'Hounds lose big lead, shot at title

The Baltimore Sun

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The third time was not the charm for the Loyola men's basketball team.

Siena overcame a 17-point first-half deficit for a 65-63 victory in yesterday's semifinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament at Times Union Center.

Josh Duell made the winning basket on a layup from the right side with 20 seconds left in the game for the top-seeded Saints (21-10), who suffered two regular-season losses to Loyola.

Senior Omari Isreal, who recorded a double double with 18 rebounds and 12 points, got off a last shot with 1.1 seconds remaining but came up short.

"Of course I am disappointed," Isreal said. "We wanted to get to the championship game. It was do or die."

Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos called Isreal the player of the game after he helped the third-seeded Greyhounds (19-14) with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.

"I thought Omari did an unbelievable job," Patsos said. "He handled the ball against pressure two nights in a row."

After Michael Tuck's layup with 3:43 left in the game, the Greyhounds never made another basket.

"I was disappointed that we didn't score as a team," Patsos said. "We had some shots that went in and out. We had to make those shots, especially if we were going to beat a team like Siena."

Marquis Sullivan (Archbishop Spalding) scored 14 points for Loyola, and Tuck and Gerald Brown (Douglass) each added 13. Siena's Alex Franklin scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Trailing 12-11 with 11:36 left in the first half, the Greyhounds found their groove. After Loyola started 0-for-4 from three-point range, Tuck made its first three, which set up a 24-9 run for a 38-21 lead with 3:29 left in the half.

Siena pressed Loyola full-court for most of the second half and tied the game at 63 with 1:13 left on Edwin Ubiles' jump shot.

"We were surprised when Siena came out with the full-court press," Tuck said. "They came out hard, and we had a little bit of trouble adjusting to it."

The Greyhounds also had to play more conservatively after Tuck picked up his fourth foul at the 10:30 mark and Brown got his fourth just more than four minutes later.

"They had to play in a difficult situation," Patsos said. "I didn't need them to foul out because I needed ballhandlers and experience against the press. We are not going to make excuses. We have played with fouls all season. We also had chances to make shots, and we didn't make them. I am really proud of this team; I wish we had won."

Siena will play No. 2 seed Rider in today's championship game.

LOYOLA-Isreal 4-7 4-5 12, Tuck 5-9 1-4 13, Brown 5-15 3-3 13, Harvey 1-6 2-2 5, Rudolph 2-7 1-2 6, Lewis 0-1 0-0 0, Sullivan 5-9 0-0 14, Fofana 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-54 11-16 63. SIENA-Duell 1-4 0-1 2, Franklin 8-13 6-11 22, Ubiles 6-12 2-4 14, Moore 4-10 1-2 10, Hasbrouck 7-17 0-2 17, De La Rosa 0-0 0-0 0, Fisher 0-2 0-0 0, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Rossiter 0-1 0-0 0, Magee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-60 9-20 65. Half-Loyola, 38-28. 3-point goals-Loyola 8-22 (Sullivan 4-7, Tuck 2-2, Rudolph 1-1, Harvey 1-5, Isreal 0-1, Brown 0-6); Siena 4-16 (Hasbrouck 3-6, Moore 1-2, Jackson 0-1, Ubiles 0-2, Fisher 0-2, Duell 0-3). Fouled out-Tuck. Rebounds-Loyola 40 (Isreal 18), Siena 33 (Franklin 12). Assists-Loyola 9 (Brown, Isreal, Rudolph 3); Siena 13 (Moore 5). Total fouls-Loyola 20, Siena 15. A-NA.

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