Etherly’s 27, Team Free Throw Shooting Lifts Loyola Into CIT Quarterfinals
BALTIMORE – Erik Etherly recorded a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds, making 17-of-19 free throws, and Loyola University Maryland made 87.9-percent of its attempts from the charity stripe, and the Greyhounds defeated visiting Kent State University, 73-59, on Sunday afternoon in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
With the win, Loyola (23-11 overall) advanced to the CIT Quarterfinals where it will play at East Carolina University on Tuesday, March 26, at 7 p.m.
Etherly’s 17 made free throws are tied for second-most in school single game history, one shy of the program record 18 set by Jamal Barney against NJIT on January 14, 2009. Of the four players in school history to make 17 or more in a game – including Maurice Hicks (17 in 1983) and Rodney Floyd (17 in 1973) – Etherly’s came in the fewest number of attempts.
As a team, the Greyhounds made 29-of-33 from the line, as Dylon Cormier made 7-of-9, Anthony Winbush knocked down his three attempts, and Chido Onyiuke scored his first collegiate points by making 2-of-2 in the final 30 seconds.
“Erik can make a living by getting to the free throw line, and he was aggressive in going to the basket and drawing contact today,” Head Coach Jimmy Patsos said.
The Greyhounds never trailed in the game that was tied just twice in the first four minutes. Loyola built a nine-point lead less than seven minutes in after a pair of Etherly free throws.
Kent State (21-14) cut Greyhounds lead back to three on a Khaliq Spicer dunk with 3:34 left before halftime, but that was as close as the Golden Flashes would get.
Robert Olson did not score in the first half, but he knocked down a three 57 seconds into the second half to extend the Loyola advantage to 10, 36-26.
Loyola went up by 12 twice over a minute span, the second time coming on a Cormier free throw at 12:41, but Chris Evans made two free throws at 10:47, and Kent State was within seven, 50-43. The Greyhounds quickly took the lead back into double figures until Randal Holt made two at the line to pull Kent State within nine, 54-45, with 8:28 on the clock.
A quick 6-0 Loyola run, however, with four Etherly free throws and a goaltending call against the Golden Flashes on a Cormier fast-break layup gave the Greyhounds their largest lead of the game, 60-45, with 6:29 left.
Kent State had one final comeback attempt, pulling within nine on a Darren Goodson jumper at 4:21, but Etherly again made a pair at the line, and the lead was back to double figures.
Cormier finished with 18 points, and Olson added 10. Etherly also led all players with four assists.
Evans and Holt led the Golden Flashes with 13 points each, and Goodson scored 12, but Kent State shot just 27.6-percent (16-of-58) from the field.
Evans, who was Kent State’s leading scorer (16.3 points, 7.8 rebounds) entering the game, was held to just 2-of-11 from the field primarily because of the defense played by Winbush.