Cormier, Jones’ Career-Highs Give G.G. Smith First Win
VESTAL, N.Y. – Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons) and Jarred Jones (John Carroll) scored 31 and 22 points, respectively, and Loyola University Maryland held off host Binghamton University, 79-74 for the first head coaching win of G.G. Smith’s career on Friday night.
A Cormier free throw with under two minutes to play gave Loyola (1-0 overall) the lead for good, and two late blocks by Jones on Bearcats layups helped seal the win.
Cormier scored 21 of his points in the second half, while Jones distributed his 22 evenly between stanzas.
Jones also had a game-high four blocked shots and team-best seven rebounds for the Greyhounds.
“Dylon and Jarred really carried us for stretches tonight, and Jarred’s two blocks were very big for us because they came at times that Binghamton had what seemed to be good looks,” said Smith, who was promoted on April 12 after six years as an assistant for the Greyhounds. “We have some things to work on, certainly, but it’s always good to get the first one.”
Binghamton led by as many as six in the second half when Yousef Yacob hit a three with 11:45 to play, but Cormier scored the next four points, and Jones tied the game less than two minutes later.
Three-pointers on back-to-back possessions by Binghamton’s Marlon Beck and Yacob gave the Bearcats a 70-65 advantage with 5:05 left, but after a Jones free throw, Cormier knocked down a baseline three at 4:19 to make it a one-point game.
Cormier made 1-of-2 from the free-throw line on Loyola’s next possession to tie the game at 70-70. Loyola would not trail after that point.
A Cormier layup would give the Greyhounds a 72-70 advantage with 3:07 on the clock, but Robert Mansell responded with a layup on the other end, tying the game for Binghamton.
Loyola could not convert offensively on its ensuing possession, and a long rebound led to a fast-break opportunity for the Bearcats. Jones, however, sprinted back and swatted a Yacob layup off the glass, denying Binghamton the lead.
The Bearcats did, however, get the offensive rebound, but Eric Laster came up with a steal for Loyola, leading to a Cormier breakaway. He was fouled hard, though, by Mansell and made 1-of-2 at the line, putting Loyola up by one, 73-72.
Again, Binghamton had a layup attempt on its next possession, this time by Beck, but Jones’ weak-side block preserved the lead again for Loyola.
This time, Denzel Brito came down with the rebound for Loyola, and after the Greyhounds worked 30 seconds off the game clock, Jones hit a running jumper to make it a 75-72 Loyola lead.
Nick Madray, who had 22 in his collegiate debut for Binghamton, made a pair of free throws to cut it back to one with 59.4 seconds left, but Cormier was fouled on his way to the basket with 31 ticks on the clock, and the senior guard capitalized with both from the stripe.
Binghamton called a timeout with 28 seconds left, but after a shot-fake, Mansell’s three went long, and Brito grabbed his sixth rebound of the game, was fouled and made two sealing free throws.
Cormier and Brio each came up with six rebounds, as the Greyhounds outrebounded Binghamton, 37-32. Fifteen of Loyola’s boards came on the offensive glass.
Binghamton took a quick lead, scoring the game’s first seven points, and the Bearcats stretched it to nine, 17-8, on two Jordan Reed free throws 6:26 into the first half.
Loyola, however, scored the next seven points to cut it to a pair on Nick Gorski’s first collegiate points, and while Binghamton pushed it back to five on a traditional 3-point play by Mandray, Loyola tied it at 24-24 with 6:55 on the clock.
A 7-0 run in the next 90 seconds, capped by a Cormier basket, pushed the Greyhounds up 31-26, a lead that would be trimmed to one, 37-36, at halftime.
Reed, a Preseason All-America East First Team player, led the Bearcats with 23 points and nine rebounds.
The Greyhounds continue their season-opening road trip on Sunday, November 10, in Ithaca, N.Y., where they will face Cornell University at 4 p.m.