Jan. 7, 2005
Baltimore, Md. - Coming off a thrilling 70-69 win over VMI on Wednesday night, the Loyola men's basketball team will try to make it two in a row with what most consider the official start of the MAAC season. The Greyhounds host Rider this Saturday at 2 p.m. and look to own a winning conference record for the first time since 1999. Listen
Loyola played a pair of conference games in early December and came away with a big 97-89 win over Niagara at Reitz Arena. The Greyhounds, who have completed their non-conference slate, only face MAAC opponents in their 16 remaining regular season games.
Rider, which comes in with a 6-5 overall record, is the only MAAC team without a loss in conference play. The Broncs are 3-0 while Loyola sits one game back in the loss column. The Greyhounds, who have won two of their last three home games, are also 1-0 in MAAC home contests this season.
Junior Charlie Bell leads Loyola in scoring with his 12.4 point per game average, but freshman Freddie Stanback, who has a team-high 52 rebounds, is close behind with his 12.2 point per game average. Stanback finished with 12 points against VMI, but Brad Farrell was the story with his career-high 21 points.
Farrell scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half, helping the `Hounds shoot 61.5 percent in the period. His four blocked shots and three steals set up the Greyhounds for a final play that resulted in Josko Alujevic's tip-in game winner.
Loyola's 70-point output was the fourth time this season that the Greyhounds scored so many points. The `Hounds are averaging 67.8 points per game and an astonishing 90 points per conference game. Rider, which scored a season-high 95 points at Saint Peter's on Monday night, is averaging 71.8 points per game.
The Broncs are led by five seniors and Jerry Johnson heads the list. Johnson is scoring a team-high 16.1 points per game and has also dished out a team-high 48 assists this season. He scored a season-high 29 points against North Dakota State on December 30.
Loyola and Rider faced each other three times last season and the Broncs won all three, ending Loyola's season in the first round of the MAAC Tournament. Rider has won the last four meetings and leads the all-time series 16-7.
Saturday's game is Loyola's second in its current four-game homestand. The Greyhounds are 2-3 at Reitz Arena this season.