Loyola misses shot at title

The Baltimore Sun

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Oh, what might have been.

Loyola's hopes of a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season championship ended yesterday as the Greyhounds fell to host Marist, 82-64, at the James J. McCann Recreation Center.

"I'm really proud of our program," said Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos, who was called for a technical foul midway through the first half, one of four technicals - each team was assessed two - on the day. "It's just a really tough place to play."

A win would have secured the Greyhounds the conference's regular-season title and the top seed in the MAAC tournament, which starts Friday at the Times Union Center in Albany

With the loss, Loyola (18-13, 12-6 MAAC) slipped to the No. 4 seed in the MAAC tournament, setting up a quarterfinal game with No. 5 Fairfield (14-15, 11-7) on Saturday at 2:15 p.m.

Loyola entered yesterday tied with Siena and Rider for the lead in the MAAC, but the Greyhounds owned all the tie-breakers with the Saints and Broncs, guaranteeing the regular-season crown if those three teams all won yesterday.

Siena beat Saint Peter's, 77-64, and Rider scored an 87-59 triumph over Fairfield before the Greyhounds and Red Foxes even took the floor in the MAAC's final game of the regular season. With Loyola's loss, Siena grabbed the regular-season title and top seed in the MAAC tournament, followed by Rider, Niagara and the Greyhounds.

"If you want to win this thing, you have to beat the best teams. Marist went to the NIT last year," said Patsos, alluding to the Red Foxes' 2006-07 regular-season title. "You have to make some shots. ... I thought we didn't make some plays we should have."

Trailing 38-32 at halftime, the Greyhounds cut the Red Foxes' lead to two on four occasions, the last coming at 56-54 with 10:21 to play. From there, though, Ben Farmer (20 points) and David Devezin (14 points) hit back-to-back three-pointers to build Marist's lead.

The Red Foxes (17-13, 11-7) later scored 10 straight points to put the game away. Loyola trailed by as many as 19 points.

Averaging 19.1 points heading into yesterday, senior guard Gerald Brown (Douglass) was held to 10 points in 27 minutes.

"They made some shots down the stretch, and that was the difference," said junior guard Marquis Sullivan, who led Loyola with 20 points. "It's one game. There's really nothing we can do about it now."

LOYOLA-Isreal 3-6 1-4 7, Tuck 6-10 0-0 12, Brown 3-11 3-5 10, Harvey 0-5 2-2 2, Rudolph 4-12 0-0 9, Lewis 1-3 0-0 2, Sullivan 6-8 2-2 20, Manning 1-4 0-0 2, Ficke 0-0 0-0 0, Fofana 0-1 0-0 0, Kelly 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-61 8-13 64. MARIST-McNamara 2-2 0-0 4, Stilphen 3-5 4-7 10, Benjamin 6-12 5-6 17, McCroskey 1-6 1-2 3, Farmer 6-10 3-4 20, Gavin 4-10 2-2 13, Keegan 0-0 1-2 1, Goodwin 0-0 0-0 0, Devezin 5-7 3-6 14, Anthony 0-0 0-0 0, Schneider 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-54 19-29 82. Half-M 38-32. 3-point goals-L 8-20 (Sullivan 6-8, Brown 1-2, Rudolph 1-3, Lewis 0-1, Tuck 0-2, Manning 0-2, Harvey 0-2), M 9-18 (Farmer 5-6, Gavin 3-8, Devezin 1-2, McCroskey 0-2). Fouled out-Brown. Rebounds-L 31 (Brown, Tuck 7), M 42 (Benjamin 13). Assists-L 8 (Rudolph 6), M 10 (Devezin 4). Total fouls-L 21, M 16. Technicals-Brown, Loyola Bench, Farmer, McCroskey. A-2,455.

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