Jan. 24, 2007
Baltimore, Md. - Loyola's seven-game conference win streak came to an end with a heartbreaking 70-68 loss to the Manhattan Jaspers Wednesday night at Reitz Arena. Manhattan's Antoine Pearson sank two free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining in regulation to snap a 68-68 tie and a desperation three-point shot by Greyhounds junior guard Gerald Brown caromed off the backboard and rim as time expired.
The loss dropped the Greyhounds to 11-8 overall and 7-2 in MAAC play. Manhattan improved to 10-9 and its 7-2 mark moved the Jaspers into a first place tie at the top of the MAAC standings with the Greyhounds and Marist.
"It's difficult to be in first place and have everybody coming after you," Greyhounds third-year coach Jimmy Patsos said following the game. "We have to learn how to handle success here. Manhattan is a great team; they're the defending champs. This was a good test for us because they are a program we are trying to catch. We didn't play our best game, but we fought for 40 minutes. We are going to get everyone's best shot."
With two minutes to play in the game, Pearson hit a pair of free throws to give the Jaspers a 68-61 lead. Loyola responded quickly as freshman guard Brett Harvey drove to the basket and picked up a foul. After Harvey's two free throws, Greyhounds junior forward Omari Isreal blocked a Jaspers shot and Loyola gained possession. Coming out of a timeout, Harvey hit a three from the corner to cut the deficit to 68-66.
Another defensive stand gave the `Hounds the ball back and with 25 seconds remaining, senior guard Shane James connected on a leaner in the paint to tie the game and was fouled. His miss of the ensuing free throw was grabbed by the Jaspers, setting up Pearson's final play.
The first half was a see-saw affair with neither team able to grab more than a five-point advantage. Loyola led at the intermission, 35-33, as senior forward Josko Alujevic and sophomore guard Marquis Sullivan each scored 10 points. Brown failed to score in double figures for his first time as a Greyhound, finishing with nine points.
Manhattan quickly built a seven-point advantage with a 10-1 run at the start of the second half, leading 43-36 with 14:05 remaining. The Greyhounds battled back, using a 10-4 run of its own to knot the game at 53-53 with 7:49 left. The game would be tied four more times before the Pearson free throws gave Manhattan the win.
Isreal collected his first career double-double with career-bests in points (14) and rebounds (11). Sullivan led the Greyhounds in scoring with 15 points and Alujevic finished with 13. Junior forward Michael Tuck did not dress due to a leg injury.
Pearson led the way for the Jaspers scoring 18 points and shooting 10-10 from the charity stripe. Arturo Dubois added 15 points and six rebounds.
Loyola looks to start a new win streak when the team travels to New York to take on the Iona Gaels on Saturday.