Jan. 5, 2004
Baltimore, Md. - Sophomore Charlie Bell matched a career-high with 22 points and had Loyola in position to knock off Central Connecticut at Reitz Arena on Monday night. The Blue Devils, however, would hold off Loyola's late rally and escaped Baltimore with a 67-62 win.
"We're very luck to leave here with a win," says Central Connecticut Head Coach Howie Dickenman. "Loyola is much better than their record and they will start winning games soon. I'm just glad it wasn't tonight."
The Greyhounds, 0-11 this season, played poised and rallied from a 13-point second half deficit. Down 42-32, sophomore Bobby Bossman nailed a three-pointer to pull Loyola within seven. Sean Corrigan's jumper in the lane then moved the 'Hounds within five at 42-37.
"I could feel the game going our way," says Bell. "We could taste victory, but it just didn't go our way down the stretch."
Bell made it very interesting when he scored off a steal with 54 seconds remaining to bring Loyola within four points. Central Connecticut scored the next three, but Bell answered with his third three-pointer of the night to make it a four-point game once again.
With 17 seconds remaining, freshman Shane James, who finished with five assists, drove the lane and found Bossman open for a three-pointer in the left corner. Bossman's triple pulled Loyola within one point at 63-62.
Central Connecticut, which struggled from the free-throw line all night (16-of-30), went to Lenny Jefferson, who connected on both of his attempts with nine seconds remaining to give the Blue Devils another three-point lead.
The Greyhounds again went to Bossman deep in the left corner for the tie, but his shot sailed long and Jefferson sealed the game with another free throw with 2.9 seconds on the clock.
Bell led all scorers with his 22 points; Rich Pittman led Central Connecticut with 14 points. Bernard Allen posted a team-high six rebounds to along with his eight points while Loyola drops its fifth game of the season by five or less points.
"This is still a very young team and I know we'll bring it together," says Bell. "With conference play right around the corner, this is a good time to be playing well."
Loyola will host MAAC foe Rider on Wednesday night. The Greyhounds are 0-2 in conference play this season and all 16 games remaining on the regular season slate are against MAAC schools. Wednesday's game is a 7:35 p.m. tip at Reitz Arena.