First-Half Defense carries Men's Basketball to 75-63 Win

Nov. 29, 2006

Final Stats

Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola men's basketball team held visiting Delaware to 20.7 percent shooting in the first half to build a 32-15 halftime lead and never let the advantage slip into single digits as the Greyhounds posted a 75-63 non-conference victory over the Blue Hens Wednesday night at Reitz Arena. Loyola advanced its record to 3-2 while Delaware fell to 0-5.

"I was very happy with the way we played defense, especially in the first half," Greyhounds third-year coach Jimmy Patsos commented after the game. "We've been fouling lately and I thought we didn't foul in the first half while we played good defense and built a good lead at halftime."

After Delaware's Zaire Taylor scored a pair of baskets in the first three minutes to give the Blue Hens a 4-2 lead, the Greyhounds took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by junior forward Michael Tuck. Delaware pulled to within 11-8 with 13:31 remaining and Loyola ran off nine straight to start an 18-3 run and give the Greyhounds a 29-11 advantage with 5:53 remaining. Tuck scored 10 during the stretch and finished the half with 12 points in nine minutes off the bench. Junior guard Gerald Brown also added 12 off the bench as they were the only players with double figures at the intermission.

"I thought Michael Tuck was our MVP in the first half," Patsos said. "He got us energized when he came into the game and we needed that at that point."

The lead ballooned to 26 on a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Marquis Sullivan at 58-32 with 8:02 remaining in the game. Poor free-throw shooting over the final eight minutes allowed Delaware to work its way back in the game as Loyola made just four of 10 during that stretch while Delaware scored 31 of its points. Taylor tallied 17 of his game-high 30 points during that stretch.

Brown once again led the Greyhounds in scoring, finishing with 22 to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Tuck ended with 13, senior forward Josko Alujevic tallied 12 and freshman guard Brett Harvey established his career-high with 11. Senior guard Shane James did not mark in the scoring column, but bettered his career-best with nine assists (with just one turnover) and added eight rebounds.

"I was really proud of Shane James tonight," Patsos beamed. "I've been on Shane for his play of late. Nine assists and eight rebounds and he didn't score a point but he didn't get frustrated and played a good floor game. That's what we expect of him."

The Greyhounds are back in action Saturday when Mount St. Mary's visits in the most-played series in the history of the state of Maryland gets its 161st chapter. The game will be televised live in Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) and is slated for a 2 o'clock tip.