Feb. 20, 2010
Baltimore, Md. - New Hampshire's Tyrone Conley made his only basket of the afternoon after 10 straight misfires with 0.7 ticks remaining to lead the Wildcats to a 61-60 non-conference win over Loyola Saturday afternoon at Reitz Arena, spoiling the Greyhounds' Senior Day.
"We had three situations at the end of the game and we didn't handle any of them well," Greyhounds sixth-year head coach Jimmy Patsos commented following the loss. "I'll take responsibility for that as a coach. We went over them in the time out, but our youth and inexperience showed and we just didn't make the plays."
After sophomore forward Shane Walker tipped in a Loyola miss with 2:26 remaining, the Greyhounds had a 60-55 lead. But those would be the last points that Loyola would score. After yet another New Hampshire miss from three-point range - the Wildcats finished the day making just one of 16 shots from beyond the arc - Russell Graham scooped up his own rebound and laid it in with 2:08 left.
On Loyola's end, senior guard Brett Harvey missed a short jumper, but junior guard Jamal Barney collected the ball in traffic and kicked it back out to extend the Greyhounds' possession. Up three and with plenty of time on the shot clock, Loyola inexplicably took a three-point shot and the rebound sailed out of bounds and went to New Hampshire.
Alvin Abreau was fouled with 54.5 remaining and made both shots to make it a one-point game at 60-59. The Greyhounds worked the shot clock and with under five on the shot clock, turned the ball over without getting off a shot attempt. Following a Loyola timeout, New Hampshire held for the last shot and Conley's shot fell through the net with the clock showing 0.7 seconds remaining. After a pair of Wildcats timeouts, the Greyhounds inbounded the ball and it fell harmlessly to the floor as the final buzzer sounded.
It almost wasn't that way after the way the Greyhounds opened the contest. Starting the program's four seniors alongside junior guard Brian Rudolph, Loyola scored nine of the game's first 10 points and did not allow a New Hampshire field goal until 4:34 into the contest. But the Wildcats put together an 11-2 run and grabbed their first lead with 6:38 left in the half on a pair of Abreu foul shots. New Hampshire led at the intermission 31-30 despite the Greyhounds shooting 50 percent (10-20) for the first 20 minutes.
Loyola did not score a field goal for the first 5:41 of the second half, but when a Rudolph layup broke the seal, it triggered a 12-5 run that put the Greyhounds up 48-41 with 8:29 to play. Loyola answered every New Hampshire punch for the six minutes before the Wildcats took control over the final 2:26.
The loss was especially bitter as for the second straight season Loyola's seniors went out on a last-second loss. Last year, Rider's Ryan Thompson went the length of the court for a finger-roll basket as the horn sounded for a two-point win.
Abreu tied for game-high honors with 16 points to lead New Hampshire (11-15), making eight of 10 free throws after shooting just four-of-12 from the field. Conley made nine of his 10 shots from the line and just the game-winning field goal to finish with 11 points, the same point total as Brian Benson. The Wildcats shot just 33.3 percent from the field (18-54), but dominated the boards with a 43-26 rebounding advantage.
Barney led Loyola with 16 points in his first double-figure scoring outing since January 8. Seniors Jawaan Wright and Harvey collected 10 points as did Rudolph, who was perfect from the field (3-3) and added three assists without a turnover.
Only league games remain for the Greyhounds as they host a pair of MAAC contests next weekend to wrap up the regular season. Loyola entertains Canisius on Friday at 7 o'clock and concludes the home schedule with a game against Manhattan on February 28.