Feb. 3, 2007
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. - Marist senior guards Will Whittington (23 points) and Jared Jordan (16) were the only Red Foxes in double figures and each connected on three-pointers inside the final 2:43 to first take the lead and then preserve it as Marist collected a 71-66 MAAC home win Saturday night before a sold-out crowd at the McCann Center.
Despite the loss, Loyola remains a full game in first place in the MAAC standings over the Red Foxes and Manhattan at 9-3. Marist and the Jaspers are in a tie for second at 8-4. Marist improves to 16-7 overall while Loyola falls to 13-9.
"We didn't execute at the end," third-year head coach Jimmy Patsos commented. "We were down four and turned it over. Nobody wants to hear it, but we are playing seven guys and we're learning how to protect our position in the standings. We're learning. This program was 1-27 before I got the job, so to be in it in February when the best college basketball is played will be a good test for us."
With the game tied at 60, Whittington connected on a deep three-pointer with 2:43 remaining to give Marist a 63-60 advantage. Senior forward Josko Alujevic scored two possessions later to pull Loyola within one at 63-62 with 1:51 left. Following a Greyhounds time out, Jordan pulled up for a made three-pointer with three seconds remaining on the shot clock for a 66-62 Red Foxes lead with 1:19 left.
Junior guard Gerald Brown banged in a jumper from the paint to make the score 66-64 Marist with 62 ticks remaining. Following a defensive rebound, Brown lost the handle while driving to the basket and Whittington collected the steal. The Red Foxes made five of six free throws inside the final 17 seconds to preserve the win.
The Greyhounds scored seven straight points in the first half to take a 30-22 advantage with 3:16 remaining and held a 33-28 lead at the intermission. Brown (11 points) and Alujevic (10) were the only players in double figures on either side.
Loyola's lead was seven at 41-34 with 17:19 remaining following a three-pointer from sophomore guard Marquis Sullivan. Marist went on to score the next 13 points to take a 47-41 advantage with 12:08 remaining. The Greyhounds fought back to force five ties and six lead changes, setting up the final minutes of the game. Sullivan scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in that second half.
"This was a really hard loss for us. We just didn't make some plays in the second half," Sullivan said following the game. "In the first half, they went man-to-man and had a bigger player (Farmer) on me and I couldn't get my shot off. In the second half, they went zone and I was able to get some shots off and they went in. We played good for 38 minutes. We just needed to make some plays at the end."
In addition to Sullivan's game-high 18, Brown scored 15 and Alujevic added 12 for the Greyhounds. Brown also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Only Whittington and Jordan reached double figures for the Red Foxes with Jordan grabbing a team-high seven rebounds.
The road trip for Loyola continues Monday when it visits Fairfield, playing the Stags for the first time this season. Game time is 7:30 p.m.