Loyola Looks To Extend Hot Start Wednesday at George Washington

December 07, 2011 | WNST Staff

Opponent George Washington Colonials
Date Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Washington, D.C. | Charles E. Smith Center
TV MASN
Series Record George Washington leads, 7-5
Last Meeting Loyola 87, Geo. Washington 78 – Nov. 27, 1990 at Loyola

National Capital Clash

After playing a pair of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference games last weekend, and winning both, Loyola University Maryland will play the first of its final five non-conference games on Wednesday night. The Greyhounds will make the short trip to Washington, D.C., to face George Washington University at 7 o’clock at the Colonials’ Smith Center.

Bright Lights Of TV

Wednesday’s game is the second of three-straight the Greyhounds will play on television. MASN will air the game against the Colonials, as it will on Saturday when Loyola travels to Mount St. Mary’s.

Jason Knapp will handle play-by-play duties on Wednesday, while Craig Esherick will provide color commentary.

Best Start In Division I History

At 6-1 through seven games, Loyola is off to its best start in school Division I history. The institution moved from Division II to I in 1981-1982, and previously, the program’s best start was 5-2 in 2005-2006, 1985-1986.

Solid MAAC Start

Loyola did something last week it had never accomplished in 22 previous seasons in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Greyhounds went 2-0 in their first two league games, defeating Marist at home and Siena on the road.

The Greyhounds also won their conference opener for the first time since 2005-2006, marking just the fourth time in 23 seasons they were 1-0 in the MAAC.

Series History

Loyola and George Washington will meet for the 13th time when the teams take the floor on Wednesday, but the first time since the season-opener in 1990-1991.

The Greyhounds won that meeting, 87-78, in Reitz Arena, but the Colonials still hold a 7-5 advantage in the all-time series.

The teams first met on the hardwood during the 1912-1913 season and played that year, as well as twice during the following two seasons. They then faced off again in 1923-1924 and 1932-1933, but they did not resume the series until the 1972-1973 season.

Familiar Foe

Although Loyola Head Coach Jimmy Patsos has never coached against George Washington, his counterpart on the Colonials’ bench is no stranger. Mike Lonergan and Patsos played basketball together at nearby Catholic University for the late Jack Bruen, were college roommates and served in each other’s weddings.

Wednesday’s game will be the rubber-match of the to-date four-game series between Patsos and Lonegran. Both won a pair of games in the four meetings between Loyola and Vermont over the last four seasons when Lonergan was the coach of the Catamounts.

Last Time Out

The Greyhounds took a 16-4 advantage just over six minutes in against Siena on Saturday and never led by less than six from that point forward in a 66-59 MAAC victory.

Siena scored the first two points of the game 16 seconds in, but the Greyhounds scored the next 13 and did not allow the Saints to score for over four minutes. Loyola eventually went up by 13, 30-17, on a Dylon Cormier three 6:38 before the half.

In the second half, the Saints cut Loyola’s advantage to six on four occasions, but each time the Greyhounds scored next to go back up by eight or nine.

Cormier finished with a career-high 22 points, leading four Greyhounds in double figures. Erik Etherly had 11, while Shane Walker and Robert Olson each tallied 10.

Threes Starting To Fall

After starting the season cold from behind the 3-point arc – the Greyhounds made just 11-of-56 (.196) in their first four games – Loyola has made 22-of-50 (.440) in its last three contests.

The Greyhounds were 6-of-16 (.375) against Florida Gulf Coast, a season-best 8-of-15 (.533) in the Marist tilt and 8-of-19 (.421) at Siena.

Robert Olson led the way against the Eagles and Red Foxes, making 5-of-8, while Dylon Cormier was 5-of-6 against the Saints.

Thievery

Loyola caused 20 Siena turnovers on Saturday night, and the Greyhounds were credited with 19 steals. R.J. Williams led the way with a career-high five, while Erik Etherly, Dylon Cormier and Robert Olson each had three.

The 19 steals are the second-most in school history, one more than the Greyhounds posted in a November 29, 1997, game at Kent State. It is also the most Loyola has recorded against a Division I opponent. The school single-game record of 20 came on February 28, 1996, when the team closed the regular-season against St. Mary’s (Md.).

Consistency Is The Key

Three Loyola players – Dylon Cormier (13, 20, 20, 16, 14, 15, 22), Shane Walker (12, 15, 12, 15, 10, 11, 10) and Erik Etherly (11, 15, 27, 11, 15, 14, 11) have scored in double figures in each of the Greyhounds’ seven games this season, something never accomplished by the same three players in the program’s Division I history.

The last time three Loyola players scored 10 or more over a six-game stretch was the 1997-1998 season when Mike Powell, Jason Rowe and Roderick Platt accomplished the task in consecutive games from January 25-February 15, 1998. Loyola was 5-1 in those games.

The Greyhounds had not had the same three players score 10 or more in four-straight games since Gerald Brown, Marquis Sullivan and Michael Tuck did it against Rider, UC-Davis, Canisius and Marist from February 18-March 2, 2008. Loyola was 3-1 during that stretch.

First Half Fireworks

Dylon Cormier scored a career-high 22 points on Saturday night at Siena, tallying half of the Greyhounds’ 30 points in the first half.

The sophomore guard entered the game shooting just .263 (5-of-19) from 3-point range in the year’s first six games, but he made all four of his attempts from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes. He finished 5-of-6 from long distance in the game.

R.J. Racks Up More Minutes

Freshman R.J. Williams made the third start of his young college career Thursday night against Marist, and for the first time, he led the team in minutes played.

Williams saw 31 minutes of action against the Red Foxes, matching the total played by Shane Walker for team-high honors, after playing 34 minutes last Sunday against Florida Gulf Coast.

With the increased playing time, Williams has also seen more productivity. After scoring eight points in the first four games of the season, he has scored eight in each of the last two. Against the Red Foxes, he finished with a career-high six assists, the most by a Loyola player this season.

Four of Williams’ assists came in the final 11:16 of the game as Loyola outscored Marist, 29-15, during that stretch.

Williams continued his solid play against Siena, dishing out four assists to go with six points and a career-high five steals.

Attacking The Offensive Glass

Loyola pulled down a season-high 25 offensive rebounds against Marist continuing a trend the Greyhounds have started this season. Loyola has posted 15 or more offensive boards in all but two game this year (13 at UMBC and Siena), and the Greyhounds have 118 total this season.

So far, Loyola has grabbed offensive rebounds on 50.2-percent of its missed shots (235).

Spreading The Wealth

Five Loyola players scored in double figures on Thursday night against Marist, the second time this season (Coppin State) the Greyhounds have had five score 10 or more.

In the first seven games of the season, at least three Loyola players have scored 10 or more in every game, and in all but one, four or more have topped the 10-point mark.

Three Greyhounds are averaging 11 or more points per game this year, and another is at 10.6, after seven finished the year averaging 8.1 or more last season.

In the Greyhounds’ January 30 victory last year over Iona, six players scored in double-figures, and the team’s top two scorers at the time did not even dress for the contest. It was the first time that a Loyola team had six players score in double figures since December 6, 1991, when the Greyhounds matched the feat in a 98-84 overtime home victory against Mount St. Mary’s.

CollegeInsider.Com Mid-Major Poll

In the November 28 edition of the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25, Loyola was one of three MAAC schools to be receiving votes. Iona was fourth in the current edition, while Fairfield is just outside the top 25 with 47 points. The Greyhounds are in the mix with 12 points.

Running Away

Runs have been a big part of the Greyhounds’ success early this year. Here is a look at some runs of note:

Opponent Run Start Finish
Coppin State 10-1, 4:26 31-32, 1:36 (1) 41-33, 17:11 (2)
UMBC 16-4, 8:08 35-31, 19:16 (2) 51-34, 11:08 (2)
FGCU 22-5, 6:53 15-16, 8:08 (1) 37-21, 1:11 (1)
Marist 9-0, 1:50 47-48, 11:16 (2) 56-48, 9:26 (2)
Marist 15-3, 5:47 61-57, 6:03 (2) 76-60, :16 (2)
Siena 13-0; 4:27 0-2, 19:28 (1) 13-2; 15:35 (1

First Time For Everything

The victory over Florida Gulf Coast was the first time in 2011-2012 that the Greyhounds have been outrebounded in a game this season. The Eagles controlled a slight 36-33 advantage on the boards. Florida Gulf Coast’s 17 offensive board were also the most by a Loyola opponent this season. The Eagles were, however, able to score on less than half of their offensive rebounds, converting them into just 16 second-chance points.

Olson Big On Both Ends Of The Court

Loyola trailed Florida Gulf Coast, 16-15, with 8:08 to play in the first half before Robert Olson tied the score with a free throw 18 ticks later. He then hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions for the Greyhounds, going on a personal 7-0 run that put Loyola in front for good.

Olson later hit a three at the 4:38 mark as part of a 22-5 Greyhounds run, tallying all 10 of his first-half points in the span of 3:12.

Olson did not make a field goal in the second half, but he knocked down a pair of free throws with 83 seconds on the clock to put the Greyhounds up seven, and he made 1-of-2 from the stripe with 27 seconds left to make it a five-point game.

The junior guard also came up big on the defensive end, making two stops for the Greyhounds in the last minute and a half. He caused a Bernard Thompson turnover and logged a steal at 1:23, setting up the first of his two free throws, and he then blocked a Christophe Varidel 3-pointer with six seconds left, sealing the victory.

Triple Digit Blocks

Shane Walker’s block of a Kevin Cantinol layup 1:25 into the second half against Florida Gulf Coast was the 100th rejection of his Loyola career. He is now one of three Greyhounds all-time to log 100 or more blocked shots, joining Brian Carroll (217, 1997-2001) George Sereikas (117, 1989-1993).

Century Mark

Head Coach Jimmy Patsos became the third coach in Loyola history to win 100 games when the Greyhounds defeated UMBC, 73-63, on the road. Patsos, who is in his eighth season, took over a team that finished 1-27 during the 2002-2003 season. He won his 100th game in his 215th career game.

Last season, Patsos moved into third-place all time at Loyola in victories, trailing only Lefty Reitz (349 wins, 1937-44, 1945-61) and Nap Doherty (165, 1961-74).

Loyola All-Time Coaching Wins List
1. 349 Lefty Reitz 1937-1944, 1945-1961
2. 165 Nap Doherty 1961-1974
3. 104 Jimmy Patsos 2004-present
4. 85 Mark Amatucci 1982-1989
5. 72 Gary Dicovitsky 1976-1981

Two Of A Kind

Although unofficial, research shows that Jimmy Patsos is one of only two coaches in the last 20 years to take over a team that won just one game the year prior to his arrival.

Brigham Young finished the 1996-1997 season with a 1-25 record. Steve Cleveland took over the following season and tallied 138 wins until his departure for Fresno State after the 2004-2005 season.

Rebounding Advantage

It’s only been six games, but Loyola is +54 in the rebounding column this year, averaging 9.5 more than its opponents per game.

The Greyhounds have outrebounded three teams by 13 or more, pulling down 22 more than Coppin State, 13 more than New Hampshire and 25 more than Marist.

Two Over Twenty

Erik Etherly and Dylon Cormier both hit, or exceeded, the 20-point plateau at UMBC with Etherly scoring 27 and Cormier chipping in 20.

It marked the first time since January 3, 2009, a stretch of 80 games, that a pair of Greyhounds scored 20 in the same game. On that date, Jamal Barney poured in 41 at Canisius, while Brett Harvey had 22.

Must Be The Mask

Just over a week after breaking his nose in practice, Erik Etherly scored a career-high 27 points at UMBC. The junior forward made 9-of-15 shots from the field and converted on 9-of-14 free throws while wearing a mask to protect his injured nose.

Etherly was injured in practice on Tuesday, November 8, and although he did not practice from that point until prior to the season-opener on November 11, he scored 11 points and had nine rebounds at Wake Forest.

He then returned to the starting lineup on Monday against Coppin State and scored 15 points while pulling down 11 rebounds for his sixth career double-double.

Thursday night at UMBC, Etherly had a game-high 10 rebounds for his second double-double in a row.

With 11 at New Hampshire and a team-best 15 against Florida Gulf Coast, Etherly has now scored in double-figures for 16-straight games, dating back to January 30, 2011. Prior to scoring 10 that night against Iona, Etherly was averaging 8.8 points in his first season with the Greyhounds, but he lifted his average to 10.8 by the end of the year.

In Loyola’s last 14 games, 11 to close 2010-2011 and three this year, Etherly is averaging 14.9 points per game, tops on the team.

Cormier To The Charity Stripe

Although his shot was not falling at UMBC, Dylon Cormier still found ways to be productive on the offensive end of the floor. The sophomore guard was just 2-of-9 from the field, but he went to the free-throw line 17 times, making 15, and finished with 20 points.

Cormier’s 15 free throws made are tied for sixth in Loyola single-game history, matching the total made by Mike Powell at Saint Peter’s on December 6, 1997, and Donovan Thomas against Marist on February 23, 2003. The 15 makes were the most by a Loyola player since Jamal Barney set the school record with 18 on January 14, 2009, against NJIT. His 17 attempts rank tied for sixth all-time.

Getting To The Line

As a team, Loyola went to the free-throw line 46 times at UMBC, making 31. The 46 attempts are the sixth-most all-time and most since the 2004-2005 squad attempted 53 on December 5, 2004, against Niagara.

Loyola’s 31 free throws made rank 11th on the school single-game chart and were the most since making 32 on January 14, 2009, versus NJIT.

Cormier At His Best Against City Competition

Dylon Cormier matched his career-high with 20 points on Monday night in the win over Coppin State, and he matched that total, also finished with that same total on Thursday against UMBC.

The pair of 20-point performances match his freshman-year high of 20, also against UMBC, in the second game of his collegiate career.

Through three games this season, Cormier is averaging 17.3 points after leading the Greyhounds with 13 in the opener against Wake Forest. He is shooting 51.6-percent (16-of-31) from the field, third on the team.

Latham Granted NCAA Waiver For Immediate Eligibility

Sophomore transfer Jordan Latham was granted an NCAA waiver and will be immediately eligible to play for the Greyhounds in 2011-2012 rather than having to sit out the typical year-in-residency.

Latham returned to his home city when joining the Greyhounds. The 6-foot-8 forward played high school basketball a mere 2.5 miles from Loyola’s campus at the storied Baltimore City College, a high school that has produced two sitting U.S. Congressmen (Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.) and a U.S. Senator (Ben Cardin D-Md.).

Baltimore Bred And More From Nearby

Since taking over as head coach in 2004, Jimmy Patsos has put an emphasis on recruiting locally, and it has never shown as much as on this year’s roster. Three players – sophomore guard Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons), sophomore forward Jordan Latham (City) and freshman guard R.J. Williams (St. Frances) are products of schools within the city limits.

Six more players played in high school within 50 miles of Loyola, as the crow flies (thanks daftlogic.com): Shane Walker & Tyler Hubbard, Montrose Christian, 32.6 miles; Robert Olson, Georgetown Prep, 33.9; Justin Drummond, Riverdale Baptist, 33.9; Anthony Winbush, T.C. Williams, 43.7; and Erik Etherly, Annandale, 47.9.

What’s Next?

Loyola is in the midst of a six-game road trip that will see them play games in four states and the District of Columbia.

On Saturday, Loyola will travel to Emmitsburg, Md., to take on Mount St. Mary’s in the most-played rivalry in the State of Maryland. The teams will square off for the 167th time in series history on MASN at 2 o’clock.

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