Nov. 11, 2006
Queens, N.Y. - Junior forward Gerald Brown exploded for a career-high 30 points to lead the Loyola College men's basketball team to a 65-50 victory Saturday night over the North Florida Ospreys in the regional consolation of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at Carnesecca Arena. The win evens the Greyhounds' record at 1-1 while North Florida falls to 0-2.
"It was a good win for us," Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos commented. "I thought we played some good defense. It was great to get a win in the New York area. We have so many alums in this area, it was good to get them a win here. Again, we have the best fans in the MAAC and it shows with the support we get on the road, especially with the students coming up on the busses today."
The Greyhounds jumped out to a 15-6 lead with 10:25 remaining in the first half, capped off by a steal and dunk by Brown who scored 11 of Loyola's points. North Florida battle back to take a three-point lead at 19-17 with 3:48 remaining on a three-pointer from Aaron Caruthers and the half finished with four lead changes and the Greyhounds leading, 23-20. Brown totaled 13 points the intermission to lead all scorers.
Loyola gradually added to its advantage at the start of the second half, holding a 43-33 lead with 12:43 remaining. The Ospreys would not score again for the game's next eight minutes and the Greyhounds had used an 18-point run to build a 61-33 cushion, its largest of the game. Brown scored 11 of the final 13 of the run and Loyola had its first win of the new season. North Florida outscored the Greyhounds 17-4 to end the game, but could get no closer than the 15-point final margin.
After scoring 24 in the opener, Brown was a factor on both ends of the floor. The junior guard made 11 of 15 shots from the field, including two of five from three-point range, and six of seven from the free-throw line for his career-best 30 points. He added six rebounds and tied his career-highs with five assists and five steals while playing 36 minutes.
"The win feels better than the points," Brown stated. "Last night was a wake-up call for all of us, but part of the loss was my responsibility. I just didn't play with the emotion I needed to and I wanted to come out tonight and show that emotion. Coach had me watching film at four in the morning and I could see that I needed to play better and step up and show how I can play. It was important for me to play with more emotion and also get all of my teammates involved by leading by example."
Lost in Brown's performance was the effort from senior forward Josko Alujevic. Inserted in the starting lineup, the fifth-year senior pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds while scoring nine points. Sophomore guard Marquis Sullivan also got his first start of the season and scored eight, the same total that senior guard Shane James added off the bench. Freshman guard Brett Harvey added four assists and junior center Hassan Fofana pulled down eight rebounds and recorded three steals in just 24 minutes.
The Greyhounds shot 57.8 percent (26-45) for the game, including 69.2 percent (18-26) in the second half. North Florida was led by Rashad Williams and Caruthers, both scoring 10 apiece.
The Greyhounds will next be in action Tuesday night when they travel across the Charm City to take on Maryland-Baltimore County at 7:30 p.m. That game will be televised live on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.