Jan. 28, 2005
Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola men's basketball team makes a quick trip to Upstate New York this weekend to play Niagara University. The Greyhounds look to snap a four-game skid and sweep the season series with the Purple Eagles. Game time is slated for 3 p.m. this Sunday.
Back on December 5, Head Coach Jimmy Patsos earned his first career win against Niagara at Reitz Arena. That night, sophomore Shane James led Loyola with a career-high 27 points as the Greyhounds cruised to a 97-89 win. The victory snapped Niagara's 13-game win streak against Loyola and got the `Hounds off to a 1-1 conference start.
The Purple Eagles, who also started 1-1 in the MAAC, have won their last four games and hold a 12-6 overall record heading into Sunday's contest. Loyola, 2-7 in the conference, can sweep the season series with Niagara for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
Juan Mendez leads Niagara in scoring (24.1 ppg), rebounding (10.3 rpg) and blocked shots (27) and posted a double-double in Loyola's first meeting this season. Junior Charlie Bell, who scored 20 in that Loyola win, paced the Greyhounds with 16 points last year at Niagara.
Both teams like to run and their first meeting proved they would. Loyola's 97 points in their first meeting is a season-high while Niagara is averaging 85.6 points per game. Bell and freshman Freddie Stanback lead all Greyhound scorers with 10.8 point-per-game averages.
Sunday's game is the second in a men's-women's doubleheader at the Gallagher Center. Loyola's men's game with Niagara is schedule for a 3 p.m. tip, but could be delayed depending on the outcome of Niagara's women's game.