Dec. 31, 2003
Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola men's basketball team returns to the hardwood this Saturday and will face the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis at 3:30 p.m. Both teams hope to get off to a winning start in 2004 after a disappointing end to the 2003 portion of the schedule.
The Greyhounds, fresh of a 74-54 loss to Princeton, have lost their last three road games by an average of six points per game. Saturday's game will be the seventh road contest (compared to three home games) for Loyola this season. Navy is currently 2-8 overall and will be at home for the eighth time this season when the Greyhounds visit Alumni Hall on Saturday.
Despite Loyola's 0-9 record, the 'Hounds have played several close games and led Mount St. Mary's for 55 minutes back on December 13. The Mount, the only common opponent for Loyola and Navy, has edged out both squads, defeating the Midshipmen by one and topping Loyola by four points in Emmitsburg.
The Greyhounds enter 2004 with Charlie Bell leading all scorers. Bell, who has 23 three-point field goals this season, is posting 15 points per game while freshman Shane James is scoring at a 10.4 points-per-game clip. James has turned up his game of late, leading Loyola with 15 points against Princeton. The freshman guard has scored 15 or more points four times this season and leads the 'Hounds with 28 assists.
Navy leads the all-time series 17-4, but Loyola won in January of 1994, the last time these two programs face each other. That year, both Loyola and Navy finished with 17-13 overall records and both teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Saturday's game will be the first day contest for Loyola this season. It will also begin a seven-day stretch in which Loyola will play four games.