10 Greatest Moments in Loyola Basketball

By Gary Lambrecht


Then-captain Mike Kaiser, ’73, still has a piece of the game net in the basement of his Baltimore home. And, more than 35 years later, the memories of the youthful Greyhound team stealing its way into Loyola’s first-ever Division II basketball tournament remain fresh.

Loyola’s trip to the tournament under coach Nap Doherty came only after the team—which included just two seniors in Kaiser and forward Ed Butler, ’73—did the unthinkable and upset defending NCAA College Division champ Roanoke 74-71 in the Mason Dixon Conference tournament semi-finals.

The tournament triumph continued when sophomore forward Rodney Floyd completed a 26-point night in the final against Randolph-Macon. The final point came on Floyd’swinning foul shot, with three seconds left in overtime.

Next up came the Division II tournament in Miami, with another overtime win over Biscayne College. In the final five seconds, Floyd and junior guard Gene Gwiazdowski, ’74, stole in-bounds passes. Floyd scored on a lay-up to give Loyola an 80-79 lead, and Gwiazdowski made two free throws to seal the 82-79 victory.

“We stole that game, and we ran out of the gym, thinking they were going to call us back,” Kaiser remembered. “We looked at the trip to Florida as icing on the cake after winning the conference. When we came back, we were all carrying coconuts as we got off the plane.”



Jim Lacy and Clift McNeely

Legendary Loyola forward Jim Lacy, ’49, was the first player in NCAA history to score 2,000 career points, and he remains Loyola’s all-time leading scorer with 2,199. His 796 career field goals are still a school record, and he still ranks second in single-season points with 676, which he reached in 1947—four decades before the introduction of the shot clock and the three-pointer.

Lacy finished second in the country in scoring in 1947, and was the greatest player among a host of greats who played under Lefty Reitz, who won 349 games and 11 Mason Dixon Conference titles during his 23 seasons with the Greyhounds. Behind Lacy, over three seasons from 1946 to 1949, the Greyhounds won a combined 69 games and three league titles.

Lacy cemented his legacy on Feb. 3, 1947, the night Loyola upset visiting Seton Hall 54-53. Seton Hall was undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the East. Seton Hall’s team included coach Bob Davies, an alum who later became a star professional, as well as several other future NBA players.

Lacy scored 20 points to lead Loyola to its first-ever win over the Pirates, two months after Seton Hall had soundly defeated the Greyhounds.

“I’d be kidding if I said we thought we could beat them,” Lacy recalled. “After the game, as we went down the steps to the locker room, Bob Davies made his guys line up and congratulate us.”

Bookmark and Share


  • Posted by Bob pierce | June 19, 2013

    Mike kaiser 1970 I had the best time of my life…. Maybe too good…. Remember you and the other guys very well…great to see after all these years the basketball heights you achieved
    …. Bob pierce…..

  • Posted by Frank Angelastro | February 26, 2014

    I remember The 1971 in 1973 games. I was at Loyola from 1969 to 1973. One of those games was forecast for me telephone box was speakerphone in the dormitory. I don’t remember who did it but I remember it clearly. I believe Bob Connor to the inbound pass and scored a basket to win the game.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment