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Schultz scores six goals to lift Loyola past Bucknell

Posted on 18 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Schultz Scores Career-High Six As Men’s Lacrosse Beats Bucknell, 13-5

BALTIMORE – Brian Schultz scored a career-high six goals on just 10 shots, helping No. 1-ranked Loyola University Maryland defeat Bucknell University, 13-6, in the teams’ final Patriot League regular-season game of the year.

Schultz, who had a previous best of four goals earlier this season against Lafayette College, recorded a hat trick in the game’s first 25-plus minutes, helping Loyola take a 5-1 halftime lead.

He tallied another in the third, the final goal of a 7-0 Greyhounds run, and two in the fourth quarter.

The Loyola run, its 22nd of the season of 3-0 or better, started when slick passing led to a Matt Sawyer goal on the doorstep with 4:47left in the first quarter. Brian Sherlock sent a high-to-low pass from the top to Schultz on the right side. Schultz didn’t let the ball settle in his stick and immediate fed Sawyer on the crease for a goal that put Loyola up, 2-1.

Loyola’s defense played as big of a role in the run as its offense, as Bucknell missed on 20-straight shots and was shutout for a period of 37 minutes, 17 seconds.

Jack Runkel made 14 saves in goal for the Greyhounds (12-1 overall, 8-0 Patriot League), and Loyola forced 18 Bucknell (7-7, 4-4) turnovers. The Greyhounds caused 13 of the turnovers, led by a career-high five by Pat Laconi. Schultz and Jason Crane each had two for Loyola. Joe Fletcher led all players in the game with seven ground balls.

Fletcher also held the player he was defending, Bucknell’s David Dickson, without a point, snapping a streak of 41 games with at least one. It is the third time in four weeks that Fletcher has held an opponent without a point after he entered the game with a streak of 15 or more games (Colgate’s Ryan Walsh, 42; Navy’s T.J. Hanzsche, 15).

Schultz put Loyola on the board after more than seven minutes of scoreless lacrosse to start the game. Justin Ward, who had a goal and three assists, used a skip pass to find Schultz on the low right side, and Schultz finished with a nine-yard rip for a goal at 7:27.

Ryan Joseph, however, tied the game for Bucknell with a goal off Tom Black’s assist at 65 seconds later, but Sawyer’s goal at 4:47would put Loyola in front for good.

Nikko Pontrello fed Schultz from behind as Schultz was cutting to the middle of the field, and Schultz scored his second with 9:45 left in the first, and after a transition run, Kyle Duffy shot a cross-box pass from high-to-low to Pontrello who quickly shot low to score at 8:06.

Schultz completed his hat trick off another Ward assist at 4:54, sending Loyola into the locker room ahead by four.

Pontrello and Ward scored unassisted at 13:11 and 5:57 in the third quarter, and Tyler Albrecht fed Schultz for a goal from the right side at 5:22 to push Loyola’s lead to 8-1.

Peter Burke scored 55 seconds into the fourth quarter, snapping Bucknell’s scoreless drought, but Loyola responded with two quick goals.

Ward saw Sherlock make a diagonal cut, threw him a pass, and Sherlock used a right-handed sidearm shot to score at 13:07. Schultz was then the recipient of a Kevin Ryan pass for his fifth of the night with 11:00 left in regulation.

Two-straight goals by the Bison’s Sean Doyle, both unassisted tallies, pulled Bucknell within six with 7:56 left, but Schultz fired in his sixth at 7:28, rolling from behind and beating his defender to the crease.

Thomas Filbotte added a Bucknell goal at 3:34, but Laconi scored off Fletcher’s first career assist, and Pontrello used another dodge from behind to tally the game’s final goal.

Graham Savio had another efficient day at the faceoff ‘X’ for Loyola, winning 13-of-20 and picking up five ground balls. Loyola also used a 39-31 advantage in ground balls to control the possession game.

In addition to Fletcher’s game-high seven, Kyle Duffy had four ground balls, and Runkel, Crane and Fournier each had three.

The Greyhounds will have more than a week off to prepare for their next game, a Patriot League Championships semifinal on Friday, April 25. Loyola will host the Patriot League semifinals and championship game at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Greyhounds will play Bucknell, Colgate University or the U.S. Naval Academy in a 4:30 p.m. semifinal that will be aired live on CBS Sports Network. Tickets for the championship weekend are available at http://loyo.la/PLmlax14.

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Loyola tries to continue win streak Thursday against Bucknell

Posted on 16 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Bucknell Bison

Thursday, April 17, 2014  |  7:00 p.m.

Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex | CBS Sports Network

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland plays its second-straight home game on Thursday, April 17, when it closes its Patriot League regular-season schedule at 7 o’clock against Bucknell University.

The Greyhounds are 5-0 this season, and 23-7 all-time at Ridley Athletic Complex.

With its 15-6 win last Saturday against Boston University, the Greyhounds earned at least a share of the Patriot League Regular-Season title and secured the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Championships and will host the event on April 25 and 27.

Justin Ward became the program’s single-season assist leader at the Division I level. He has 39 through 12 games this season, tying for seventh-most in Patriot League single-season history.

Joe Fletcher leads all close defenders nationally in ground balls per game with 51 total and 4.6 per game.

Pat Laconi is the top non-pole player nationally in caused turnovers (22) and caused turnovers per game (1.83) through games of April 13.

Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello are both second nationally in assists (3.25) and goals per game (3.33), respectively.


Last Time Out

Nikko Pontrello and Kevin Ryan each had three-goal games, and Loyola clinched its first-ever Patriot League Regular-Season title last Saturday with a 15-6 victory over Boston University at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Greyhounds led 4-1 at halftime, but Boston University got within two 1:04 into the second half before Loyola went on a 4-0 run that broke the game open.

Graham Savio won 17-of-25 faceoffs and had six ground balls in the game, as Loyola controlled the possession battle, picking up 47 ground balls to the Terriers’ 23.

Savio had a slim 4-of-7 advantage in the first half, but he then won 5-of-9 in the third quarter and 8-of-9 in the fourth.

In addition to his three goals, Pontrello had a five-point night with two assists, while Ryan had an assist, too. Brian Schultz scored twice and assisted on one, and Justin Ward recorded three assists against Boston University.

Five Greyhounds had five or more groundballs in the game, led by Savio’s six. Ward, Joe Fletcher, Ryan Fournier and Pat Laconi each picked up five.


Turn On The Television

Thursday’s game will be broadcast live, nationally on CBS Sports Network. Dave Ryan will call the play-by-play, and Evan Washburn will handle the analysis of the action.

The game is one of at least five that will feature the Greyhounds on the network. The  entire Patriot League Championships, as well as game against Johns Hopkins University on May 3will be broadcast life. Loyola’s games versus Duke University and at Georgetown University were also on the network.


In The Polls

With Saturday’s win against Boston University, Loyola remained in the No. 1 spot of both the USILA coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls for the fourth week in a row.

The Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 at some point in each of the last three seasons, most recently in the first polls of the 2012 season. This stretch is the longest the Greyhounds have been ranked first since spending nine-straight at the top from March 15-May 10, 1999.


Series History

Loyola will play Bucknell for the fourth time in series history but the first since April 2, 1983 when the Greyhounds defeated the Bison, 15-8. Loyola is 3-0 all-time in the series that was played in 1981, 1982 and 1983; a fourth game was scheduled for the 1984 season, but it was postponed due to weather and not rescheduled.


Get To Ten

Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 64 occasions. After defeating Boston University, 15-8, on Saturday, Loyola has won 81.5 percent of those games (53-12).


Since 2012

Loyola has the best winning percentage in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse since the start of the 2012 season. The Greyhounds are 40-7 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 11-1 this season) for a .851 mark. Loyola’s winning percentage of .917 this season is the best nationally.

Only Duke has won more games (42) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by more than seven percent (42-12, .778).


Chart Toppers

A pair of Greyhounds attackers are near the top of two offensive categories through games of Monday, April 14, in both total goals and assists. Nikko Pontrello is second in Division I with 40 goals, while Justin Ward is second with 39 assists.

The duo is the No. 2 point-scoring tandem in the country with 99 combined points (Ward, 51; Pontrello, 48). Albany’s Lyle (73) and Miles (67) have a combined 140.


Tops Among Close Defenders

Joe Fletcher is second on Loyola in ground balls, total (54) and per game (4.50), this season, but more impressive than that, he paces all close defenders nationally in the categories. Fletcher is 46th overall in ground balls per game, while the 45 players who are ahead of him are either face-off specialists or long-stick midfielders who play on the wings during restarts.


And Short-Sticks, Too

Meanwhile, Pat Laconi leads all non-pole defenders nationally in caused turnovers and caused turnovers per game. He has caused 22 this season while averaging 1.83 per game. He is 13th in the nation, and the 12 players ahead of him in the rankings are all long-stick midfielders or close defenders.


Record-Setting Quarterback

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 39 assists in 12 games. With his third and final assist last Saturday against Boston University, Ward passed Sean Heffernan for first-place in school single-season history at the Division I level.

He is second in the nation in total assists (39), and he is also second in the country and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.25 assists per game this year.

With four assists against Duke on March 9, Ward set Loyola’s career Division I record (since 1982) in total assists, eclipsing the mark of 83 set from 1989-92 by Jim Blanding. His three at Colgate gave him 100 for his career, making him the second player in program history ever to record 100.

Ward now has 106 career assists. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also seventh in school Division I history in total points with 157, one away from tying John Carroll (1984-87) for sixth place.

Ward is in his third year as a starter on attack for the Greyhound after earning USILA All-America Honorable Mention last year after finishing tops on the team in points (62) and assists (35) and second in goals (27). His 62 points ranked tied for fifth in school single-season Division I history, and his 35 assists check in at third on that list.


Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello was held without a goal for the first time this season on April 5 against Navy, snapping a streak of 10-straight games to start the season that Pontrello had two or more goals. He rebounded, however, with three goals and two assists last Saturday versus Boston University. Through games of Monday, April 14, Pontrello is second in the nation in total goals with 40.

He scored two in the season-opener at Virginia and then had three each against Penn State and Towson before scoring a career-high six goals at Holy Cross. He then tallied four at Lehigh, five against Duke, three at Georgetown, five versus Lafayette and three against Colgate and Boston University.

Two of his goals have been game-winners in one-goal contests. Pontrello scored 19 seconds into overtime to give Loyola a 12-11 win at Penn State, and he then tallied one with 51.4 seconds left in regulation to push the Greyhounds past Georgetown, 10-9.

Pontrello leads the Greyhound and the Patriot League with 40 goals and is second behind Justin Ward for the team- and League-lead with 48 points through 12 games.

He leads the Patriot League and is second nationally in goals per game (3.33), while he is second and 14th in points per game (4.00).


Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .638 mark, saving 118 out of 185 shots on goal he’s faced. In a six-game stretch  against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel made 61 saves and allowed just 26 goals (.701).

The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.02 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .608 through 12 games. He is third in the nation in both saves percentage and  goals against average.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.73 goals against average and .562 saves percentage; he is fifth in Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982) with 419 career saves. Runkel’s record between the pipes is 38-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 42 victories. Amato (as of Monday), however, Amato is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.

Runkel picked up his fourth-straight Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honor on March 17, becoming the first player in League history to win any of the weekly honors (Offensive, Defensive, Goalkeeper or Rookie) four-consecutive times. His honor on March 31 made him the first player in League history to earn five in a season.


Fletch, White And Blue

Senior defender Joe Fletcher was the lone current collegiate player selected as part of one of 52 players who made up the United States Men’s National Team training roster this fall, and the day before Loyola’s season-opener, he found out he is one of 30 players who made the cut for the team that will compete at the 2014 World Cup in Denver.

Against Holy Cross, Fletcher set a career-high with eight ground balls, eclipsing his previous total of seven set on five different occasions. In a pair of games against Towson and the Crusaders, he had 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers.

He later had seven ground balls and causing a turnover against Duke. He also was primarily responsible for holding the Blue Devils’ All-American attacker Jordan Wolf to one goal.

Versus Colgate, Fletcher was matched up against Ryan Walsh, and he held the Raiders’ leading scorer without a goal or assist for the first time in his career, a total of 42 prior games. He then marked Navy’s T.J. Hanzsche, holding him without a point for the first time in 15 games.

Fletcher has been named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week four times this year, the most any player in conference history has earned the award. He is second on the Greyhounds with 54 ground balls and caused turnovers (18). His 63 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

As good of a match-up defender as Fletcher is, he is as good off the ground. He leads all close defenders nationally with 54 ground balls and 4.50 per game.


Not Just Defensive Midfield

Short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on March 3 after matching his career-high with two goals at Lehigh.

The senior, who is a team co-captain and Preseason All-American, had a goal an assist versus Army, a goal at Georgetown and an assist versus Navy,  and one of each versus Boston University bringing his season totals to seven goals and three assists. He now has 12 goals and 12 assists in his four-year career.

Laconi posted four ground balls, matching his career-high, and three caused turnovers at Colgate, the final of each coming with less than 25 seconds remaining to help seal the win. He caused another three turnovers a week later at Navy. His team-leading 22 caused turnovers this season have brought his career total to 63, fourth-most in school history.


Taking Care Of The Ball

Loyola continues to lead the nation in fewest turnovers per game, averaging 10.42 through 12 contests. The Greyhounds have committed 1.33 fewer turnovers per game than the second-place team in the nation, Towson, a team that committed 18 turnovers earlier this year against Loyola.

The Greyhounds also lead the nation in clearing percentage at .940.


Near The Top At Both Sides

The Greyhounds is the only team to be in the top five of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (13.25) rank fifth, and its goals allowed (7.17) are fourth. As a result, Loyola leads the nation in scoring margin (+6.08).

While it is fourth nationally in scoring defense, Loyola is just third in the Patriot League in the category. Army (1st, 5.70) and Lehigh (2nd, 6.50) both rank ahead of the Greyhounds nationally.


Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all 12 of its games this season, and it has had five stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 21 runs of 3-0 or better. Here is a look at their four best scoring stretches:

Opponent Run Time Covered   Opponent Run Time Covered
at Holy Cross 14-0 38:58   Lafayette 12-0 26:53
Towson 10-0 16:38   at Virginia 9-0 14:18



Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has scored 21 goals, second-most on the team through 12 games. He also had the game-winning goal 12 seconds into the second overtime at Navy.

Entering this season, Schultz had seen most of his playing time on extra-man opportunities for the Greyhounds, posting a combined three goals and five assists.


Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

Two of Loyola’s senior co-captains were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List when it was released in February. Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward were among the 50 players nationally to receive recognition in February. Additionally, junior attacker Nikko Pontrello was added to the Watch List on March 20.

Fletcher and Ward were also two of 20 players nationally to be named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award that seniors who have performed at a high level athletically and in the classroom and who have used their platforms as student-athletes to make positive impacts in the community. Earlier this month, they were selected as two of the award’s 10 finalists for this year.

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Navy’s struggles continue in loss at Bucknell

Posted on 22 February 2014 by WNST Staff

LEWISBURG, Pa. —  A scoreless second quarter by the Navy men’s lacrosse team (1-2, 0-1 Patriot League) opened the door for Bucknell (2-1, 1-0 PL), as the Bison used a four-quarter second period to take a lead it would not relinquish en route to posting a 9-6 victory over the Mids Saturday afternoon at Christy Mathewson Stadium in Lewisburg, Pa.

Both teams looked to have the early-season hiccups as the two programs had trouble settling into their offense.  Navy scored the opening goal at 9:23 as senior midfielder Pat Durkin (Germantown, Md.) fed classmate Austin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) who punched in his first of two goals on the afternoon from seven yards.  The Mids tacked on to their lead when senior midfielder Erik Hoffstadt’s (Dover, Del.) hard right-hander rippled the net from 10 yards out on the left wing at the 2:42 mark.  It was Hoffstadt’s first goal of the 2014 campaign.

Navy’s defense stymied the Bison in the opening quarter, but it would be the Mids who would come up empty in the second quarter for the first time this season.

All-Patriot League midfielder Thomas Flibotte sparked what would be a 4-0 Bucknell run when he sent his runner from the left wing past Navy keeper John Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) just 1:34 into the second period.  Sophomore attack Sean Doyle gave Bucknell the lead at 3-2 when he notched back-to-back goals, including a goal off a rebound in which he picked up a loose ball and danced his way around the left crease. Bucknell closed out the half by coming out of a timeout with four ticks left on the clock and Flibotte won a foot race and scored as time expired, giving Bucknell a 4-2 advantage at the break.

Navy trimmed the lead to one (4-3) when senior attack Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) alertly threw his pass in on a quick restart to Heneveld who stood in front of a goalie-less cage.  However, less than a minute later Bucknell midfielder Kyle Shanahan answered to push the lead back to two.

Sixty seconds later, Navy sophomore attack T.J. Hanzsche (Berwyn, Pa.) curled around the right side of the goal and managed to thread his fifth goal of the year through a scrum of players.  The goal extended Hanzsche’s goal-scoring streak to nine straight games.

Once again, Bucknell answered as Doyle secured his hat trick and gave the Bison a 6-4 lead.

Bucknell scored three of the first four goals of the final period to post its largest lead of the day at four (9-5) with just over two minutes remaining in the contest.

Bucknell would be flagged for its first penalty of the game with 1:37 to go and Hull went on to connect on the extra-man goal off an assist from junior Gabe Voumard (Cape May, N.J.) as Navy could get no closer than the final margin of three.

Navy was oushot 41-29 in the contest after struggling to keep hold of the ball.  The Mids were credited with 15 turnovers, including 10 that were unforced errors.

“Ultimately today it was another hard-fought battle,” said third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “We are making far too many mistakes, especially in these tight games.  I really thought the defense did a great job of holding Bucknell to nine goals considering the possession time.  We have to figure things out on the offensive end and cut out the unforced turnovers.

“We are doing some really good things, especially when you look at this game a year ago,” added Sowell.  “I’m proud of our effort, no doubt, but we aren’t in it to show up and play hard.  This team wants to win and right now we are searching to find the answers.”

Heneveld led the way for the Mids with two goals, while Hanzsche, Hull and Voumard each pitched in a goal and an assist.  Meanwhile senior Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.), who came into the game as Navy’s leading scorer with 14 points on seven goals and seven assists, was held scoreless for only the sixth time in the 41 games he has played in during his career.

Freshman faceoff specialist Brady Dove (Stevensville, Md.) did a fine job, winning 12 of the 18 draws he took.  He has now won 36 faceoffs in his first three games and stands 18th on Navy’s career faceoff wins list and fourth on the Mids’ rookie list.

Defensively Connors made 13 saves, including six stops in the second quarter.  Defensemen Nik Mullen (Wading River, N.Y.) and Matt Rees (Sykesville, Md.), along with short stick defensive midfielder John Trainor (Northport, N.Y.) and Dove were all credited with a caused turnover.  Dove led Navy with six ground balls.

The Mids return home next Saturday when they play host to Holy Cross at 11:00 am.

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Navy opens Patriot League play Saturday at Bucknell

Posted on 21 February 2014 by WNST Staff

2014 Navy Men’s Lacrosse Game Specifics
Game 3 Navy (1-1, 0-0 PL) at Bucknell (1-1, 0-0 PL)
Date and Faceoff Feb. 22 at 3:00 pm ET
Location Lewisburg, Pa. | Christy Mathewson Stadium (13,100)

Game Preview

• Looking to bounce back after dropping a 9-8 overtime decision to Georgetown last Saturday, the Navy men’s lacrosse team (1-1) will travel to Lewisburg, Pa. on Saturday to face Bucknell (1-1) in both teams’ Patriot League opener … the 14th edition of the Navy-Bucknell series is set for a 3:00 pm faceoff at Christy Mathewson Stadium.
• The game will be streamed online for FREE via PatriotLeague.TV and NavySports.com.  Live stats will also be available at NavySports.com.
• Navy outscored Georgetown 5-1 over the final 24 minutes of play in a furious comeback in a game that was sent into overtime with a short-handed goal by T.J. Hanzsche with 53 seconds in regularion.  The Hoyas’ Jeff Fountain, however, scored the game-winner just under two minutes into the extra frame as Georgetown scored the 9-8 OT victory.
• Meanwhile, a four-goal run by Bryant in the opening quarter proved to be the difference in picking up a 12-9 victory over Bucknell last Sunday in Rhode Island.

A Win Over Bucknell Would …
• snap a 7-game skid in games played on the road dating back to 2012.
• snap a 3-game skid against the Bison.
• give Navy an 8-6 series advantage against the Bison and would clip Bucknell’s lead in games played in Lewisburg to 4-3.
• give Navy head coach Rick Sowell his first win over Bucknell as a head coach … he is 0-2 against the Bison.
• give Sowell a 97-98 career record and an 11-17 mark at Navy.
• push Navy’s all-time record to 761-325-14.
• give the Mids a 6-5 all-time record in Patriot League openers, including a 2-4 mark against Bucknell in openers.
• be Navy’s first win in a Patriot League opener since beating Lehigh, 8-3, in 2010.

Taking the Field In …
10 – Senior attack Sam Jones’ 10-point performance against VMI in the opener marked the most points scored by a Navy player since March 20, 1991, when Dennis Nealon recorded 12 (4G, 8A) against Washington College.  It was just the eighth time in program history that a Navy player has had double figured points.
9 – Navy has lost just five games (55-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season … Navy is 9-0 under Sowell when scoring 10 or more goals (5-0 in 2012, 3-0 in 2013, 1-0 in 2014).
8 – Starting attack T.J. Hanzsche owns a team-best 8-game goal-scoring streak.  The last time he did not score a goal was on March 12 against Towson
7 – The Mids have lost 7 consecutive true road games dating back to the 2012 season.
6 – Co-captain Pat Kiernan needs 6 ground balls to move into 10th on Navy’s all-time ground balls leader board … he owns 149.
5 – Senior attack Tucker Hull has scored a point in 5 straight contests dating back to last season, including assists in each of the last 3.
4 – Third-year head coach Rick Sowell is 4 wins from earning his 100th collegiate victory.  He owns a 96-98 record in 15 years as a head coach.
3 – Navy senior attack Sam Jones needs 3 goals to join the Mids’ all-time top 20 goals scored list … he owns 69 heading into the weekend.
2 – Navy’s 2 goals against Bucknell a year ago marked the fewest scored by either team in the series’ 13-game history.
1 – Over the last six seasons, 29 (11-18) of the Mids’ 87 contests have been decided by 1 goal.

Scouting the Bison
• Ninth-year Bucknell head coach Frank Fedorjaka has directed his Bison to a 1-1 start this season, beating Delaware in the opener, 6-4, before droppin a 12-9 decision on the road to Bryant.
• Bucknell, who was voted to finish second this season in the Patriot League, stands 20th in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and is receiving votes in the USILA Coaches Poll this week.
• Ironically, Bucknell owned a two-goal decision over Mount St. Mary’s in the fourth, but gave up two goals in the final 1:35 to suffer its lone loss (12-11) of the season.
• Bucknell has seven returning starters on its roster, including 2013 Preseason All-Patriot League Team members David Dickson, Thomas Flibotte and Jackson Place.
• Flibotte, a sophomore midfielder, has scored a team-high 4 goals off 10 shots on goal.  Dickson, meanwhile, owns 4 points off 3 goals and 1 assist.  Second-year middie Kyle Shanahan (2-1) and sophomore attack Sean Doyle (1-2) each have 3 points to date.
• Place, a senior close defenseman has 4 caused turnovers and 4 ground balls.
• Junior Sam Grinberg has been solid in goal where he owns an 8.00 goals-against average and a 52.9 save percentage.  The first-year starter earned Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors following Bucknell’s win over Delaware where he made a career-high 12 stops and surrendered 4 goals.
• One area Bucknell has long struggled at is the faceoff game.  The Bison have won just 37.8 percent (14-37) of the draws this season.  They were 5-13 against Delaware and 9-24 against Bryant.  Senior Peter Burke (6-13) and junior Gavin Sullivan (7-21) have split the duties at the “x.”

Navy vs. Bucknell – The Series
• Saturday’s contest between Navy and Bucknell marks the 14th game in a series that began in 1996 …Bucknell has won four of the last six, including each of the last three.
• Navy had won three straight in the series before rookie Charlie Streep’s goal as time expired snapped the Mids’ winning streak in 2009 during the regular season.
• However, the Mids got sweet revenge on Bucknell’s home field when they scored a 9-8 win in the 2009 Patriot League Championship Game to earn an automatic bid to play in the NCAA Tournament.
• Seven of the 13 games in the series have been decided by one goal, including five of the last seven … three of the seven one-goal contests have entered into extra minutes … in 2010, midfielder Patrick Moran stuck his shot 1:20 into overtime to lead the Mids to an 8-7 OT win … meanwhile, in 2011 Navy scored four goals in the fourth, including a pair by Nikk Davis in the final 18 seconds of the game to send it into overtime … rookie Todd Heritage, however, found an opening and scored the game-winner for the Bison.
• Bucknell holds a 4-2 advantage in games played in Lewisburg.
• Last year the Bison dealt the Mids their worst loss in series history, beating Navy, 11-2, in Lewisburg.

Patriot League Success
• Since joining the Patriot League in 2004, Navy has put together a 53-21 (71.6) record against conference members, which includes an 11-2 (84.6) mark in the Patriot League Tournament … the Mids are 42-19 (68.9) in regular-season action.
• The Mids have lost regular-season contests to …
Army (4)    2008, ‘10, ‘11, ‘12, ‘13
Boston U. (0)    —
Bucknell (5)    2005, ‘09, ‘11, ‘12, ‘13
Colgate (4)    2006, ‘09, ‘11, ‘13
Holy Cross (1)    2013
Lafayette (1)    2010
Lehigh (3)    2011, ‘12, ‘13
Loyola (0)    —
… and dropped the program’s first Patriot League Tournament contest at the 2008 semifinals against eventual champion Colgate and its second to Army in the 2010 championship contest.
• Fifteen of the 21 losses were in games played either at the opponent’s field or at a neutral site.
• Navy owns a 25-6 record at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium against Patriot League competition since joining the conference in 2004 … the Mids are 19-6 during the regular season.
• The Mids have produced undefeated marks in conference action twice, 7-0 in 2004 and 6-0 in ‘07.
• Navy has won at least a share of the Patriot League regular-season title in five (2004-05-06-07-08) of the nine years it has been a member of the league.
• Additionally, the Mids have claimed the league’s tournament crown five times (2004-05-06-07-09).
• 31 different Mids have garnered All-Patriot League recognition, while 19 of the 31 have earned honors multiple times.
• With the addition of Boston U. and Loyola this season, the Patriot League has expanded to a nine-team league.

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Loyola tries to continue strong home season Wednesday against Bucknell

Posted on 18 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Bucknell Bison

Wednesday, February 19, 2014  |  7:30 p.m.

Baltimore, Md. | Reitz Arena  |  PLN


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland plays its second-straight home game on Wednesday, February 19, at 7:30 p.m. when it hosts Bucknell University in Reitz Arena.

Loyola has won five of seven Patriot League games in Reitz Arena this year. The Greyhounds are 7-4 overall at home this season.

After shooting 52 percent from the field on Saturday night against Boston University, Loyola is shooting eight percent better in games at Reitz Arena as compared to those away from home (.462-.382). It also averages nearly two assists more (12.1-10.3).

Jordan Latham is averaging 8.9 points in Patriot League play after finishing non-conference play averaging 5.0.
Last Time Out

Loyola outshot and outrebounded Boston University on Saturday night, but 22 Greyhounds turnovers led to 27 Terriers points in an 87-22 loss in Reitz Arena.

The Greyhounds shot 52 percent from the field (26-of-50) and had a 13-rebound advantage (37-24), but Boston University created 13 of the turnovers via steals.

Loyola’s steals allowed and turnovers committed were season highs.

Jordan Latham had his first career double-double, making 10-of-16 field goals and finishing with career-bests of 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Eric Laster also had a career-high with 18 points, knocking down 6-of-7 shots, including both of his 3-pointers.


Patriot League Network

Wednesday’s game against American will air live on the Patriot League Network.

The contest, and all of Loyola’s remaining, non-televised home and road games will be streamed, free of charge, in high definition and can be accessed at www.patriotleague.tv.

Gary Lambrecht will call the play-by-play, and Jim Chivers ’05 will provide color analysis.


Series History Versus Bucknell

Loyola and Bucknell will meet for the 10th time on the hardwood when the teams take the floor Wednesday night in a series that the programs had played the past four years prior to Loyola joining the Patriot League.

The Bison hold a 7-2 lead in the all-time series. The teams completed a four-game home-and-home series last year, and stretch in which the visiting team defeated the road team in each meeting.

Bucknell broke that streak of the road team winning on January 22 when the Bison dealt Loyola a 70-60 loss in Lewisburg, Pa.

Cameron Ayers made 10-of-10 free throws in the game for Bucknell and finished with 19 points for the Bison. Bucknell took 34 free throws to Loyola’s 16 in the game, and the Bison made 27.

Loyola had a five-point lead five minutes into the second half, but Bucknell tied it on a Ryan Hill three with 14:46 left. Dylon Cormier tallied 20 for Loyola to lead all players.


Start Of A New Era

Loyola’s January 2 game against Navy marked the start of a new era for Loyola basketball, the Greyhounds’ first game as a member of the Patriot League.

Loyola announced in August 2012 it would join the 10-school League, and it officially became a member on July 1, 2013.

The Greyhounds had been members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) since 1989-1990.


Academic Honors For Rassman

Last week, sophomore forward Franz Rassman was named to the Capital One Academic All-America District II Team for his excellence in the classroom.

Rassman, who has started 20-of-21 games and is averaging 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, is now eligible for Academic All-America honors along with district honorees from around the nation.


Cormier Has Hand Surgery

Dylon Cormier, the leading scorer in the Patriot League (21.2 points per game) fractured his left hand in a loose-ball scramble on Saturday, February 1, against the U.S. Military Academy, and he had surgery on February 5 to stabilize the break, likely ending his season.

Cormier was also second in the Patriot League in steals (2.2) and fifth in rebounds (5.8) at the time of his injury.


Career Night For Latham

Jordan Latham recorded career-highs in several categories on Saturday night against Boston University, logging his first collegiate double-double with bests of 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Latham made 10-of-16 field goals and 5-of-8 free throws (career-highs in both made and attempted for both) while also blocking three shots and tying his personal-best with two steals.

The senior forward from Baltimore scored 16 points in the first half, more than any other Loyola player has tallied in the opening 20 minutes this year. He played a career-high 33 minutes, as well in the game.

His previous scoring high of 17 came in December 2012 at Florida Gulf Coast University, and he had a high of seven rebounds earlier this season at Cornell University.


Latham And The League

In Loyola’s 14 Patriot League contests, Jordan Latham has significantly raised his scoring contributions. He finished Loyola’s regular-season slate of 11 games with a 5.0 points per game, but he has bumped that up to 8.9 points in League contests.

In conference games, Latham is shooting 50.5 percent (33.8 non-conference), and he is also better at the free-throw line, making 68.6 percent as opposed to 47.4.

Latham has also rebounded better, 4.3 in the League, up from 3.4, and his blocked shots per game are 1.4, higher than his previous 1.1.

The improved play in the Patriot League has raised his cumulative totals to 7.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.


Laster Impression

Eric Laster has set career-highs in scoring in two of the Greyhounds’ last three games. He recorded 18 points on February 15 against Boston University, clipping his previous best of 17 on February 8 at Lehigh.

Laster’s 18 against the Terriers came in a much more efficient manner than the 17 against the Mountain Hawks. He made 6-of-7 from the field, including both of his 3-point attempts, against Boston University after hitting 6-of-15 at Lehigh.

Through 25 games, 23 starts, this year, Laster is second on the team with an 8.4 points per game average. He is shooting 42.0 percent from the field and 41.0 percent form 3-point range. The sophomore also has averaged 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

In 27 games as a freshman in 2011-2012, Laster averaged 0.8 points and 0.4 rebounds in 5.3 minutes of action per game.


Turnover Troubles

Loyola has seen its turnovers rise sharply in its last two games, posting two of its three highest miscue totals against Lafayette and Boston University. After posting 17 against the Leopards, Loyola had a season-high 22 versus the Terriers.

Thirteen of the turnovers against Boston University came via Terriers’ steals in a game Loyola was playing without starting point guard R.J. Williams due to an injury.

The game against Boston University was just the sixth time this season that the Greyhounds have committed more turnovers than their opponents. They are 2-4 in those games.

Turnovers have not been a major issue for the Greyhounds this season. They are averaging 12.3 giveaways per game this year, third fewest in the Patriot League. Additionally, Loyola is tops in the conference in turnover margin, averaging 1.8 fewer per game than its opponents.


Block Party

Jordan Latham and Jarred Jones have combined for 16 blocked shots in the last four games for the Greyhounds, helping Loyola take over the Patriot League lead in blocked shots per game (4.2).

Latham had four versus America, and Jones tallied four at Lehigh.

Latham had three against Boston University to take over the seasonal team lead from Jones. The duo is sixth and seventh, respectively, in blocked shots per game in the Patriot League, averaging 1.3 and 1.2 a contest.


Patton’s Playing Time

With R.J. Williams out against Boston University due to an injury, Jevon Patton saw a season-high 23 minutes at the point guard spot.

The freshman from Charlotte scored just two points, but he dished out six assists, the third most in a game by a Loyola player this season (Williams has had games with 10 and nine assists).


Tuohy Into The Box Score

Redshirt freshman guard Sean Tuohy Jr. scored the first points of his collegiate career on Saturday against Boston University, grabbing a rebound before being fouled and converting two free throws.


Hubbard Hits From Deep

Tyler Hubbard had one of the best 3-point shooting nights in school history against American, making 6-of-7 attempts on his way to a career-high 20 points.

Hubbard’s six threes are tied for sixth-most in school single-game history, and they were the most since Robert Olson and J’hared Hall both hit six in a game at Manhattan on January 7, 2011.

The sophomore out of Washington, D.C., made three in both halves with his only miss coming in the first. He also made both of his free throw attempts after being fouled with 25 seconds left. He eclipsed his previous career-high of 17 scored on 6-of-7 shooting, 4-of-5 from behind the arc, in a November 14, 2012, game against UMBC.

A week earlier, Hubbard scored his previous season-high of 13 at College of the Holy Cross when he made 4-of-6 from deep.


Winning Without Boards

Loyola posted a season-low 17 rebounds on February 5 against American, but the Greyhounds also had the distinction of tying the mark for the fewest rebounds in a win by a NCAA Division I team this season (according to Stats, Inc.)

Delaware and Indiana State also had 17 rebounds in wins over College of Charleston and Pepperdine, respectively, this season. Ironically, Delaware’s win with 17 boards came on the same day as Loyola victory over American.


Jones On The Defensive End

While he has scored just 17 points in Loyola’s last four games, Jarred Jones has continued to be a solid defensive player for the Greyhounds. In those games, he has blocked seven shots and come up with 10 steals.

He had four blocked shots at Lehigh to match his career-high set in the season-opener at Binghamton. He is second on the team with 30 total blocked shots and is seventh in the conference with 1.2 per game.

Jones is also eighth in the Patriot League in steals per game after nabbing four against American. He averages 1.3 per game with a total of 37.


Gorski Garners Starting Role

Freshman post player Nick Gorski drew his first starting assignment as a collegian on February 8 against Army, and the Richmond, Va., native scored nine points in 22 minutes of action.

The start came on the heels of his first extended playing time since December. He made all three of his field goals and both of his free-throw attempts last Wednesday, finishing with career-highs of nine points and five rebounds in 18 minutes at Holy Cross.

Prior to the last six games Gorski had seen 10 or more minutes just twice this season. He tallied 13 minutes and scored seven points in an overtime win at Cornell, and he then played 16 minutes on December 21 against Saint Joseph’s.

His 18 points in the two games against Holy Cross and Army nearly doubled his previous output this season. He entered the Holy Cross game with 23 points through 16 contests.


Setting Up The Shots

R.J. Williams finished the February 1 game against Army with nine assists, one off his career-high of 10 set on January 13 against Lafayette.

Williams is sixth in the Patriot League in assists per game (4.1). He had 34 assists in eight non-conference games, and he entered January and Patriot League action averaging 3.8 per game. Since then, Williams has 55 assists in 13 games for an average of 4.2.

The junior from Baltimore has also increased his scoring average during Patriot League play. Overall he is averaging 7.8 points per game, 8.2 against conference opponents.


Gotta Get To The Line

The Greyhounds have seen their most success this season when getting to the free-throw line consistently. They are 6-2 when attempting 25 or more free throws (wins over Binghamton, Cornell, Fairfield, UMBC, Navy and Lafayette; losses to Stony Brook and Saint Joseph’s). In the Loyola’s three other wins, Catholic, Lehigh and Colgate, it took 19, 24 and 18 free throws, respectively.

Overall, Loyola is getting to the free-throw line more than seven fewer times in losses than wins (27.7-20.6).


Away From The Friendly Confines

Loyola lost its 11th straight road game on February 12 at Lafayette after winning its first three this season away from Reitz Arena. At 3-11 on the road, the Greyhounds are shooting 38.2 percent as opposed to 45.4 percent while going 7-3 at home. Opponents are shooting 46.4 percent in their own facilities, 42.4 percent in Reitz Arena.

Loyola does shoot slightly better from 3-point range on the road, making 31.2 percent of shots from behind the arc as compared to 28.0 at home.

The Greyhounds turn the ball over at a rate of one per game more on the road (12.4-11.2), and they also force an additional turnover at home (14.9-13.4).

With these factors, the Greyhounds are averaging nearly nine points less per game on the road, 62.7, to their 71.3 points per game at home.


Sticky Fingers

The Greyhounds posted 11 steals against American on February 5, marking the fifth time in 14 Patriot League games that they have grabbed 10 or more. Through February 18, Loyola leads the League with 8.3 steals overall.

Through games of February 18, the Greyhounds are tied for 17th nationally with Syracuse at 8.32 steals per game. Loyola has had 11 or more steals in eight games through 25 contests.

R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is 17th nationally in steals per game (2.4), while Dylon Cormier is second (2.19) and 25th.

In the January 25 game against Colgate, Cormier had two steals, moving him past Tracy Bergan and into second on the all-time steals list at Loyola. Bergan was in attendance at the game as part of the Greyhounds’ 1994 NCAA Tournament team that was honored that night. He now has 185 in his career.

With 117 in his career, Williams is 11th on the career chart.


Cormier’s Scoring

Dylon Cormier has been one of the top scorers in the nation this season, averaging 21.2 points per game through 21 and the time of his injury. Through games of Monday, February 17, Cormier was 14th in the nation in points per game.

Cormier scored 20 or more points in the Greyhounds’ first five games, and he had three 30-plus point efforts during that stretch, as well.

Overall, he has 14 20-plus point games in 21 contests, and he has recorded 25 or more eight times.

On November 20 at UMBC, Cormier had a career-high 12 field goals and went 9-of-13 from the line to match his career-best with 34 points (also set on November 10 at Cornell).

No Loyola player in the school’s Division I era (since 1981-1982) had started the season with five-straight 20-point games. Andre Collins, who set the school single-season scoring record at 26.1, started the 2005-2006 season with 20 or more points in five of six games, but he scored  just 16 in the Greyhounds’ third game of the season.

Cormier was the first player in Loyola men’s basketball history to post two 30+ point games to start the season.

He was also the first Loyola player to score 30 or more in back-to-back outings since Collins went for 34, 36 and 39 in three-straight games (all on the road at VMI, Delaware and Providence) from December 29, 2005-January 3, 2006.


Over 1,600

In the first half of the game at Bucknell, Dylon Cormier hit the 1,600 career points mark, becoming the seventh player in school history to do so, the fifth in the program’s tenure at Division I.

At Boston University, Cormier moved into seventh-place all-time at Loyola in scoring, passing Mike Powell and his 1,580 points. At the time of his injury, Cormier now had 1,659 career points through 115 career games.


Telling Stat

In Loyola’s 15 losses this season, the Greyhounds are shooting nearly nine percent worse from the floor than they are in their eight victories.

Loyola has made 47.0 percent (249-of-530) shots in 10 wins versus 38.1 percent (325-of-853) in 15 losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 14.4 less (74.8 versus 60.4) points per game.

As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (47.0-42.5) in the games they’ve won.


Start Of The Smith Era

G.G. Smith was named the 20th head coach in Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball history on April 12, 2013. Her garnered his first head coaching win on November 8, 2013, in the season-opener against Binghamton.

The 1999 graduate of the University of Georgia spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Loyola for Jimmy Patsos who took the head coaching position at Siena College in March.

Loyola amassed a 106-87 record (.549) during Smith’s six years as an assistant. The 106 wins and the .549 winning percentage are the best of any six-year stretch during Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982-1983).

As a player, Smith was a three-year starter and four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs from 1995-1999. Smith helped the Bulldogs advance to the 1996 NCAA Sweet 16 and another tournament appearance in 1997. He left Georgia as the school’s career leader in games played (129), wins in a season (24) and 3-pointers in a game (nine).

Smith is the son of current Texas Tech University Head Coach Tubby Smith. The elder Smith led the University of Kentucky to the 1998 NCAA Championship and is in his 23rd season as a head coach. G.G. Smith played for his father from 1995-1997 at Georgia.


Look Back At 2012-2013

Loyola finished the 2012-2013 season with a 23-12 record, marking the first time in the school’s Division I history (since 1982-1983) that the Greyhounds have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons.

The Greyhounds finished their final season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 12-6 mark, tying for second place.

After falling in the first round of the MAAC Championships, Loyola its first-ever bid tot he CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Following the Greyhounds’ 2012 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, it was the first consecutive postseason bids in school Division I history and the first since 1953 in any division of competition.

Erik Etherly and Dylon Cormier became the first set of Loyola teammates to be named to the All-MAAC First Team in the same year.

Five players – Julius Brooks, Etherly, Robert Olson, Luke Wandrusch and Anthony Winbush – graduated after the season, leaving behind combined career totals of 3,413 points, 1,930 rebounds, 575 assists and 395 steals.


Cormier On The Charts

Dylon Cormier entered his senior season at Loyola with a chance to climb many of the Greyhounds’ career statistical charts. Here is a look at where he stands:


7th 1,659 points
Next Mike Krawczyk, 1,676
Field Goals Made
10th 552 field goals made
Next Gene Gwiazdowski, 565
3-Pointers Made
13th 96 3-Pt. Made
Next B.J. Davis, 104
Free Throws Made
2nd 459 free throws made
Next Jim Lacy, 613
20th 210 assists
Next Dave Wojick, 219
2nd 185 steals
Next Jason Rowe, 272




Into The Fold

Loyola signed three high school seniors in the early signing period to comprise its Class of 2018.

Forward Cam Gregory (Waldorf, Md./St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes) and guards Chancellor Barnard (Columbia, Md./Glenelg Country School) and Colton Bishop (Winston-Salem, N.C./Forsyth County Day School) will join the program in the fall.

For more on the trio, visit http://loyo.la/MBB-NLIs-13.


High Marks

The Loyola men’s basketball team scored the highest amongst squads in the State of Maryland in the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate report. The Greyhounds checked in with a 91-percent GSR, tops among the state’s nine Division I schools, for players who entered the school between 2003-2006.


Up Next

Following that Bucknell game, Loyola travels to Hamilton, N.Y., for a Saturday, February 22, game at Colgate University.

The Greyhounds return to Reitz Arena for their final regular-season home game against College of the Holy Cross on Wednesday, February 26. Loyola will celebrate its four seniors – Dylon Cormier, Jordan Latham, Chido Onyiuke and manager Zan Cheema – prior to the game.

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Loyola tries to bounce back Wednesday against Bucknell

Posted on 21 January 2014 by WNST Staff

What: Loyola (8-9, 3-3 PL) at Bucknell (8-9, 3-3 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, 7 p.m.
Internet Video: Bison Vision on the Patriot League Network (free)

With a Win over Loyola, Bucknell Would …
• … improve to 9-9 overall, 4-3 in the Patriot League.
• … remain in at least a tie for fourth place in the Patriot League standings.
• … improve to 5-3 at home this season.
• … improve to 117-36 overall and 81-16 against Patriot League foes at Sojka Pavilion.
• … improve to 7-2 all-time against the Greyhounds.

• The Bison fell back to 3-3 in the Patriot League with a pair of road losses against the service academies last week, and now this week they have a two-game homestand against the two Patriot League newcomers, starting with Loyola on Wednesday. The Bison and Greyhounds come in with identical records of 8-9 overall and 3-3 in the Patriot League. While the Bison are coming off a 74-67 loss at Army on Sunday, Loyola will be on even shorter rest after falling at Boston University 72-58 on Monday night.
• General public tickets for Saturday’s home game against Boston University have been sold out. Only Bucknell student tickets remain at this time. In the event that any consignment tickets are returned, they will be made available for sale to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 1 p.m. from the Sojka Pavilion Box Office.
• Senior Cameron Ayers is working on a streak of 11 straight double-figure scoring games and continues to lead the team in scoring at 13.6 ppg. Chris Hass (10.4 ppg) has emerged as a scorer in league play, where he ranks fifth in the PL with a team-best 15.7 ppg average. That total includes a career-high 26-point performance against Colgate. Ben Brackney broke out of a recent shooting slump with a career-high 25 points at Lafayette. He also led the team with 13 points in the win over Holy Cross and 12 in the loss at Navy, and he was named Patriot League Player of the Week last Monday.
• This is a “new-look” Bison squad, as three standout players from last year’s NCAA Tournament team have graduated (Mike Muscala, Bryson Johnson, Joe Willman) and are all playing professionally overseas. Three Bucknell players made their first career starts on opening night at Stanford (Brian Fitzpatrick, Dom Hoffman, Ben Brackney), Ryan Frazier started for the first time in his career at Penn State, and Chris Hass did the same against Saint Francis.
• Bucknell returned two starters and 11 lettermen from last year’s squad that won a school-record 28 games, captured Patriot League regular-season and tournament titles, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history.
• Loyola features the Patriot League’s leading scorer in Dylon Cormier, who is averaging 22.1 points per game. Cormier also ranks second in the Patriot League in steals and sixth in rebounding, and he has scored 32.0% of his team’s points on the season. In conference play the Greyhounds are 3-0 at home (Navy, Lehigh, Lafayette) but 0-3 on the road (Army, American, Boston U.) so far.

How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Loyola game will not be televised, however a live webstream will be available free of charge on Bison Vision on the Patriot League Network.
• The game can be heard in the Susquehanna Valley on the radio on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM), with Doug Birdsong calling the action. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off.
• The audio feed is available online free of charge via BucknellBison.com.
• Live stats can be accessed at BucknellBison.com.

Bucknell vs. Loyola
• The Bison and Greyhounds have met eight times previously, with Bucknell leading 6-2 in the series. Bucknell won the first four, then the two teams have traded victories over the last four seasons.
• The first series meeting came on Jan. 7, 1987 in Lewisburg. The Bison prevailed that day 72-70. A year later Bucknell won 80-60 on Loyola’s home floor.
• Bucknell and Loyola played twice within the 1992-93 season. The Bison won 75-59 in Baltimore, and in late February at Davis Gym the Bison rolled to a 116-85 victory. In the latter game the Bison produced their second-highest point total in program history, led by an incredible 9-for-10 3-point shooting performance by Hall-of-Famer Mike Bright.
• Last season at at Reitz Arena, Bucknell played one of its best all-around games of the season and defeated the Greyhounds 66-46. Mike Muscala led the way with 29 points and eight rebounds, and the Bison locked in on defense after a slow start. They limited Dylon Cormer to 13 points on 5-for-15 shooting, and no other Loyola player scored more than seven points. Both teams were frosty from long range, as the Bison shot 1-for-8 from 3-point range while the Greyhounds were 1-for-12. But the Bison shot 55.6% from inside the arc and went 13-for-14 from the foul line, compared to Loyola’s 5-for-11.
• When these two teams last met at Sojka Pavilion two seasons ago, Loyola handed the Bison a rare home loss, 72-67 behind 18 points from Erik Etherly and 14 each from Cormier and Justin Drummond. Muscala scored 24 points, including the 1,000th point of his career, but the Bison saw their 18-game home winning streak come to an end. Bucknell led 64-61 with four minutes to play, but the Greyhounds ended the game on an 11-3 run.

Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 214-99 (.684) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. They have finished at least .500 in PL play in 19 of 23 seasons.
• Bucknell won the last three outright Patriot League regular-season titles, becoming the first team in league history to accomplish that feat.
• The Bison went 13-1 in the league in 2011 and 12-2 in each of the last two seasons, making them 37-5 over the previous three campaigns. Dating back to mid-2010, Bucknell has won 47 of its last 57 league games.
• Bucknell won Patriot League Tournament titles in 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2013. The Bison have made it to the semifinals 18 times and to the championship game 10 times in the 23-year history of the league.
• The Bison are the only team to go unbeaten in league play in a season (14-0 in 2006).

Last Time Out
• Josh Herbeck went 6-for-6 on 3-pointers, including two desperation heaves as the shot clock expired in the second half, leading Army to a 74-67 win over Bucknell on Sunday at Christl Arena. Herbeck beat the shot clock from deep in the right corner to give the Black Knights a 55-53 lead with 6:31 to play, and Army would never trail again. The margin was just two with 56 seconds left when Herbeck swished a 35-footer. Bucknell turned it over on its next two possessions, and Army iced the game from the foul line.
• Brian Fitzpatrick enjoyed one of the best days of his career with 17 points on a perfect 8-for-8 shooting from the field. Fitzpatrick fell one point shy of his career high earlier this season at Mount St. Mary’s.
• Steven Kaspar had another solid game with 13 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals. It was Kaspar’s second game in a row with three thefts.
• Ben Brackney added 11 points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
• Bucknell struggled from the outside, hitting just 5 of 21 tries from 3-point range. Army was 8-for-18.
• The Bison were strong at the free-throw line, making 16 of 19.
• Bucknell committed 13 turnovers and has now had double-digit turnovers in three straight games for the first time in two years.
• Army snapped a seven-game series losing streak.

Numbers Worth Noting
• This season Bucknell is 7-5 coming off three or fewer days off, but is just 1-3 following four or more days of rest.
• After shooting 12-for-15 from 3-point range at Lafayette on Jan. 8, Bucknell ranked No. 1 in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (.440). In the three games since then, however, the Bison have gone 18-for-61 (.295) from the arc, lowering their season percentage to .410. That is still the 13th-best mark in the nation.
• Oddly, Bucknell has shot much better on the road (45.8 FG%, 43.8 3FG%, 77.3 FT%) this season than at home (42.3 FG%, 36.1 3FG%, 73.9 FT%).
• In each of the last two seasons, Bucknell led the nation in defensive rebounding percentage (i.e. percentage of opponents’ missed shots that Bucknell has rebounded). This year, despite playing almost exclusively with a four-guard lineup, the Bison still rank a respectable 7th out of 351 Division I teams in DR%. Last year, led by senior big men Mike Muscala and Joe Willman, Bucknell grabbed 79.0% of its opponents’ misses. This year that figure is still a solid 77.8%.
• Bucknell has typically ranked among the very best in the nation in fewest turnovers under coach Dave Paulsen, and this year has been no different. Despite an 18-turnover game at Navy last Wednesday, the Bison are averaging only 10.3 turnovers per game to rank 21st nationally.
• Last season Bucknell featured one of the nation’s most prolific shot-blockers in Mike Muscala, but so far this season the Bison have blocked only 17 shots in 17 games, compared to 71 by their opponents. Bucknell ranks last nationally in blocks per game (1.0). Muscala alone had 42 blocks through 17 games last season.
• Brian Fitzpatrick is now shooting 70.4% in Patriot League games, and he is 17-for-19 (.895) in his last four contests.

Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell hosts Boston University on Saturday at 2 p.m. The contest against the Terriers will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.
• Boston University is off to a 6-0 start in Patriot League play (13-6 overall) and is ranked 20th in this week’s College Insider Mid-Major Poll. Among the Terriers’ non-conference wins was an 83-77 decision at Maryland on Dec. 21.

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Towson looks for first ever FCS championship Saturday in Frisco

Posted on 03 January 2014 by WNST Staff


Tigers Seek To End Bison’s 23-Game Winning Streak

FRISCO, Tex. – Seeking their first national championship, Coach Rob Ambrose and the No. 5 Towson University football team will try to complete their magical playoff run when the Tigers face two-time defending national champion North Dakota State in the NCAA FCS championship game at Toyota Field on Saturday, January 4 at 2:00 p.m. (EST).

The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Anish Shroff and Kelly Stouffer calling the action.

The Tigers, who are 13-2 on the season, will be trying to end the Bison’s 23-game winning streak. The Tigers, who have won 16 of their last 18 games, earned a berth in the championship game with NCAA FCS playoff wins over No. 9 Fordham, No. 2 Eastern Illinois and No. 3 Eastern Washington.

Although this is not technically a road game, the Tigers have been an outstanding road team. Towson has a 9-0 record on the road this season, the best mark in college football. Northern Illinois has the second-best record with a 7-0 road mark.

In fact, Towson has won 12 consecutive road games dating back to last season.

The Tigers’ road to the NCAA FCS championship game has included victories at Eastern Illinois and Eastern Washington, two of the top three teams in the nation. The Tigers have won their last five games in a row. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have won 16 of 18 games.

North Dakota State, now 14-0 on the year, has the top defense in FCS football and presents the toughest opponent that Towson has played since the Tigers visited Louisiana State in September, 2012.

“North Dakota State is perfect,” says Coach Ambrose. “It’s not just their record. Their program is perfect. Looking for holes on their offense or defense or special teams, they don’t have them. The 11 players they put on the field are as good, if not better at their positions, than anybody else in the country.

“There’s a reason that they’re undefeated and have not lost a game in no-one-knows-how-long. They have resources, they have a following, and they are consistent. They are the Ivan Drago of I-AA football. They are perfect.”

Ambrose’s reference to Ivan Drago refers to a boxer in the movie “Rocky IV.” Played by actor Dolph Lundgren,“Drago” was the behemoth from the Soviet Union who compiled a 100-1-0 record as an amateur, boasted a punching power that was three times as devastating as the average boxer’s, and was trained as the top physical specimen in his sport.

The Tigers are led by All-American running back Terrance West (Northeast H.S./Baltimore, Md.), who has set NCAA FCS single season records with 2,410 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns. In the Tigers’ 49-39 quarter-final win over Eastern Illinois, West scored five touchdowns and ran for an NCAA FCS playoff record with 354 rushing yards.

West runs behind an impressive offensive line that is led by senior tackle Eric Pike (DuVal H.S./Lanham, Md.). A four-year starter at left tackle, the 6-5, 298-pound Pike will be starting his 50th career game when the Tigers face North Dakota State. Senior tackle Randall Harris (DuVal H.S./Landover, Md.), senior guard Anthony Davis(Clover Hill H.S./Richmond, Va.) and senior center Doug Shaw (Loyola Blakefield H.S./Woodbine, Md.) lead a rushing offense that averages just under 250 yards per game and has scored 54 rushing touchdowns.

The Tigers’ running game will be tested by a North Dakota State defense that leads the nation by allowing only 11.6 points per game and 90.2 rushing yards per contest. The Bison are ranked second in NCAA FCS, allowing 247.5 yards of total offense per game.

Senior quarterback Peter Athens (Huntingtown H.S./Huntingtown, Md.) has played very well in the post-season. In three NCAA FCS playoff games, he has completed 29 of 37 passes for 560 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. He has an amazing passer rating of 250.11 in the post-season. Athens, who left the Eastern Washington game with an injury, has completed 228 of 353 passes for 3,198 yards and 19 touchdowns this season.

Senior linebacker Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) leads the Tigers with 139 tackles, a mark that places him fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association. Clark has forced five fumbles and has three fumble recoveries.

During their post-season run, the Tigers have outscored their opponents by a 132-98 margin while North Dakota State has a 138-35 advantage in its three playoff games.

TIGER TALES:  This is the second time that Towson and North Dakota State have met in an NCAA post-season game … In 1983, the Tigers dropped a 24-17 decision to the Bison in the quarter-finals of the NCAA Division II playoffs … The Bison went on to win the national championship.

Towson is the sixth different CAA team to reach the NCAA FCS championship game … Delaware has reached the finals four times and has a 1-3 record … Former CAA member Massachusetts reached the championship game three times and won the 1998 title … James Madison (2004), Richmond (2008) and Villanova (2009) won the national championship in their only appearance in the finals.

Both Towson and NDSU opened their seasons with wins over NCAA FBS teams … The Tigers beat Connecticut while the Bison beat Kansas State.

Towson has already shattered the school record for wins in a single season … Until Towson won 13 games this year, no Towson team had ever won more than 10 games.

In his fifth season as the Tigers’ coach, Ambrose has a winning record as the Towson coach … He enters the NCAA FCS championship game with a 32-28 record as the Tigers’ coach … However, he was 3-19 after two seasons … Over the last three years, he is 29-9.

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Towson aims to right ship Saturday night at North Dakota State

Posted on 20 December 2013 by WNST Staff

Game can be seen on ESPN3


FARGO, N.D. — The Towson men’s basketball team will wrap up its trip out west when the Tigers take on North Dakota State on Saturday in a game that can be seen on ESPN3 at 8 p.m. EST.

Brian Shawn and Jamal Spencer will be on the television call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Zach Maskavich calling the action.

Towson (7-5) is still seeking its first win away from home as the Tigers are coming off a 76-67 setback at Pac-12 foe Oregon State on Wednesday. Senior Mike Burwell scored a career-high 20 points to pace the Tigers against the Beavers.

North Dakota State (8-4), has won six of its last seven games, including a 73-69 win at Notre Dame on December 11. The Bison also defeated Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) foe Delaware, 85-66, on Monday. Taylor Braun paces North Dakota State averaging 18.0 points per game.

Saturday’s game will be the second meeting between North Dakota State and Towson, after the Bison earned a 65-48 victory at the Towson Center last year.

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Morgan looks for third straight win Saturday at Howard

Posted on 25 October 2013 by WNST Staff

MSU (2-5, 2-1 MEAC) vs. Howard (2-5, 1-3 MEAC)
Howard Homecoming
Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 – 1 p.m. ET

The Bears (2-5, 2-1) will travel to play in a Mid-Eastern Conference matchup against Howard on Saturday (Oct. 26) in Washington (D.C.). The game will mark Homecoming for Howard. Interim head coach Rayford Petty leads the Bison. Howard (2-5, 1-3) snapped a 4-game losing streak by beating Florida A&M 21-10 in Tallahassee last Saturday. The Bears posted its second straight win by recording a 34-22 victory at North Carolina Central during the Eagles Homecoming. Donald Hill-Eley, ranked third among winning coaches at MSU, enters his 12th year as head coach of the Bears. Game time at Greene Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.

• The Bears and Bison will meet for the 67th time … Morgan State leads the series 40-25-1.
• Last time against the Bison (Oct. 20, 2012) … Terrence Leffall ran for a game-high 134 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries to help Howard escape with a 21-20 homecoming victory over Morgan State at Greene Stadium. MSU QB Robert Council capped an 89 yard drive by eluding a sack and racing 35 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing point after attempt that would have tied the ballgame, the snap was low and placekicker Earvin Gonzalez scooped it off the turf and tried to make a play by throwing the ball. His pass was intercepted by Howard’s Tabrian Resby. Game over.
• The last time the Bears defeated Howard was on Sept. 24, 2011 … The Bears posted a 14-9 win against Howard at the New York Urban League Football Classic in front of 24,996 fans in attendance … Redshirt-freshman Robert Council threw the first touchdown of his career when he connected with tight end Kristian Johnson for a 3-yard score. Council led the Bears by completing 12 of 18 passes for 119 yards. Travis “Juice” Davidson rushed for 142 yards on 25 carries and scored three touchdowns on runs of 49, 2 and 8 yards.

• Rayford “Ray” Petty (Elon, 1979) Petty enters his second campaign as head football coach of the Howard
University Bison. The highly respected Petty served as head coach of the Bison from 2002-06. He also served as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator here under head coach Gary Harrell.Prior to Howard, Petty served as defensive coordinator at both Delaware State and Norfolk State. He has helped develop current NFL players Antoine Bethea (currently with the Indianapolis Colts) and Ronald Bartell, Jr. (currently with the Detroit Lions).
• Howard returns 29 lettermen, including 11 starters from last year’s team.
• In 2012, Howard finished with a 6-4 overall record and 5-2 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
• Junior QB Greg McGee triggers the Bison offense and ranks 2nd among the league passing leaders this season. The 6-3, 200-pounder from Pittsburgh (Pa.) has completed 134 of 222 for 1342 yards and 10 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He has also ranks No. 9 in the MEAC in rushing with 318 yards on 79 carries (4.0 avg) with a touchdown. McGee will enter this weekend’s “Beltway Battle” fresh off a a career-low 67 yards passing despite completing 10 of 16 in the win against Florida A&M.
• Through the first seven games, RB William Parker (6-0, 203) has been the Bison’s leading ground gainer and is among the league’s rushing leaders (Ranked 5th). The sophomore from Stone Mountain, Ga. has recorded 93 carries for 389 yards (4.2 avg), including two TDs.
• MSU’s defense will have to also account for freshman RB Anthony Philyaw. The Los Angeles product went to work against the Rattlers by recording a career-high 121 yards on 14 carries, including a pair of touchdowns. Philyaw, 6-1, 210, is Howard’s third leading ground gainer with 262 yards (4.4 avg) and three TDs in six games.
• MSU’s offense will have to account for the Bison’s defensive end Damon Chisholm-Gresham. The 6-3, 250 pound sophomore currently ranks among the league leaders with 9 tackles for loss, (ranks 4th) and 3.5 sacks (ranks T-6th).

• MSU will enter the 2013 season with a number of veterans … the Bears’ roster includes 12 seniors and 15 juniors.
• The Bears backfield lost All-MEAC running back Travis “Juice” Davidson to graduation, however the backfield is loaded with talented young players like Lamont Brown III, Herb Walker, Tracy Martin and Orlando Johnson who will compete for the starting RB spot.
• The returning quarterback duo of Seth Higgins and Robert Council combined for 1,560 passing yards (140-of-301) and five touchdowns in 2012.
• Joe Rankin returns as a shutdown cornerback for the Bears and finished with 46 tackles and led the MEAC with five picks in 2012.
• NT Demarco Bisbee leads a defensive line unit that returns 10 lettermen from last season … Bisbee posted 41 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and
3.5 sacks in 2012.
• LB Christopher Robinson was among the league leaders with 13.5 tackles for loss (No. 4), to go along with 40 tackles and 8.5 sacks.
• Chris Flowers helped lead the Bears to a No. 1 ranking in the MEAC in kickoff return average (23.0 avg) and his 27.8 kick return average ranked No. 8 in the FCS last season.
• The Bears added four new coaches to the 2013 staff … the new coaches are: Jerry Holmes (DC), Greg Gregory (OC), LeAndre Creamer (DB) and Marcus Gladden (OL).

IMPROVING OFFENSE … The aftermath of the Bears 34-22 win at N.C. Central not only improved the team’s record to 2-5, but also gave a glimpse of Morgan State’s improving offense. The team produced a season-high 385 yards of offense against the Eagles, and junior QB Seth Higgins led the way. On 9 carries, Higgins, rushed for a career-high 55 yards and accounted for a pair of touchdowns. With Higgins running so well, the Bears should continue to see success with the read-option moving forward.

TIME IS ON OUR SIDE … The Bears notched their fourth game of the season with a time of possession of more than 40 minutes. The Bears held a season-high 41:01 – 28:48 advantage in the win at NCCU. The Bears currently rank among the league leaders ranked No. 1 in the MEAC in time of possession (32:01 avg/g).

FINISHING TOUCHES … Morgan State has been pretty good this season when it comes to scoring in the red zone. Through the first six games, the Bears have scored 18-of-22 (82%) times inside its opponent’s 20 yardline. MSU ranks No. 5 in the MEAC in red zone scoring.

GETTING DEFENSIVE … The Morgan State defense has eight players with at least 20 tackles so far this season.
• Junior linebacker Cody Acker leads the way with 62 stops (10th in MEAC), including a season-high 14 tackles against Norfolk State (Sept. 28).
• The next highest is senior Darien Irby who has posted 35 tackles from his starting strong safety position.

NO SACKS FOR YOU … Since allowing 6.0 sacks against Robert Morris, the Morgan State offensive line has allowed just two sacks over the next five games and had a stretch of three games without allowing sack before giving up a sack at North Carolina Central last Saturday. The Bears currently rank T-No. 2 in the MEAC by limiting opponents to 11 sacks in seven games.

HIGGINS STANDS TALL IN QB CAROUSEL … With Robert CouncilMoses Skillon and Ricky Fisk jockeying for additional playing time, Seth Higgins appears to be the lone starter for the Bears. The junior played the entire game against Norfolk State and accounted for three touchdowns. He led the Bears to its first win of the season against Florida A&M by completing 12 of 20 passes for 144 yds and a TD. He also rushed for a career-high 102 yards on 17 carries, including a 2-yard TD. Higgins rushed for 55 yards and a TD at N.C. Central, and threw for 72 yards, including a 27-yd TD pass in just a half of work last week at N.C. Central.

COLLECTING INTERCEPTIONS … The Bears have recorded 10 interceptions through seven games. CB Joe Rankin and S Paul Eatman have a pair of picks, while SSPeterson Janvier, CB DeShaun Summers, and LBs Bill Hill and Cody Acker each have an interception to their credit. MSU’s defense currently ranks No. 7 in the FCS (No. 2 in the MEAC) and ranks No. 3 in pass defense by limiting opponents to 154.3 yards per game.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 22 October 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Soccer-New Zealand @ Team USA Women (Sunday 6:30pm from San Francisco live on ussoccer.com), MLS: Houston Dynamo @ DC United (Sunday 1:30pm from RFK Stadium live on NBC); Golf: PGA Tour CIMB Classic (Wednesday-Saturday 11pm from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia live on Golf Channel), Champions Tour AT&T Championship (Friday-Sunday 3:30pm from San Antonio live on Golf Channel), Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship (Thursday-Sunday 12pm from Yang Mei, Taiwan on Golf Channel); Boxing: Bernard Hopkins vs. Karo Murat (Saturday 9pm from Atlantic City live on Showtime)

10. Pearl Jam (Sunday 7:30pm Baltimore Arena); Steve Aoki/Pharrell Williams (Friday 4pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); The Maine/Anberlin (Friday 7:30pm Rams Head Live); Ballyhoo! (Friday 9pm Baltimore Soundstage), Butch Walker (Monday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); War (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Center Stage); Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); George Clinton & The P Funk All-Stars (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); John Legend (Wednesday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Fiona Apple (Friday & Saturday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); The Blind Boys of Alabama (Thursday 7:30pm The Hamilton); Brett Dennen “Smoke & Mirrors” and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy “It Feels Like Christmas Time” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Not to say the other things happening this week aren’t nice, but…Pearl Jam is playing in Charm City Sunday night. Here are four PJ songs to get you hyped. The first two come from our “Totally Tubular” official scorekeeper on “The Reality Check”, Bryan Powell.

The next two are from a guy who will only be seeing Pearl Jam for the fourth time in his life Sunday night. Me.

9. Baltimore Beer Week (Tuesday-Sunday events throughout Charm City); Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival (Saturday 3:30pm Creative Alliance); Anthony Jeselnik (Saturday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Jim Gaffigan (Thursday 8pm Cole Field House); Cheech & Chong (Thursday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); Janeane Garofalo (Saturday 8:30pm The Hamilton); Jeff Ross (Sunday 7:30pm Sixth & I Historic Synagogue); Tony Rock (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); The Conjuring“, “The Way, Way Back” and “The Internship” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” and “The Counselor” out in theaters (Friday)

I’m all in on Beer Week, but if no one brings me any of this (by far and away my favorite Pumpkin Beer), I’ll cancel Beer Week myself.

Oh hey look, here’s a random scene I found from the movie “The Counselor”. TOTALLY AT RANDOM!

(Continued on Page 2…)

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