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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Avondale, LA), LPGA Tour Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic (Thursday-Saturday 6:30pm Sunday 7pm from San Francisco live on Golf Channel); MLS: FC Dallas @ DC United (Saturday 7pm RFK Stadium); Auto Racing: NASCAR Toyota Owners 400 (Saturday 7pm from Richmond live on FOX); Boxing: Keith Thurman vs. Julio Diaz (Saturday 9:30pm from Carson, CA live on Showtime); High School Basketball: Capital Classic (Saturday 7:30pm T.C. Williams High School)

10. Brian Regan (Friday & Saturday Warner Theatre); Ron White (Friday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Joe Rogan (Friday 8pm France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at The Hippodrome); Bill Bellamy (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Baltimore Green Week (Tuesday-Saturday throughout Charm City); The Gathering Food Trucks Rally (Friday Downtown Towson); Maryland Bacon Festival (Saturday 12pm Rash Field); “Brick Mansions” out in theaters (Friday)

This is a heart made out of bacon. This is wonderful.

These young ladies are wearing bacon. Did I mention bacon?

9. M3 Rock Festival feat. Tesla, Kix, Extreme, Sebastian Bach (Friday & Saturday Merriweather Post Pavilion); Ludacris (Friday 8pm Patriot Center); Lacuna Coil (Wednesday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Ani DiFranco (Saturday 9pm Rams Head Live); Musiq Soulchild (Tuesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage), Kindred the Family Soul (Friday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds (Thursday 8pm 8×10 Club); Edwin McCain (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Maceo Parker (Sunday 8:30pm Rams Head on Stage), Bret Michaels (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); The Used/Taking Back Sunday (Tuesday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Alabama Shakes (Friday & Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Better Than Ezra (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Band of Skulls (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Nappy Roots (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); Johnnyswim (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere); Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival feat. Jerry Douglas/Cris Jacobs (Saturday Druid Hill Park); Toadies (Sunday 8pm Black Cat); Ben Folds (Monday 8pm Lisner Auditorium); G. Love & Special Sauce “Sugar”, Keb Mo’ “Bluesamericana” and Neon Trees “Pop Psychology” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

From the last time Sister Sparrow was in town…and killing it.

I like to imagine I’m living my life within an Alabama Shakes tune. Because they’re excellent.

Nappy Roots are still around??!??!?!? Do you have any idea how many times I hit repeat on a Nappy Roots track in my life?

I think Allen McCallum and I may be headed to the Birchmere to see Johnnyswim. Because Johnnyswim is wonderful.

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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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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 15 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: MLS-DC United @ Columbus Crew (Saturday 7:30pm from Columbus live on MLS Direct Kick); Tennis: ATP Tour Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (Tuesday-Friday 6am Saturday 7:30am Sunday 9am from Monte-Carlo live on Tennis Channel)

10. PEEPShow (Tuesday-Monday Carroll Arts Center); Spring Football Festival (Saturday 12pm McHenry Row); The Gathering: Food Trucks Rally (Friday Baltimore Museum of Industry); Baltimore Green Week (Saturday-Monday throughout Charm City); “Transcendence” out in theaters (Friday); Philomena“, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty“, “The Nut Job” and “Ride Along” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

Here’s your annual reminder that there’s only one thing that matters on Easter (despite the fact that Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and Staburst Jelly Beans are the vastly superior Easter candies)…

Yes, it’s Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict and it’s more important than anything else.

9. Pat Green (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Live), Alter Bridge (Monday 8pm Rams Head Live); Eric Hutchinson/Saints of Valory (Wednesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage), Charm City Devils (Saturday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Keller Williams (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); French Montana (Thursday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime (Saturday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Cloud Nothings (Wednesday 8pm Black Cat), Andrew WK (Saturday 9pm Black Cat); Stephen Marley (Thursday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); Local H (Saturday 6:30pm DC9); NEEDTOBREATHE “Rivers In The Wasteland”, Nas “Illmatic XX” and Sevendust “Time Travelers & Bonfires” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I enjoy the work of Eric Hutchinson, friends.

I also enjoy the work of Saints of Valory.

I’m not particularly witty this evening. I’m just going to say “Charm City Devils” and we can move forward.

And here’s a tune from the new NEEDTOBREATHE record. Let’s all move forward from here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n1oH9q4vgc

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable MentionMixed Martial Arts: UFC Fight Night-Roy Nelson vs. Minotauro Nogueira (Friday 2pm from Abu Dhabi live on UFC Fight Pass); Auto Racing: NASCAR Southern 500 (Saturday 6:30pm from Darlington, SC live on FOX); Tennis: ATP Tour U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships (Thursday 7pm Friday 2pm Saturday 3pm from Houston live on Tennis Channel)

10. Katt Williams (Friday 8pm Baltimore Arena); Lewis Black (Thursday-Saturday Warner Theatre); Mick Foley (Tuesday 8pm Baltimore Comedy Factory), Guy Torry (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Privateer Festival (Friday-Sunday Fells Point); The Gathering: Food Trucks Rally (Friday 5pm War Memorial Plaza); Bay Bridge Boat Show (Friday-Sunday Bay Bridge Marina); Decanter Wine Festival (Saturday & Sunday Pimlico Race Course); Draft Day“, “Oculus” and “Rio 2” out in theaters (Friday); The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug“, “August: Osage County“, “Grudge Match” and “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a trailer that has made me want to see a movie LESS than Draft Day. But since Monday was the 25th anniversary of a REALLY good movie about a Cleveland sports franchise, let’s just remember that.

9. Avicii (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Aaron Lewis (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live); Phil Vassar (Friday 6:30pm Rams Head Center Stage); Carolina Chocolate Drops (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club); Ashley Monroe (Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere); Emmylou Harris (Friday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); Rick Ross (Friday 9pm Echostage); Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Saturday 8:30pm The Hamilton); Southern Soul Assembly feat. Marc Broussard/JJ Grey/Anders Osborne/Luther Dickinson (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre)

You know what drives me nuts? I hate the idea of Avicii but I actually like some of his tunes.

I love Carolina Chocolate Drops. I also love Charm City Devils. I feel like if someone started a band called Cool Colorado Demons, I’d probably like them too. It’s a CCD thing.

I could use much more Dirty Dozen Brass Band in my life.

Marc Broussard is a totally unfair type of talented.

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Loyola makes quick turnaround to visit Georgetown Wednesday

Posted on 18 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Georgetown Hoyas

Wednesday, March 19, 2014  |  6:00 p.m.

Washington, D.C. | Multi-Sport Field | CBS Sports Network

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland hits the road for a non-conference, midweek game on Wednesday, March 19, in the Nation’s Capital. The Greyhounds will take on Georgetown University at 6 p.m. on Multi-Sport Field.

Wednesday’s game will air live on CBS Sports Network, the second of four Loyola regular-season games that will be broadcast by the channel.

The Greyhounds played their third one-goal game of the season on Saturday, edging Army, 7-6, to move to 3-0 in the Patriot League. Loyola is now 2-1 in those one-goal games.

The one-goal win came exactly one month following the last Greyhounds’ one-goal win (Penn State). In between, Loyola won four games by an average of 10.5 goals, none by less than seven.

Loyola leads the nation in fewest turnovers per game, averaging 10.43 per game after committing eight against the Black Knights.

Kevin Ryan moved up to third nationally in shot percentage with two goals on two shots against Army. He has scored goals on 59.1 percent of his shots (13-of-22) this year.

 

Last Time Out

Jack Runkel made a season-high 19 saves, and the Greyhounds held off a late Army charge for a 7-6 Patriot League victory on Saturday at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Army took a 4-3 lead with the first goal of the third quarter, a Shea Mullins tally at 12:37, but Loyola scored four in a row to lead 7-4 on Pat Frazier’s first career goal with 8:52 left in regulation.

The Black Knights, however, got to goals in transition, the first by John Glesener and the second from Will Mazzone, to pull within a score with 2:18 remaining.

Army had possession and two shots in the final 30 seconds, but both went wide of the cage, and the Greyhounds came away with the win.

Nikko Pontrello and Kevin Ryan both scored twice for the Greyhounds, and Justin Ward had three assists. Pat Laconi scored a goal and had an assist for Loyola, as well.

Runkel’s 19 saves came against 45 total Army shots. He made five saves in the first, second and fourth quarters and four in the third.

Joe Fletcher had five ground balls to lead Loyola, while Frazier had three and a caused turnover.

 

Turn On The Television

Wednesday’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 the second of four that will feature the Greyhounds on the network. Home games against Bucknell University and Johns Hopkins University, and Loyola’s March 9 win over Duke University was also televised.

 

In The Polls

With the win over Army, Loyola remained at No. 2 in the USILA Coaches, Warrior/Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine media polls. Prior to Saturday’s games, Loyola was tied for second in the coaches’ version with Johns Hopkins University.

 

Series History

Georgetown and the Greyhounds will play for the 37th time in series history on Wednesday. The Greyhounds have a 30-6 advantage in the previous 36 meetings, thanks in large part to a 20-game winning streak from 1974-2001.

The Hoyas were victorious in five of six from 2002-2007, but the Greyhounds are currently riding a six-game winning streak in the rivalry.

Last season, Loyola caused 17 Georgetown turnovers, and six of the Greyhounds’ goals in a 13-8 win came via transition or unsettled situations.

Nine scored goals for Loyola in the game, led by four from Zach Herreweyers and two by Harry Kutner. Justin Ward added a goal and four assists. Joe Fletcher had six ground balls and tied Josh Hawkins for team-high honors with three caused turnovers.

 

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 35-7 during that stretch (17-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 6-1 this season) for a .833 mark.

Only Duke has won more games (37) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by nearly eight percent (37-12, .755).

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .670 mark, saving 73 out of 109 shots on goal he’s faced. In the last five games against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel has 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 7.27 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .618 through five games. He has moved up to fourth in the nation in saves percentage and seventh in goals against average.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.86 goals against average and .559 saves percentage; his record between the pipes is 33-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 40 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, Rookie) four-consecutive times.

 

On Target

Kevin Ryan scored twice against Army, and the senior midfielder needed just two shots against the Black Knights, raising his season shooting percentage to .591. He has scored goals on 13-of-22 shots this season, and his .591 shooting percentage is ranked third in the nation.

Take out an 0-of-5 performance in the season-opener at Virginia, and Ryan has found the net on 13-of-17 shots (.764) in the Greyhounds’ last six games. He has three games this year – at Holy Cross (3-of-3), at Lehigh (5-of-5) and Army (2-of-2) – in which he has scored on all of his shots.

 

Man-Up Success

Loyola converted on both of its extra-man opportunities against Army, raising its season conversion percentage to 59.1 through seven games. In 21 man-up possessions, the Greyhounds have scored 13 goals, and the .591 mark is good for fourth in the nation.

Nikko Pontrelo leads the way with five man-up goals, while Kevin Ryan has three and Matt Sawyer, two.

Seven of Loyola’s extra-man goals have been assisted by Justin Ward.

 

Five-Plus For Two

Matt Sawyer scored six goals, and Nikko Pontrello tallied five for the Greyhounds on Sunday against Duke, marking the first time in over a decade that two Loyola players have scored five or more in the same game.

The last pair to do so was Gavin Prout (six) and Tim Goettelmann (five) in a 14-9 win on March 25, 2000, at 14th-ranked Brown University.

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all seven of its games this season, and it has had four stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 12 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   Towson 10-0 16:38
at Virginia 9-0 14:18   Towson 7-0 18:37 

 

Tripled Up

Matt Sawyer entered the March 9 game against Duke with a single-game high of two goals, those coming in the season-opener at the University of Virginia. It took the senior from Waxhaw, N.C., just 15-minutes, 56-seconds against the Blue Devils to match that total, and 20:51 to exceed it.

Sawyer finished the game by tripling his previous high, totaling six goals on just seven shots. His lone shot that did not find the net was perhaps his hardest of the night, and it went off the far-side post.

His six goals raised his 2014 total to 10, tied for third on the team. He now has 14 goals in his career.

Sunday’s game was not the first time a member of the Sawyer family had put up six goals on Duke. Matt’s older brother, three-time All-American Mike, scored six goals and had two assists in a 13-8 win over the Blue Devils in March 2012.

 

Slowing Scorers

Duke’s Jordan Wolf and Josh Dionne came into the March 9 game tied for the team lead in goals (12 each), and the duo had a combined 235 career goals. Loyola, however, held them to just one goal each in the victory.

Against Army, Loyola faced another top scorer, John Glesener. Through six games prior to facing the Greyhounds, Glesener had scored 15 goals, but he was held to two on 22 shots by the Loyola defense.

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello had his seventh multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Saturday when he scored twice against Army. The game came less than a week after he scored five against Duke. He also tallied four at Lehigh and he set a career-high with six goals at Holy Cross. The junior attacker scored twice in the opener against Virginia, and he then recorded three versus both Penn State and Towson. His final goal against the Nittany Lions came 19 seconds into overtime and lifted Loyola to a 12-11 win. In his career, Loyola is now 8-0 in games that he scored three or more goals.

Pontrello leads the Greyhounds with 24 goals and 29 points through six games. He has already eclipsed his goal total from last year when he finished his sophomore campaign with 16.

He leads the Patriot League and is third nationally in goals per game (4.0), while he is second and seventh in points per game (4.83).

 

Record-Setting Quarterback

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 16 combined assists in the last four contests. He is third in the nation, and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.14 assists per game this year.

With four assists against Duke – the second game in he posted that total – 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. Following his three against Army, Ward now has 89 in his career. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also 15th in school Division I history in total points with 133.

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.

 

Midfield Scoring

Entering the 2014 season, Loyola was looking to replace five of its top seven offensive midfielders from a year ago, a group that included All-American Davis Butts, as well as first middies Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan. As a group, the five contributed 47 goals, 29 assists and 76 points, right at 25 percent of the Greyhounds total in each.

This year, Loyola’s first and second midfield units have scored more than 45 percent of the team’s goals, a total of 44. Kevin Ryan scored eight goals combined against Holy Cross and Lehigh, and he is second on the team with 13 total. Matt Sawyer’s six versus Duke moved him into fourth with 10 total, and Tyler Albrecht is fifth on the squad with eight goals, while Brian Sherlock has six goals and five assists.

 

Fletch, White And Blue

Senior defender Joe Fletcher was the long 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 three different occasions. In a pair of games against Towson and the Crusaders, he had 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers.

He earned his second Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor this year on Monday after picking up 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. Fletcher was again honored on March 17 after limiting Army’s John Glesener to two goals on 22 shots.

This season, the Preseason All-American leads the Greyhounds with 30 ground balls, and he leads the squad with 11 caused turnovers. His 56 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

 

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, bringing his season totals to five goals an one assist. He now has 10 of each in his four-year career. His 10 caused turnovers this season have brought his career total to 51, fifth-most in school history.

 

Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has parlayed his opportunity into a solid start to the season. Through seven games, Schultz has scored 11 goals, third most on the team, and eight assists, second behind team-leader Justin Ward.

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

 

Tewaaraton Watch, Senior CLASS Award List Pair

Two of Loyola’s senior co-captains were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List when it was released last week. Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward were among the 50 players nationally to receive recognition.

They 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.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 17 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable MentionAuto Racing: NASCAR Auto Club 400 (Sunday 3pm from Fontana, CA live on FOX); Golf: PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 12:30pm live on Golf Channel 2pm live on NBC. All golf from Orlando), Champions Tour Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic (Friday 12:30pm Saturday & Sunday 5pm from Biloxi, MS live on Golf Channel), LPGA Tour Founders Cup (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7pm from Phoenix live on Golf Channel); MLS: DC United @ Toronto FC (Saturday 4:30pm from Toronto live on MLS Direct Kick)

10. Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil (Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Baltimore Arena); Rich Vos (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Pablo Francisco (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival (Friday & Saturday Timonium Fairgrounds); Muppets Most Wanted“, “Divergent” and “50 to 1” out in theaters (Friday) American Hustle“, “Saving Mr. Banks“, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and “Frozen” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I’ve been known to support the very important work they do at BBBBQ. In large part because they have mother effing pickle kabobs available there.

Also, this. (Language NSFW)

9. The Neighbourhood (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live); Marsha Ambrosius (Friday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Matt Schofield (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Mike Doughty (Saturday 8:30pm Rams Head on Stage); Asking Alexandria (Wednesday 6:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Switchfoot (Thursday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Drive-By Truckers (Saturday 8pm Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Bob Schneider (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere); Shamrock Fest feat. Dropkick Murphys/Carbon Leaf (Saturday 3pm RFK Stadium); Eddie Money (Friday 8:30pm The Hamilton); Foster The People “Supermodel” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

The Neighbourhood does all those songs you like.

I enjoy the work of Matt Schofield.

Forrester used to use a Mike Doughty song on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” all the time. For good reason.

I could listen to Bob Schneider sing this song ALL NIGHT.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 04 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-ACC Tournament: Maryland vs. Georgia Tech/Virginia/Boston College (Friday 8pm from Greensboro, NC live on Comcast SportsNet); Boxing: Canelo Alvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime PPV); Mixed Martial Arts: UFC Fight Night-Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jimi Manuwa (Saturday 3pm from London live on UFC Fight Pass); Tennis: ATP Tour WTA Tour BNP Paribas Open (Thursday-Monday 2pm from Indian Wells, CA live on Tennis Channel)

10. Jim Breuer (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Amy Schumer (Thursday 8pm Stephens Hall Towson University); Tony Woods (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge (Saturday Sandy Point State Park); 300: Rise of an Empire“, “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” out in theaters (Friday); 12 Years a Slave” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

Matthew McConaughey won an Academy Award. Which means we can’t be far from Jim Breuer getting his.

Also Amy Schumer returns to her alma mater. She’s a really polite gal-you should introduce her to your mom.

9. Juicy J (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head Live); Stir Fried feat. John Popper/Cara Kelly & The Tall Tale (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Stephen Kellogg (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Schoolboy Q (Friday 8pm & 11pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Vertical Horizon/Tonic/Dishwalla (Wednesday 7:30pm Howard Theatre); Bob Mould (Wednesday 7:30pm 9:30 Club); Bear Hands (Tuesday 8:30pm DC9); J. Roddy Walston & The Business (Tuesday 6:30pm U Street Music Hall); Lorde (Friday 8pm Echostage), David Guetta (Saturday & Sunday 9pm Echostage); Moody Blues (Monday 8pm Strathmore); Pharrell Williams “G I R L”, Drive-By Truckers “English Oceans” and Rick Ross “Mastermind” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Have you thought about the fact that John Popper has been in your life for two decades now?

Yes, I still smile when I hear a Vertical Horizon tune. So sue me.

I’ve been playing the Bear Hands tune a lot as a rejoiner on the show recently. You know it from the times you’ve emailed to say “what’s the name of that song?”

J. Roddy is amazing. You should probably already know that.

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Loyola lacrosse picks up at least three national TV games in 2014

Posted on 31 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Men’s Lacrosse To Be Featured On National Television In 2014

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse and Ridley Athletic Complex will be featured on national television broadcasts at least three times during the upcoming 2014 season.

The Greyhounds’ home games against Duke University (Sunday, March 9; 6 p.m.), Bucknell University (Thursday, April 17; 7 p.m.) and Johns Hopkins University (Saturday, May 3; 12 noon) will air live on CBS Sports Network as part of the Patriot League’s continuing partnership with the network.

Loyola’s game against Duke pits the past two NCAA Champions in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament First Round game that was one of the year’s top affairs. The Blue Devils edged the Greyhounds, 12-11, in double overtime.

The Greyhounds and Bucknell were picked 1-2, respectively, in the Patriot League Preseason Poll that was announced earlier this week, and the game against Johns Hopkins is always one of the top showcases in the sport between two schools that are separated by only a mile.

In addition to the three scheduled regular-season broadcasts, Loyola could appear on CBS Sports Network at least two more times. Both Patriot League Semifinal games (Friday, April 25; 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.) and the conference title game (Sunday, April 27; 1 p.m.) will air live on the network.

Loyola’s four other home games, and most of its Patriot League road games will air live in free HD streaming on the Patriot League Network. Available at www.PatriotLeague.tv, the broadcasts are available on computers, smart televisions and most mobile devices.

The Greyhounds kick off their 2014 campaign in less than a week when they travel to Charlottesville, Va., for a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday, February 6, at the University of Virginia.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 13 January 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Syracuse @ Maryland (Thursday 8:30pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Georgia Tech @ Maryland (Sunday 2pm Comcast Center); Boxing: Jean Pascal vs. Lucian Bute (Saturday 10:15pm from Montreal live on HBO), Ivan Redkach vs. Tony Luis (Friday 10pm from Memphis live on Showtime); MISL: St. Louis Ambush @ Baltimore Blast (Friday 7:35pm from Baltimore Arena live on YouTube), Baltimore Blast @ Syracuse Silver Stars (Sunday 1pm from Syracuse, NY live on YouTube)

10. Paul Mooney (Saturday 7:30pm Howard Theatre)l Iliza Shlesinger (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Doug Stanhope (Thursday 8pm Magooby’s Joke House); Todd Glass (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Baltimore County Restaurant Week (Tuesday-Sunday throughout Baltimore County); Enough Said“, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler“, “Riddick” and “Carrie” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit“, “The Nut Joband “Ride Along” out in theaters (Friday)

Iliza Schlesinger is both humorous and not safe for work.

I have no interest in seeing Jack Ryan, but I could use some more Keira Knightley in my life.

9. Jay-Z (Thursday 8pm Verizon Center); Stone Sour/Pop Evil (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Rusted Root (Monday 7:30pm Rams Head on Stage); Big Daddy Kane (Friday 9pm Howard Theatre); Charles Bradley (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Big Head Todd and The Monsters (Saturday 7pm 9:30 Club); Gipsy Kings (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Dangermuffin (Friday 8pm Gypsy Sally’s); Bruce Springsteen “High Hopes”Switchfoot “Fading West” and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings “Give The People What They Want” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I’ve seen Jay-Z a few times, probably won’t make down to DC Thursday night. But if he ever toured with The Roots there would not be a price I wouldn’t pay.

Charles Bradley > Charles Barkley > Matt Barkley > My elementary school friend Matt Besche. Actually, strike that. Matt Besche is WAY better than Matt Barkley.

Drew Forrester said the new Springsteen record isn’t a home run. Fair enough. I really like this tune though.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings are example number 6,789,403 why Brooklyn is now the capital of the music world.

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Loyola welcomes Lafayette Monday night for nationally televised matchup

Posted on 12 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Lafayette Leopards

Monday, January 13, 2014  |  7:30 p.m.

Baltimore, Md. | Reitz Arena | CBS Sports Network


 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola plays its fifth Patriot League game of the season on Monday, January 13, when it hosts Lafayette College at 7:30 p.m. in Reitz Arena.

The game will be Loyola’s first-ever on CBS Sports Network.

The Greyhounds finished their second week of League competition in fifth place at 2-2 with losses to two of the three teams tied for first at 4-0 (American and Army).

Loyola’s win over Lehigh on Saturday afternoon snapped a two-game losing streak The Greyhounds had their best shooting performance since Dec. 4.

At 9.36 steals per game this season, the Greyhounds lead the Patriot League.

Loyola passed the halfway point of its regular-season versus Lehigh.

Last Time Out

Loyola led Lehigh University by three at halftime, 35-32, and by the same margin 1:22 into the second half before embarking on an 11-0 run that would put it up double-digits.

The Greyhounds fended off a Mountain Hawks challenge for a 72-68 Patriot League win on Saturday afternoon.

Dylon Cormier led all scorers with 25 points, while Jordan Latham and Tyler Hubbard had season-highs with 14 and 12, respectively.

Loyola had a slight advantage on the boards, outrebounding Lehigh, 33-31.

The Greyhounds turned 11 Lehigh turnovers into 17 points. Cormier led all players with three steals.

 

 

CBS Sports Network

Monday’s game will mark the first time Loyola will play a men’s basketball game on CBS Sports Network.

The game will air live nationally with Jason Knapp calling the play-by-play and Chris Spatola handling color analysis duties.

Loyola will return to the Network a week later when it plays at Boston University on Monday, January 20.

 

Series History Versus Lafayette

Loyola and Lafayette will meet for the third time in series history and the first time in 51 years, 15 days.

The teams first met on December 16, 1930, when the Greyhounds opened the season with a 31-27 victory.

It took another 32 years before the programs met again. This time, Lafayette came out on top, 69-64, in the championship game of the Loyola Invitational on December 29, 1962.

 

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.

 

On Target

Loyola had its best shooting performance of 2014 on Saturday when it beat Lehigh, and its best since it shot 53 percent from the field on December 4 against Catholic University of America.

The Greyhounds hit 50 percent of their shots 26-of-52 in the win over Lehigh. Loyola also posted 12 offensive rebounds, nine in the first half. It converted those boards into 17 second-chance points, 12 before halftime.

 

Better Balance

Dylon Cormier still did the bulk of the scoring for Loyola, finishing with 25 of Loyola’s 72 points, but the Greyhounds had two other players with 12 or more and two more with seven-plus.

Jordan Latham and Tyler Hubbard both recorded season-highs with 14 and 12 points, respectively, while R.J. Williams and Franz Rassman had seven and eight.

Those five players combined to shoot 23-of-44 from the field.

 

College Boards

Loyola had a narrow advantage on the boards against Lehigh, outrebounding the Mountain Hawks, 33-31, while pulling down 12 offensive rebounds.

It was a team-wide rebounding effort, as six Greyhounds had four or more rebounds. Dylon Cormier grabbed eight, and Jordan Latham had six, while R.J. Williams, Franz Rassman, Jarred Jones and Eric Laster had four each.

Loyola improved to 4-2 this season when outrebounding its opponents. It was the first time in League play that the Greyhounds outrebounded a team and won.

 

Cormier To The Glass

Dylon Cormier led, or tied for the team lead, for the eighth time this season with eight rebounds against Lehigh. Five of the Greyhounds’ seven wins this season have come when Cormier leads the team on the boards.

This season, Cormier leads the Greyhounds with 6.0 rebounds per game, a total that ranks tops among Patriot League guards and seventh overall.

He is also the top offensive rebounder in the conference, averaging 3.33 per game, a mark that is 0.8 better than any other player in the League.

Cormier has 90 total rebounds this year, with a 5:4 ratio (50-40) coming on the offensive end.

 

Post Production

After combining for just 10 points and eight rebounds on Wednesday night against American University in a loss, Loyola’s post players scored 23 points and 16 boards versus Lehigh.

Jordan Latham had a season-high 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. His four free throws made were a career-high, and he also grabbed six rebounds.

Fellow starter Franz Rassman had seven rebounds and four rebounds, three offensive.

Nick Gorski and Josh Forney provided much-needed minutes off the bench, particularly in the first half when Rassman and Latham were on the bench with two fouls each. Jarred Jones also delivered four rebounds, a basket and two blocked shots.

After the game, Head Coach G.G. Smith praised the group and their defensive efforts against the Mountain Hawks.

 

Sticky Fingers

The Greyhounds posted 11 or more steals in each of their first three Patriot League games, and they had five versus Lehigh.

The 43 steals in its last four games have raised Loyola’s Patriot League-leading average to 9.1 per game. Through games of January 11, the Greyhounds are ranked 15th nationally in steals per game.

Loyola has had 11 or more steals in seven games through 15 contests.

R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is ninth nationally in steals per game (2.7), while Dylon Cormier is second (2.1) and 47th.

Williams posted a career-high six, tied for fifth-most in school single-game history, at Army.

Cormier now has 171 in his career, and with three against Lehigh, he moved into sole possession of third-place all-time at Loyola. With 100 in his career, Williams is tied for 17th on the career chart.

 

Williams’ Career Day

R.J. Williams had the best statistical game of his three-year Loyola career on last Sunday at Army, logging highs in points (14), field goals made and attempted (5-of-9) and steals (6).

Williams raised his 2013-14 scoring average to 7.8 per game. He has scored in double figures four times this year, one more than the number he logged in his first two seasons with the Greyhounds.

 

Back In The Win Column

Loyola’s come-from-behind win over Navy on January 2was its first victory since December 4 against Catholic University; it was the Greyhounds’ first Division I win since defeating UMBC on November 20.

The Greyhounds did several things statistically differently in the win that they had not in the four losses. Loyola shot 42.9 percent from the field (38.5 in four losses), held Navy to 37.5 percent (38.5), took 32 free throws (23.5), blocked seven shots (2.5) and allowed 57 points (76.2).

 

Die Hard Dogs

Loyola has trailed with five minutes to go in regulation in four of its six victories this season – Binghamton, Cornell, UMBC and Navy – only to come back to win.

In their Patriot League-opener, the Greyhounds were 10 points back of Navy, 47-37, when the clock hit 5:00 in the second half, but Loyola closed the half on an 15-5 run to force overtime.

At Binghamton, the Greyhounds were down five at the five-minute mark; Cornell, seven; and UMBC, six. In the game at UMBC, the Retrievers’ lead ballooned to 10 with 90 seconds left.

 

Overcoming Overtime

Loyola is 3-0 in overtime games this season and has won its last seven games that have extended past regulation.

Since the 2004-2005 season, Loyola is 12-1 in overtime games.

This season, the Greyhounds have outscored Cornell, UMBC and Navy by an average of 12.3 to 7.3 in the extra frames.

Loyola’s three overtime games this year match the number it played, and won, last year. Prior to 2012-13, the last time Loyola played three or more overtime games in a season was 1990-91.

 

Last Five Focus

In Loyola’s seven victories this season, it has outscored its opponents 19.9-12.3 in the final five minutes of the games.

The Greyhounds have shot 59.3 percent from the field and 56.3 percent from 3-point range, in the final five minutes of the wins. Their opponents have shot just 37.1 percent from the field and 20.8 percent from behind the arc.

In those 35 minutes, Loyola has committed just 11 turnovers to its opponents’ 23. Fifteen of the opponent turnovers have been from Loyola steals.

Add in its overtime games, and Loyola has outscored opponents 35.7-24.7 in the final five minutes plus overtime.

Block Party

Jordan Latham tied his career-high with four blocks against Navy, and Loyola matched its season-best with seven.

With another block at Army moved Latham’s career total to 72. He is seventh in school history, four away from eclipsing Omari Israel’s 75 from 2006-08.

 

Second Half Revivals

Prior to the game at American, Loyola had outscored its previous seven opponents, 290-242, in the second half (and overtime of the Navy game).

In those final 20 (or 25) minutes, the Greyhounds shot 47.3 percent from the field, but their defense was the difference. The opponents were limited to just 66-of-152 (43.4 percent) from the floor during the second halves, 11-of-40 (27.5  percent) from 3-point range.

Loyola’s opponents committed 62 turnovers to Loyola’s 26 after the breaks.

 

Slow Starts

The Greyhounds’ second half rallies were necessitated by slow starts that have dug first-half holes against Stony Brook, Saint Joseph’s, Miami and Navy.

In those games, Loyola allowed its foes to shot 56.4 percent (62-of-110) from the field while shooting just 32.6 percent (29-of-89) itself. The opponents made a combined 19-of-37 (.514) shots from behind the arc, as well.

Loyola has also lost the turnover differentials in the first halves of those games, coughing up the ball 36 times while forcing just 25 turnovers.

On January 2 against Navy, Loyola made just four first-half field goals.

Cumulatively, in the Greyhounds’ 15 games, Loyola has been outscored, 37.1-29.6, in the first half this season.

 

Cormier’s Start To The Season

Dylon Cormier has started the season scoring in bunches, averaging 22.5 points per game through 15. Through games of Wednesday, January 11, Cormier was seventh in the nation in scoring.

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 11 20+ point games in 15 contests.

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 10at 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.

Collins had eight games with 30 or more points that season, the most by a Loyola player during the Division I era.

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

He was 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.

 

Passing 1,500

In the second half at Army, Dylon Cormier became the eighth player in school history, and the sixth at the Division I level, to score 1,500 career points. Cormier now has 1,550 career points, and next up on the all-time scoring list is Mike Powell who scored 1,580 from 1995-98.

Cormier is the eighth player at Loyola to reach 1,500 points at the Division I level.

 

Cormier To The Charity Stripe

Loyola went to the free-throw line a season-high 35 times on December 19 against Stony Brook, and Dylon Cormier took 21 of the attempts.

His 21 free throw attempts were the second-most in school single-game history, one shy of tying the January 14, 2009, mark set by Jamal Barney against NJIT.

Cormier made 16 free throws, a career-best, good for a tie for fourth in single-game history. Barney holds that record, as well, with 18.

He had another game that will be entered on the Loyola charts against Navy when he made 12-of-12 at the line. It was the fifth-best performance in school history (most makes without a miss).

Through 15 games, Cormier has gone to the free-throw line 145 times (fifth in Division I through games of January 11). His average of 9.7 free throws per game is fourth nationally.

Loyola is guaranteed at least 30 games this season (29 regular-season, plus at least one Patriot League Tournament), and with that average, Cormier would 291 free throws in 2013-14. The school single-season record for free throws attempted is 255 set in 1997-98 by Mike Powell.

In his career, Cormier is 434-of-616 from the free-throw line. He is third in school history in free throws made and tied for third in attempts.

 

Turnover Battle

Through 15 games this season, the Greyhounds are averaging 2.9 fewer turnovers per game than their opponents, tops in the Patriot League and tied for 37th in the nation.

Loyola has committed 179 turnovers to 223 even greater in the second half of games, as opponents have nearly 2:1 more turnovers (121-69).

 

Telling Stat

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

Loyola has made 46.1 percent (178-of-386) shots in six wins versus 37.7 percent (176-of-467) in eight losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 15.2 points less (77.4 versus 62.2) points.

As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (50.0-41.7) in the games they’ve won.

 

Lasting Impression

After averaging just 5.3 minutes in 27 games last season, Eric Laster has seen his role expand dramatically this season, starting the first 15 games on the wing.

Laster has averaged 9.0 points in Loyola’s first 15 contests, and he is shooting 42.6 percent (23-of-54) from 3-point range. In 27 games last year, he averaged just 0.8 points (22 total) and shot 32.3 percent overall from the field.

 

From Way Back, Part 1

Loyola trailed UMBC by 17 points, 58-41, with 9:44 left in regulation on November 20, but the Greyhounds came all the way back to tie the score with 11 ticks left in regulation. They then went on to win, 89-83, in overtime.

An R.J. Williams layup with 8:37 left started a 10-0 run that would cut the deficit to seven on two Dylon Cormier free throws at 6:29, and Loyola would get within four on three occasions after that.

UMBC, however, pushed the lead back to double-digits, 73-63, on a Malik Garner free throw with 90 seconds remaining.

Eric Laster hit a pair of threes, wrapped around a 1-of-2 trip to the line for UMBC’s Joey Getz, and Loyola was down 74-69 with 1:14 left after Laster’s second triple. Quentin Jones hit a 20-foot jumper form the left corner with 58 seconds left, but Laster answered 11 ticks later to make it a four-point game.

Garner turned the ball over on a Cormier steal, and Later canned his fourth three in a span of 41 seconds to get the Greyhounds within a point, 76-75, with 42 seconds left. Loyola forced a missed layup by UMBC, and Cormier was fouled with 11 seconds left, and he hit 1-of-2 to tie the score. UMBC’s Rodney Elliott drew contact and a foul call with 3.1 seconds showing, but the freshman missed both foul shots, forcing overtime.

In the extra period, Loyola made 4-of-5 field goals and 5-of-8 free throws to pull away for the victory.

 

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.

 

Preseason Patriot League Picks

As a team, the Greyhounds were slated to finish fifth in the Patriot League Preseason poll, just six points out of third place. Boston University was the unanimous pick to win the league, followed by Lafayette, Army, Bucknell, Loyola, Lehigh, Holy Cross, Colgate, American and Navy.

Dylon Cormier was one of five players on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team.

 

Brito, Laster Spend Summer Overseas

Two Loyola players, – Denzel Brito and Eric Laster – gained valuable experience playing overseas during the summer of 2013.

Brito trained with the Cape Verdean National Team prior to their play in the FIBA African Championships. However, due to a FIBA exclusion, he was not able to participate in the event itself.

Laster played in five games on a tour that visited Belgium, England and The Netherlands. He was lauded for his wing play by writers who covered the events against professional teams in those countries.

 

Cormier On The Charts

Dylon Cormier enters 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:

 

Scoring
8th 1,550 points
Next Mike Powell, 1,580
Field Goals Made
13th 511 field goals made
Next Morris Cannon, 526
3-Pointers Made
13th 94 3-Pt. Made
Next B.J. Davis, 104
Free Throws Made
5th 434 free throws made
Next Kevin Green, 438

 

Assists
21st 197 assists
Next R.J. Williams (active), 196
Steals
3rd 171 steals
Next Tracy Bergan, 177

 

 

 

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

Loyola has a one week break before its next game. The Greyhounds will play at Boston University on Monday, January 20, in a 7:30 p.m. game that will also air on CBS Sports Network.

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