several open outside shots.

"We settled down, and that was big," Collins said. "We started getting a lot of points off of our defense, which came up big."

The defense controlled the boards in the second half and held a 26-14 edge in rebounds. But the offense awoke after a shaky first half when Loyola went just 8-for-31 from the field.

Marquis Sullivan went 3-for-3 on three-pointers and scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half. Michael Tuck scored all 11 of his points in the final 20 minutes.

Collins, Sullivan and Tuck combined to score 35 of the team's 39 second-half points. Loyola made five of 10 three-pointers after missing 14 of 18 in the first half.

Kevin Downey (16 points) , Chuck Harris (13 points) and Darnell Wilson (eight points, eight blocks) helped keep Canisius close. The Golden Griffins cut the lead to two once and four three times, but Collins kept making plays.

"We got a little impatient and took some bad shots during the [13-point] run," said Canisius coach Mike MacDonald. "Collins is just a great player. He made senior plays."

CANISIUS--Wilson 3-6 2-2 8, Downey 6-16 4-8 16, Harris 4-11 3-3 13, Young 1-5 1-2 3, Popofski 2-7 1-2 7, Matti 1-2 0-0 2, Wackerly 0-0 0-0 0, Byrd 1-5 3-3 5, Hanley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-52 14-20 54. LOYOLA--Farrell 2-9 0-0 4, Alujevic 0-5 0-0 0, Fofana 2-4 2-4 6, Collins 9-23 2-3 25, Sullivan 4-9 1-2 13, Stanback 0-0 0-0 0, Manning 0-0 0-0 0, James 0-2 0-0 0, Wright 0-0 0-0 0, Tuck 4-11 3-6 11. Totals 21-63 8-15 59. Halftime--Canisius 28-20. 3-point goals--Canisius 4-20 (Popofski 2-6, Harris 2-6, Byrd 0-1, Young 0-1, Downey 0-6), Loyola 9-28 (Collins 5-13, Sullivan 4-9, James 0-1, Farrell 0-1, Alujevic 0-2, Tuck 0-2). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--Canisius 36 (Wilson 8), Loyola 44 (Tuck 8). Assists--Canisius 10 (Downey 3), Loyola 11 (Collins 4). Total fouls--Canisius 15, Loyola 16. A--2,551.

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