Feb. 12, 2005
Baltimore, Md. - Sophomore Shane James scored 19 points and matched a career-high with six assists as the Greyhounds raced to their third straight victory. Loyola held visiting Iona to 35 percent shooting from the floor in the second half and used 22 bench points to defeat the Gaels 73-64 at Reitz Arena on Saturday afternoon.
"We're playing with confidence," says James. "We haven't had a win streak in a very long time and now we feel we can beat anybody when we step on the court. It's all about confidence."
The last time Loyola won three consecutive games was during the 1998-99 season. That year, the `Hounds defeated Saint Peter's twice and Rider in between. This time, the Greyhounds knocked off defending MAAC champion Manhattan, won on the road at Siena and with today's victory, improve to 4-9 in the conference.
"In this league, it's all about getting ready for the tournament," says Loyola Head Coach Jimmy Patsos. "We're not going to the NIT. You have to win the MAAC Tournament and we're preparing for that."
The Greyhounds went up early and built a seven-point lead when Josko Alujevic knocked down a three-pointer at 7:52. The Gaels responded with a 7-0 run and tied the score at 27-27 with a turnaround jumper from Gerg Jenkins. Loyola went back up by five, but trailed 36-34 when Gary Springer scored to end the half.
Freshman Brad Farrell scored back-to-back lay-ups to begin the second period and the `Hounds were off to the races. Loyola scored the first eight points and 16 of the half's first 18 points to build a 50-38 advantage. The `Hounds never looked back, extending the margin to 17 points with James' conventional three-point play with 8:47 remaining in regulation.
"Coach really got on me after we lost to Fairfield," says James. "We only scored 35 points that game. I've been trying to score more points and help my team win. We haven't lost since."
James scored 15 points in the win over Manhattan, 12 points in the win over Siena and finished tonight's game with only one turnover in 33 minutes of action. Freshman Freddie Stanback added 15 points and eight rebounds while junior Charlie Bell scored 15 points in 21 minutes. James, Stanback and Bell also shot a combined 19-for-19 from the free throw line while the Greyhounds finished 22-for-27 as a team.
Jenkins led the Gaels with 22 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Iona shot 40 percent from the floor and connected on only 3-of-12 three-point attempts.
With the win, the `Hounds move to 6-17 overall and 5-9 in the conference. Iona, which had beaten the Greyhounds 15 straight times heading into the contest, falls to 11-13 on the season and 7-7 in the MAAC.