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ELIZABETHTOWN COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL
Etown Falls to 4-3 with 75-72 Loss to Scranton, Brian Loftus 10 Points Away from 1,000
SCRANTON, Pa. --- Seven games into the 2002-03 season, Elizabethtown has already matched its loss total for all of 2001-02 after falling to 4-3 overall with a narrow 75-72 road loss to the University of Scranton Saturday night. Brian Loftus (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks West) led the Blue Jay offense with six assists and 22 points in the game, and he now stands with 990 career points. His identical twin brother Dan Loftus (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks West) meanwhile led Scranton with six assists and 19 points, and bringing his career total to 1,013 points. It was the final time the brothers will ever face each other in regular season play.
With the exception of a 7-0 Etown run to open the game in the first two minutes, the game was very evenly matched the whole way through. Scranton tied the game at 10-10 by 14:21. When Etown went up 15-12 on a Kyle Conrad (Shillington, PA/Governor Mifflin) three-pointer at 10:47, the Blue Jays claimed a lead they held for the rest of the first half. Etown pulled out to a 23-17 lead by 6:18, but by halftime, the Blue Jays' lead was cut to 33-32.
Scranton (5-2) gained the lead for the first time at 19:43 in the second half on a Brian O'Donnell layup, but Etown reclaimed the lead on an Ian Daecher (Lititz, PA/Warwick) layup at 19:15, and the Blue Jays held on to the lead from there until another O'Donnell layup tied the game at 49:49 with 12:21 remaining. A Dan Loftus jumper at 12:04 gave Scranton a 51-49 lead, but Brian Loftus struck back for Etown with a three-pointer at 11:11 to give the Blue Jays a 52-51 lead.
A Ryan Rogan three-pointer for Scranton at 10:35 gave the Royals a 54-52 lead at 10:35, and Scranton would maintain its lead until a Jon English (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddon Township) layup for Etown at 3:54 tied the game at 64-64. Etown went up 66-64 when Brian Loftus sank a pair of three-pointers at 3:30. A layup by Scranton's Bryant Smith once again tied the game at 66-66 with 2:33 remaining.
Scranton went up 69-66 at 1:49 on a Rogan three-pointer, and Scranton extended its lead to 74-66 with 31 seconds remaining. A pair of Brian Loftus three-pointers with 22 and 10 seconds remaining pulled Etown to within two points of Scranton, but the Royals went up 75-72 with eight seconds remaining when Rogan made one of two foul shots.
In addition to his 22 points and six assists, Brian Loftus also led Elizabethtown with five steals. English added 20 points, four steals, and 10 rebounds for Etown. As a team, Etown shot 45.3% from the field, 40.9% from three-point range, and five-for-nine from the free throw line.
Dan Loftus not only led Scranton in points and assists, but he also led the Royals with five steals. Rogan and Derek Elphick each scored 17 points for Scranton. The Royals shot 52.1% from the field, 31.3% from three-point range, and 66.7% (20-for-30) from the free-throw line. Scranton out-rebounded Etown 37-28, but Etown had 64 shots from the field against 48 for Scranton.
At John J. Long, SJ, Center, Scranton, Pa.