Jan. 13, 2004
Baltimore, Md. - An ice-cold first half was too much for Loyola to overcome on Tuesday night against Siena. The Greyhounds cut a nine-point halftime deficit to three but could not get any closer in their 81-59 loss at Reitz Arena.
Sophomore Charlie Bell made the first field goal of the night, knocking down a three-pointer at 16:31. The Saints quickly pulled away with an 11-0 run while Loyola opened the game shooting 1-for-19 from the field.
"We couldn't buy a basket in the first half," says Bell. "But you have to keep shooting because eventually you'll start making your shots."
Bell ended an 11-minute field goal draught for Loyola with a fast-break basket to make the score 23-11 with 5:30 left in the period. Foul shots kept the game close with Loyola knocking down all 13 first-half attempts, and despite shooting 16 percent (4-25) from the field, the Greyhounds only trailed by nine points at halftime.
"Shooting is all about confidence," says Loyola Head Coach Scott Hicks. "I give our guys a lot of credit for playing hard, but when things aren't going your way, it's difficult to keep your confidence."
The 'Hounds made an early push in the second half and got the crowd back into the game. Junior Irakli Nijaradze completed a three-point play after a hard foul and Loyola trailed 36-28 with 18:00 left. A pair of Bell free throws cut the lead to six points only minutes later and it looked like Loyola had the momentum back.
Freshman Shane James, who finished 5-of-5 from the free-throw line, drained two foul shots to bring the Greyhounds within three points at 38-35. The rally, however, would end there and was made even more difficult for the depleted 'Hounds when freshman Michael Tuck fouled out at 8:33. Loyola, which started the game with nine healthy players, lost sophomore Bobby Bossman at 6:37 when he rolled his ankle, leaving the Greyhounds with seven players to finish the game.
Bell led the team with 19 points, James finished with 14. The 'Hounds recovered slightly from a poor-shooting first half and ended the game 24 percent from the field. Antoine Jordan led Siena with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Loyola, 0-14 overall, hosts Niagara on Friday night at Reitz Arena. The second part of a men-women double-header, Friday's game with Niagara begins at 8:30 p.m.