Nov. 24, 2007
Philadelphia, Pa. - Drexel held the Greyhounds scoreless for 6:42 at the beginning of the second half to turn a seven-point deficit into an 11-point advantage and made three of four free throws inside the final 13 seconds to seal a 54-52 victory to capture the championship of the Liberty Bracket of the Philly Hoop Group Classic Saturday afternoon at the Palestra. The Dragons' Frank Elegar scored 21 points in 21 minutes and was named Most Valuable Player.
"Loyola had never been to the Palestra before so this was an outstanding experience for our school," fourth-year head coach Jimmy Patsos commented. "We missed some shots and we just couldn't get the ball to fall but it was a great experience for our program."
Neither team torched the nets in the first half as both teams shot less than 38 percent and Loyola grabbed a 25-20 lead at the intermission. After senior guard Gerald Brown connected on the first possession of the second half, the Greyhounds (4-3) led by seven. From there, the basket closed on the Loyola end and Drexel (5-1) went on an 18-0 run to grab a 38-27 lead with 13 minutes remaining. Elegar contributed nine of the points and Gerald Colds make back-to-back three-pointers to key the run.
The Greyhounds used a 20-9 run to crawl back in the game, closing within two after three free throws by sophomore guard Brett Harvey at 49-47 with 28 seconds remaining. An Elegar dunk against the Loyola press was followed by a quick layup from Brown to keep the game at two, 51-49. Elegar made two free throws to push the Drexel lead back to four and Brown made a three-pointer with three ticks remaining to make the score 53-52. Scott Rodgers made the first of a two-shot foul and the ball fell harmlessly to the floor when he missed the second shot as the horn sounded.
"It was a war of wills out there; we wanted to press and they wanted to grind it out," Patsos said. "The basketball gods were good to the Philly team today. They play here and they got some breaks. I was really proud of the way that Tony Lewis and Hassan Fofana and Isaac Reid played off the bench. They wanted to play Loyola basketball and they wanted to win today."
Brown finished the game with 16 points and nine rebounds, scoring 49 points in the two games in Philadelphia. Senior forward Michael Tuck collected his sixth career double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds, 11 of the boards coming in the second half. Freshman guard Brian Rudolph added a career-high 10 points.
The Greyhounds return to action in a week when they visit Mount St. Mary's in a renewal of the most-played rivalry in the history of the state of Maryland. Game time is 7:30 p.m. and the game will be available on MASN.