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Red hot Loyola looks to continue streak Saturday at Lehigh

Posted on 28 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Saturday, March 1, 2014  |  12:00 p.m.

Bethlehem, Pa. | Ulrich Sports Complex

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse plays its second-straight Patriot League road game on Saturday, March 1, when it heads to Bethlehem, Pa., for a 12 noon faceoff at No. 14 Lehigh University.

The Greyhounds are coming off a week in which they outscored Towson University and College of the Holy Cross, 36-8, in two victories.

Loyola earned a win in its first-ever Patriot League game last Saturday, a 16-4 decision in Worcester, Mass., against the Crusaders.

Four Loyola players – Nikko Pontrello (offensive), Joe Fletcher (defensive), Jack Runkel (goalkeeper) and Brian Sherlock (rookie) – swept the Patriot League weekly awards on Mondayfollowing the pair of wins.

Loyola used a 40-17 advantage in ground balls on Saturday during the win at Holy Cross. The 23-groundball advantage was the largest the Greyhounds have posted in Charley Toomey’s nine years as head coach, eclipsing a margin of 20 in 2008 against St. John’s.

Nikko Pontrello scored six goals Saturday, increasing his team-lead to 15.

 

 

Last Time Out

Loyola recorded its second-straight double-digit win on February 22 when it opened its tenure in the Patriot League with a 16-4 defeat of Holy Cross.

The Crusaders took a 3-2 lead on a Clay Haarmann goal with 6:36 left in the first quarter, and neither Loyola, nor Holy Cross, scored for the remainder of the period. Nikko Pontrello tallied his second of the game 56 seconds into the second quarter, starting a 14-0 run that would carry into the fourth quarter.

Pontrello finished with a career-high six goals, including four-straight to start the third quarter, while Brian Schultz had career-bests of three goals, four assists and seven points. Kevin Ryan scored a personal-best three goals on just three shots, and Justin Ward matched his high with five assists.

Holy Cross won three of the game’s first four faceoffs, but the Greyhounds finished with a 16-8 overall advantage in restarts. Graham Savio won a career-best 14-of-18 at the ‘X’ for Loyola and picked up seven ground balls in the process.

Joe Fletcher led all players with a career-high eight ground balls, and Jack Runkel posted 12 saves in goal.

 

 

Follow The Action

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on the Patriot League Network. All of Loyola’s non-televised home games, and all of the Greyhounds’ road conference games will also be available on the free HD network.

Log on to LoyolaGreyhounds.com or PatriotLeague.tv to watch the games on your computer, web-enabled televisions and most mobile devices.

 

In The Polls

Loyola moved up in the polls following their wins last week over Towson and Villanova. The Greyhounds are now seventh in the USILA Coaches’ Poll and eighth in both the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine Media Rankings.

Lehigh also moved up in the polls and is 14th in all three versions. Saturday’s game will be Loyola’s third against a ranked opponent this year (also at Virginia and at Penn State).

 

Series History

Loyola and Lehigh will meet for the eighth time on the lacrosse field when the teams take the field Saturday.

The Greyhounds, who are 7-0 all-time against the Mountain Hawks, last played Lehigh on April 15, 1998. Loyola won that game 20-2 at Curley Field in a season which the Greyhounds would reach the NCAA Semifinals.

The Greyhounds are 15-6 all-time against teams from their new conference after Saturday’s win at Holy Cross, having played Army, Bucknell, Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy in the past. Other than a series with Navy in 2010-2011, Loyola last played a Patriot League team in 1998 when it took on the Mountain Hawks.

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all four of its games this season, and it has had four stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have six 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

 

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello had his fourth multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Saturday when 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 6-0 in games that he scored three or more goals.

Pontrello leads the Greyhounds with 15 goals and 19 points through four games. He is closing in on his goal total from last year when he finished his sophomore campaign with 16.

He leads the Patriot League and is 11th nationally in goals per game (3.75), while he is second and 17th in points per game (4.75).

 

Schultz, Ryan With Career-Bests

In addition to Nikko Pontrello’s career-high six goals Saturday at Holy Cross, Brian Schultz led Loyola with seven points, also a personal-best. He set career-highs with three goals and four assists, bringing his seasonal totals to seven goals, six assists and 13 points in his first year as a starter.

Kevin Ryan also had a career-high in goals against the Crusaders, needing just three shots to score three goals. He has six goals and an assist from the midfield this year.

 

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 nearly 48 percent of the team’s goals, a total of 29. Tyler Albrecht is second on the team with eight goals, while Brian Sherlock has six goals and four assists, and Kevin Ryan had tallied six and one.

 

Hot Hand

Steve Vaikness, Loyola’s volunteer assistant coach lauded by many in the media as the top faceoff teacher in the nation, has pulled the right strings in the first four games with a faceoff group of Blake Burkhart, Brendan Donovan and Graham Savio.

In the Virginia game, Savio came in to win 11-of-18 restarts, and Donovan then provided wins in 4-of-7 during a critical stretch at Penn State. Burkhart shined against Towson, winning 10-of-14 as Loyola jumped out to a big lead. It was Savio again at Holy Cross, as the freshman won 14-of-18 draws.

As a unit, Loyola is winning 51.9 percent of faceoffs, up from last year’s mark of 46.5.

 

Margin In Two

As Loyola outscored Towson and Holy Cross by a combined 28 goals, 36-8, it took a bit of time to find precedent for the last time the Greyhounds won back-to-back games by such a margin. The last time Loyola won two by 28 or more goals goes back to the Dave Cottle-coached 1996 team that beat Saint Joseph’s, 26-6, on April 10 and C.W. Post, 17-5, on April 13. That combined margin of victory was 32 goals, 43-11.

The last time Loyola scored a combined 36 goals in consecutive games was 2007 when it tallied 19 against Fairfield on April 21 and 17 versus Hobart a week later. The last time the Greyhounds yielded eight or fewer in back-to-back outings was 2001 when they beat Radford, 18-5, on April 11, and Butler, 12-3, on April 14.

 

Sweep Of Patriot League Honors

Four Loyola players swept the Patriot League weekly awards on Monday, February 24, as Nikko Pontrello (Offensive), Joe Fletcher (Defensive), Jack Runkel (Goalkeeper) and Brian Sherlock (Rookie) won the honors.

Pontrello scored 10 goals and had an assist in two games against Towson and Holy Cross, while Fletcher and Runkel led a defense that gave up just four goals in each. Fletcher had 11 ground balls, including a career-high eight at Holy Cross, and three caused turnovers; Runkel posted 20 saves and a combined 2.79 goals against average, yielding just six total goals. Sherlock continued excellent two-way midfielder play, scoring four goals, assisting on two and picking up six ground balls.

 

Stopping Shots

Jack Runkel posted 12 saves, including five in the fourth quarter, of the win against Penn State after making just three stops in the season-opener against Virginia.

The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, made five of the saves in the fourth quarter as Penn State took 13 shots.

Runkel then directed the Loyola defense to dominating performances against Towson and Holy Cross. He made four saves in the first quarter and allowed just two goals over more than 54 minutes of action, stopping a total of eight shots against the Tigers. He then had a scoreless stretch of more than 46 minutes against the Crusaders and finished with 12 saves against just three goals allowed.

 

Quarterbacking The Offense

Justin Ward returns for his third year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds and will once again serve as Loyola’s quarterback from ‘X’. Last season, Ward earned USILA All-America Honorable Mention 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.

With a career-high tying five assists at Holy Cross, Ward moved past Mike Ruland and into fourth-place in Loyola’s Division I history with 78. He is one assist back of Shane Koppens for third place. Ward is also 19th in school Division I history in total points with 121.

Ward leads the Patriot League and is 12th nationally with 2.75 assists per game.

 

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. This season, the Preseason All-American leads Loyola with 17 ground balls and eight caused turnovers. His 53 career caused turnovers are tied with Reid Acton for third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

 

Classy Seniors

Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward were 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.

It is the second year in a row that two Loyola players have been named candidates as Scott Ratliff and Davis Butts were up for the award last year. Ratliff was a finalist, as well. Loyola is the only school nationally with two candidates this year.

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

Good transition play has been a key to Loyola’s success in recent years, and the dynamic has continued this year through three games. Five of the Greyhounds’ first 10 goals Wednesday came out of unsettled situations.

Pat Laconi, a preseason All-American short-stick defensive midfielder, scored a career-best two goals against the Tigers, and he also had three caused turnovers. Ryan Fournier scored his first career goal on a transition run in the third quarter.

 

Tyler’s Time

As a freshman in 2013, Tyler Albrecht saw limited action for the Greyhounds, mostly coming off the wings on faceoffs and occasional offensive midfield shifts. His role has changed dramatically in his second season, and the Canadian midfielder is making the most of it.

Albrecht is a starter on Loyola’s first midfield with Matt Sawyer and Brian Sherlock, and he has three multi-goal games in four outings this year. Albrecht scored twice in the season-opener at Virginia, and he recorded hat tricks with three each against Penn State and Towson. He is second on the team with eight goals.

In addition to his offensive work, Albrecht has continued to be a two-way middie, playing on the wings for faceoffs and defensive shifts. He had five ground balls and two caused turnovers against Towson.

 

Starting Off Strong

Loyola needed just 12 shots to score nine goals in the first quarter of Wednesday’s game against Towson, and the Greyhounds scored on nine of their 11 possessions in the quarter.

Meanwhile, the defense limited Towson to five shots, four of which were saved by goalkeeper Jack Runkel. Loyola forced four Towson turnovers, and Blake Burkhart won 7-of-9 faceoffs in the opening frame. Six different players scored in the first quarter for Loyola.

 

On The Tube

Loyola men’s lacrosse will make a minimum of four appearances on national television this year as part of the Patriot League’s agreement with CBS Sports Network.

The Greyhounds will host Duke University on Sunday, March 9, in a match-up of the last two NCAA Champions, and CBS will then feature the Greyhounds’ Thursday, April 17, game against Bucknell University, the top two teams in the Preseason Patriot League poll. The network will also feature two long-time rivals when Loyola hosts Johns Hopkins University, on Saturday, May 3.

Additionally, the Loyola-Georgetown game on Wednesday, March 19, in Washington, D.C., was added to the CBS Sports Network slate.

Both semifinal games in the Patriot League Championships will be broadcast on Friday, April 25, and the Patriot League Championship Game will also air live on Sunday, April 27.
Up Next

Loyola returns to Ridley Athletic Complex for its next game, a step out of Patriot League play, to take on Duke University in a game that will feature the last two NCAA Champions. The 6 p.m. game on Sunday, March 9, will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

Following the game against the Blue Devils, Loyola hosts the U.S. Military Academy on Saturday, March 16, at 1 p.m.

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UMBC tops Monmouth for first win of season

Posted on 22 February 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – UMBC senior attackman Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River) scored two of his game-high four goals in the fourth quarter as the Retrievers opened the home schedule with a 10-8 victory over Monmouth before 641 fans at sun-drenched UMBC Stadium.

The Retrievers improved to 1-1 on the young season, while Monmouth was playing its first-ever NCAA Division I contest.

UMBC freshman attackman Max Maxwell (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) added a second-half hat trick for the hosts.  Senior face-off specialist Phil Poe (Harwood, Md./DeMatha) controlled the draws, capturing 17 of 22 in the contest and recording nine ground balls.

MU was paced by freshman attackman Dan Bloodgood, who scored three goals and added an assist.

The Retrievers stormed out to a 4-0 first quarter lead, as Gregoire scored twice and freshman middie Dylan McDermott (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) and sophomore midfielder Steve Winsor (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) each added their first career scores.

But Monmouth answered with a 4-0 second quarter to send the game to the half knotted at 4-4. Bloodgood scored the Hawks’ first-ever goal at the 11:23 mark of the period.

The Hawks would take their first lead on a score by junior midfielder Zach Johannes 2:02 into the third quarter. Maxwell would help the Retrievers re-take the lead with back-to-back scores, but MU scored twice in a span of 49 seconds to surge ahead, 7-6. UMBC junior attackman Ty Kashur (Manassas, Va./CCBC-Essex) scored his first collegiate goal with 2:13 to play in the third to tie the game for the fourth time at 7-7 heading to the final 15 minutes.

Gregoire gave UMBC the lead for good, getting inside and converting a feed from sophomore midfielder Jack Gannon (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Sachem North) just 1:38 into the stanza. Maxwell completed his hat trick and put the Retrievers ahead, 9-7, finishing a fast-break on a feed from junior midfielder Kevin McDonough (Oak Beach, N.Y./Binghamton) at the 10:45 mark.

MU cut the deficit to 9-8 on a Tyler Keen unassisted score with 6:05 remaining. But Poe got possession on the draw and the Hawks were called for an illegal procedure penalty. On just its second man-up opportunity of the game, UMBC cashed in, as sophomore attackman Nate Lewnes (Arnold, Md./St. Mary’s) found Gregoire inside and the tri-captain beat MU reserve netminder Garrett Conaway to reclaim a two-goal advantage with 4:38 to play.

The Hawks got an extra-man chance in the final two minutes, but UMBC red-shirt freshman keeper Connor Gordon (Bourne, Mass./Tabor Academy) made a save on Bloodgood with 1:29 remaining and the Retrievers kept possession for the remainder of the contest.

UMBC outshot the Hawks, 38-33, and Gordon came up with double-digit saves for the second consecutive game, posting a dozen stops. Conaway, who entered the game in the third quarter, took the loss, making eight saves, but allowing six second half goals.

UMBC returns to action next Saturday, March 1, when they welcome Richmond to UMBC Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. contest.

Notes: Gregoire’s four-goal game was the fourth of his career… UMBC won its second consecutive home opener after three straight setbacks… Gordon made ten first-half saves for the second consecutive week.

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UMBC welcomes Monmouth for home opener Saturday

Posted on 21 February 2014 by WNST Staff

SET THE SCENE: UMBC opens its 2014 home schedule on Saturday, Feb. 22, when they welcome the Monmouth Hawks to UMBC Stadium. The Retrievers are looking to rebound from an opening day setback at Maryland, while MU competes in its first-ever Division I contest on Saturday. The opening face-off takes place at 1:05 p.m.  Gary Stein has all the play-by-play action, video streaming is available via the America East digital network.   

RETRIEVER UPDATE: Red-shirt FR G Connor Gordon stopped 15 shots from No. 6 Maryland in his collegiate debut as the Retrievers fell to the Terrapins, 14-3, at Byrd Stadium on Feb. 15. He registered ten saves in the first half alone, five in each quarter, as UMBC (0-1) trailed just 1-0 after the opening frame. SO M Jack Gannon scored his first collegiate goal versus the Terrapins. Gannon, SR M Zach Linkous and SO M Pat Young each contributed a goal and an assist in the contest.
UMBC snapped a three-game losing streak in home openers last season with an 11-7 victory over Rutgers.

HAWK UPDATE:  In its first year of competition, Monmouth University was selected seventh in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll in 2014, according to the league’s head coaches. Under head coach Brian Fisher, the Hawks are in their first season of men’s lacrosse.  Fisher announced that juniors Ryan Horsch and Zach Johannes have been named team captains. Horsch, a transfer from Brookdale Community College, where he helped lead the Jersey Blues to consecutive Region 19 Championships, was honored as a two-time First-Team All-Region 19 defenseman. Johannes, a transfer from Franklin & Marshall, appeared in every game in his two seasons with the Diplomats, and was named the Freshman of the Year in 2012.

WHO’S UP NEXT: UMBC will entertain Richmond next Saturday, March 1. Face-off takes place at 1:05 p.m.

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Morgan continues MEAC play Monday night at UMES

Posted on 16 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Monday, Feb.17, 2014

Opponent: Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks (4-18, 2-8 MEAC)
Site: W.P.Hytche Athletic Center, Princess Anne, Md.
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
MSU Coach: Todd Bozeman (137-113 – 8th yr)

BALTIMORE, Md. — The Morgan State Bears, winners of three of its last four games, visit Princess Anne, Md. to take on the Fighting Hawks of Maryland Eastern Shore (4-18, 2-8 MEAC) on Monday, February 17th at 7:30 p.m.  This will be the first and only meeting of the regular season between the Bears and Hawks.

SCOUTING MD-EASTERN SHORE
The Hawks welcomed back seven veterans, including three starters, from a squad that posted an 2-26 overall record, and finished in 13th place in the MEAC stadnings. Hakeem Baxter is the Hawks leading scorer by averaging 15.4 ppg. Kyree Jones is the only other Hawk scoring in double-figures (14.7 ppg) and he’s averaging 2.5 assists per game. Troy Snyder leads UMES on the glass by averaging 5.7 rebounds per contest. Frankie Allen enters his 7th season as the Hawks’ head coach where he currently holds a 38-130 record (.226 winning pct.). Troy Snyder exploded for 34 points and 14 rebounds, both season highs, in helping Maryland-Eastern Shore score 59 second-half points and beat Howard 87-73 on Saturday. Hakeem Baxter added 22 points and Louis Bell 15 for the Hawks, who broke a three-game losing streak.

LAST TIME VS. THE HAWKS
March 2, 2013 – Shaquille Duncan matched his career-high with 17 points and the Bears outscored Md-Eastern Shore 38-26 in the second half to cruise to a 58-45 victory at Hill Field House. Duncan finished the game shooting 7 of 9 from the floor with three blocked shots and a couple of sensational dunks. DeWayne Jackson had another solid all-around performance today. The senior finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. He also added three blocked shots to help the Bears to extend to its third straight win, and its sixth victory in seven games.

WE MEET AGAIN: The Morgan State Bears will square off against the Hawks for the 82nd meeting between the two. Morgan State holds a 49-32 advantage, however the Bears have won the last two meetings. Todd Bozeman holds a 9-3 record against the Hawks since becoming MSU’s head coach in 2006.

THREE IN DOUBLE FIGURES

Thru 22 games last season, three Bears averaged more than 10 points a game. Justin Black leads with by averaging 18.9 ppg (No. 2 in MEAC), Ian Chiles averages 15.0 points per game, while Anthony Hubbard is averaging 11.1 points and leads the squad averaging 6.8 rpg (No. 6).

BLACK A MEMBER OF THE 1,000 POINTS CLUB 

Senior guard Justin Black eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for his career as a result of his 24-point outing against Cal State Northridge (12/27) … Black recently scored 23 points and moved in front of Damone Williams (1,207 pts – 1986-90) as the school’s No. 15 leading scorer with 1,215 career points.

POUNDING THE PAINT

Morgan State is eager to get the ball inside this season, even more so than normal. Through 10 conference games, MSU leads the MEAC averaging 75 points per game, including 15 points in the paint. This includes a dominating 50-22 edge in the paint at Hampton (1/20), and 42-20 advantage at Coppin State (2/10).

THEIVES IN THE NIGHT

Two Bears are averaging better than 1.0 steals per game - Justin Black (2.1 – ranks No. 2 in MEAC), and Donte Pretlow (1.4 – No. 10). Morgan State is also No. 5 in the MEAC by averaging 7 steals per game.

TOUGH IN THE PAINT

Ian Chiles and Thair Heath are shooting better than .500 from the field this year. Thru the first 22 games Chiles is shooting 54.3 pct (ranks No. 6 in MEAC), while frontcourt teammate Heath is shooting 54.2 pct.  The Bears are among the top teams in the MEAC ranked No. 3 in field goal percentage (.421).

WELCOME TO MY BLOCK PARTY

Ian Chiles has been making the most of his 7-foot-2 frame. The senior recorded a career-high 9 blocked shots against Norfolk State on Feb. 8. He’s currently ranked T-No. 2 in the MEAC averaging 3.0 rejections per contest (68) and now has 167 career blocks.
THE ALMOST-TRIPLE-DOUBLE

Despite the loss against Norfolk State (Feb. 8), Ian Chiles had a strong effort and came close to finishing with the oh so rare — triple-double. “Big Slew” completed the night with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and notched a career-high nine blocked shots … one rejection short a triple-double.
THE 3-HEADED GRIZZLY

In the first 10 conference matchups this season Justin BlackIan Chiles and Anthony Hubbard have scored 455 points, while the rest of the squad has produced 316 points. In the blowout of Howard, the trio combined to score 39 points with Black scored a team-high 17 points. Against Coppin State, the trio accounted for 61 of the Bears’ 82 points with Black and Chiles leading the way with 23 apiece. The trio has totaled 989 of the team’s 1,565 points, 63 percent of the team’s scoring load.

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Towson looks for fifth straight win Monday at UNC Wilmington

Posted on 09 February 2014 by WNST Staff

TOWSON TRAVELS TO UNC WILMINGTON ON MONDAY SEEKING FIFTH STRAIGHT WIN
Tigers enter the week in second-place in the CAA

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Towson men’s basketball team will play its first road game in over two weeks on Monday as the Tigers travel to UNC Wilmington to take on the Seahawks at 7 p.m. inside Trask Coliseum.

Towson (16-8, 7-2 Colonial Athletic Association) has won four straight games and nine of its last 11 contests, including a thrilling 68-61 overtime victory against College of Charleston on Saturday.

The Tigers downed the Seahawks, 60-53, when the squads met inside SECU Arena on January 11. Senior forward Jerrelle Benimon led the Tigers with 20 points and 17 rebounds in the first meeting.

UNC Wilmington (6-19, 0-10 CAA) is still searching for its first league win despite numerous close calls. Eight of UNCW’s 10 league losses have come by single digits or in overtime.

Junior forward Cedrick Williams leads the Seahawks in both scoring (13.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg). Guard Ben Eblen ranks seventh in the CAA by dishing out 2.9 assists per game. Senior guard Chris Dixon led the Seahawks with 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting in the meeting between Towson and UNCW earlier this season.

Towson is 4-0 against UNC Wilmington under head coach Pat Skerry.

Fans can listen to Monday’s game on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Spiro Morekas and Damon Lewis on the call.

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Loyola tries to build off big win Saturday at Lehigh

Posted on 08 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Saturday, February 8, 2014  |  2:00 p.m.

Bethlehem, Pa. | Stabler Arena

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

The Greyhounds start a two-game swing through the Patriot League’s Lehigh Valley schools on Saturday, February 8, when they play at 2 o’clock against Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.

Loyola moved into a three-way (with Lehigh and Bucknell University) for in the League with a 5-6 record after Wednesday night’s win.

Tyler Hubbard’s 20 points on Wednesday night were a career-high, and his six 3-pointers are tied for sixth most in school history.

Loyola had 11 steals in the game, the fifth time in Patriot League action that the Greyhounds have logged 10 or more, but the first time since having 10 at Boston University on January 20.

Last Time Out

Loyola built a five-point lead on an R.J. Williams steal and fast-break layup with 1:24 left in the second half, and the Greyhounds made 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute to secure a 62-58 win over American University on Wednesday night in Reitz Arena.

The win snapped American’s 11-game winning streak and dealt the Eagles their first Patriot League loss of the year.

Tyler Hubbard made 6-of-7 threes and scored a career-best 20 points to lead all scorers. It was the first time he’s led Loyola in scoring.

Franz Rassman was 7-of-7 from the free-throw line to score 11, and Jordan Latham had 10 and four blocked shots.

Patriot League Network

Saturday’s game against Lehigh 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.

 

Series History Versus Lehigh

Lehigh and Loyola will meet for the 10th time on the basketball court and second time as Patriot League opponents. Loyola’s 72-68 win at home on January 8 gave the Greyhounds a 5-4 advantage in the series.

Five Loyola players scored seven or more points, led by Dylon Cormier’s 25 in the first meeting this year. Cormier sparked an 11-0 run that put Loyola up by 14 with just under 14 minutes left in the game.

The Greyhounds first played the Mountain Hawks in 1912-1913, the fifth year of varsity basketball on the Evergreen campus. Lehigh won that game, 41-19, and the Mountain Hawks were again victorious the following year. Loyola’s first win in the series came during the 1915-1916 season.

Following that game, the programs did not meet again until January 21, 1978, when Loyola scored a 79-64 win in Bethlehem, Pa.

Most recently, the teams met in the consolation game of the 1988 Lobo Classic at The Pit in Albuquerque, a game that the Mountain Hawks won, 86-72.

 

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.

 

Hubbard Hits From Deep

Tyler Hubbard had one of the best 3-point shooting nights in school history on Wednesday 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. He is now 33-of-82 (40.2 percent) from 3-point range this season and has made at least one three in 19-of-22 games.

 

Clutch Late

Four days after shooting 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from the free-throw line in a loss to Army, the Greyhounds made 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute of action to clinch the win over American. They finished the contest 17-of-22 (77.3 percent) from the charity stripe.

In the final minute, Denzel Brito hit two pairs of free throws, while Franz Rassman and Tyler Hubbard each made two. Rassman finished the game a career-best 7-of-7 from the line.

 

Winning Without Boards

Loyola posted a season-low 17 rebounds on Wednesday night 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.

 

Solid Performance From Latham

Jordan Latham had a very solid performance on both ends of the floor against American on Wednesday night, scoring 10 points on 4-of-6 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.

Latham was also a disruptive factor on the defensive end, blocking four shots, altering several others and grabbing a steal.

His four blocks moved him into a tie for fifth place in the Patriot League with 1.2 blocks per game. The four tied a career and season-high for Latham. He now has 83 career blocked shots, good for fourth all-time at Loyola.

The Greyhounds are 6-1 this season when Latham blocks two or more shots in a game.

 

Jones Finds Scoring Note

Jarred Jones led Loyola in scoring for the first time in his career on February 1 against Army, knocking down 7-of-10 shots from the field for 17 points.

The game was Jones second 13-plus point game in the last two weeks, but his last (January 22 at Bucknell) was his first double-digit effort since December.

The junior forward has averaged 9.8 points in the Greyhounds last five games while shooting 55.0 percent (22-of-40) from the field in those games.

Jones opened the season with three games of 13 or more points in the Greyhounds’ first four, tallying 22 in the season-opener at Binghamton, 13 at Cornell and 14 at UMBC. In the fourth game of the opening stretch, he scored seven despite being limited to just nine minutes to foul trouble.

The Harford County (Md.) product then had 13 against Catholic and 15 versus Saint Joseph’s, but that output against the Hawks was his last in double-digits until the game at Bucknell (seven games).

 

Defensive, Too

In addition to finding his scoring stroke, Jones has also upped his numbers on the defensive side of the court, blocking six shots combined in the last three games.

Against Army, Jones swatted three shots and had two steals, while he also had a pair of blocks against both Bucknell and Holy Cross.

His three against Army were one off his season- and career-high of four set in the season-opener at Binghamton. He is now seventh in the Patriot League in blocked shots per game with 1.1.

Jones is also 10th in the conference in steals per game after nabbing four against American. He averages 1.4 per game with a total of 31.

 

Gorski Garners Starting Role

Freshman post player Nick Gorski drew his first starting assignment as a collegian last Saturday 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 four games – he also played 11 minutes and scored four points on January 25 against Colgate, and he saw 12 minutes on the court against American – 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 fifth in the Patriot League in assists per game (4.4), and he is averaging 5.2 in the Greyhounds last five games.

Williams 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 53 assists in 11 games for an average of 4.8.

The junior from Baltimore has also increased his scoring average during Patriot League play. Overall he is averaging 8.0 points per game, 8.5 against conference opponents.

Williams also grabbed a career-high tying seven rebounds on Saturday against Army, bumping his Patriot League average to 3.2 per game.

Getting Opportunities

Loyola took 70 shots last Saturday against Army, thanks in part to 19 offensive rebounds. The 70 field goal attempts were the second-most the Greyhounds have taken this season behind only 74 they attempted in an overtime win at Cornell.

The Greyhounds’ 19 offensive rebounds were also their second-best total of the season, short by one of the 20 they grabbed at Connecticut.

Loyola, however, did not do a good job of converting the offensive rebounds into second-chance points. The Greyhounds finished with just eight points after grabbing offensive rebounds against the Black Knights.

 

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 (27.7-20.3).

 

Away From The Friendly Confines

Loyola lost its ninth straight road game on January 29 at Holy Cross after winning its first three this season away from Reitz Arena.

At 3-9 on the road, the Greyhounds are shooting 38.9 percent as opposed to 45.4 percent while going 6-3 at home. Opponents are shooting 47.1 percent in their own facilities, 42.4 percent in Reitz Arena.

Loyola does shoot slightly better from 3-point range on the road, making 33.7 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 (12.2-11.2), and they also force an additional turnover at home (14.9-13.4).

With these factors, the Greyhounds are averaging nearly five points less per game on the road, 65.2, to their 71.3 points per game at home.

 

Double Double-Doubles

Dylon Cormier and R.J. Williams both posted double-doubles against Lafayette, as Cormier went for 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Williams posted 12 points and a career-best 10 assists.

It was the first time since an 88-85 overtime win against Iona College on January 30, 2011, that two Loyola players completed the feat in the same game. Erik Etherly (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Justin Drummond (14 points, 10 rebounds) managed it on that day.

Williams’ 10 assists were the most by a Greyhounds’ player since Brian Rudolph dished out 10 on February 27, 2011, in the regular-season finale at Canisius College.

 

Sticky Fingers

The Greyhounds posted 11 steals against American on Wednesday night, marking the fifth time in 11 Patriot League games that they have grabbed 10 or more. Through February 7, Loyola leads the League with 8.7 steals overall, 8.9 in League action.

The 98 steals in its last 11 games have raised Loyola’s Patriot League-leading overall average to 8.7 per game. Through games of February 6, the Greyhounds are ranked 13th nationally in steals per game.

Loyola has had 11 or more steals in eight games through 22 contests.

R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is 12th nationally in steals per game (2.5), while Dylon Cormier is second (2.19) and tied for 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 115 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 Thursday, February 6, Cormier was 13th 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.

 

Die Hard Dogs

Loyola has trailed or been tied with five minutes to go in regulation in five of its 10 victories this season – Binghamton, Cornell, UMBC, Navy and American – 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.

 

Turnover Battle

Through 22 games this season, the Greyhounds are averaging 2.55 fewer turnovers per game than their opponents, tops in the Patriot League and 35th in the nation.

 

Telling Stat

In Loyola’s 12 losses this season, the Greyhounds are shooting more than nine eight 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 37.8 percent (264-of-698) in 12 losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 13.3 points less (74.8 versus 61.5) points.

As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (48.0-42.5) 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:

Scoring
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
Assists
20th 210 assists
Next Dave Wojick, 219
Steals
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

The Greyhounds return to the Lehigh Valley to face Lafayette College on Wednesday, February 12, at 7 p.m.

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MEAC season continues for Coppin Saturday against UMES

Posted on 07 February 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Sterling Smith’s most memorable moment of the season occurred on Sunday, Nov. 10 in front of family and friends. They watched as Smith dropped 21 points under the bright lights to help Coppin State beat Oregon State, 78-73, in one of the biggest wins in school history.

Since Smith exudes a laid-back California-cool personality off the court, he was pretty nonchalant following the victory. That demeanor is a stark contrast to the angry pit-bull like attitude and competitive fierceness he displays during games and the sheer intensity he shows in practice.

Last week, Smith displayed a different emotion, rage. He wasn’t excited about his career-high 24-point performance because it came in an overtime loss to Hampton, 79-76. Smith loves his family and winning.

While he looks forward to seeing his family and spending time with them, Smith is not exactly counting down the days to his next scheduled visit to the West Coast them during spring break. That’s because the Chino (Calif.) native hopes his plans include practicing for a NCAA tournament game that week.

With seven regular games remaining for Coppin State beginning Saturday at Maryland-Eastern Shore (4:00 p.m.), Smith knows there’s plenty of work to be done to help create a special memory that would surpass the thrill of the Oregon State game. Then his family can come see him play in an NCAA tournament game.

“It was cool to play in front of a lot of family members and friends when we played California and Oregon State,” Smith said. “I usually get home about twice a year. Once in the summer and during spring break. Hopefully, we’re playing during that week. I was able to spend time with my family when we went out to California and that was cool. The Oregon State game really boosted my confidence. To have such a big game against a big school really helped me out a lot.”

Smith’s game has been hot recently. He has developed into a rebounding machine. Only a sophomore, the 6 foot, 4 inch Smith has the potential to do some good things by the time he finishes his Coppin State career. Smith has grabbed 26 rebounds combined over the Eagles’ last three games, including nine each against Hampton and Delaware State.

Smith is the Eagles version of a Swiss-army knife because he’s third on the team in scoring (11.4 points per game), and rebounding (4.3 per game). Smith is third on the team in assists with 43 and blocked shots with six. He also leads the Eagles in steals with 29 and is second with 37 made 3-pointers. He does it all. Lately, he’s been focusing on rebounding because that’s what has been needed. For the season, Smith has scored in double figures 12 times and made at least one 3-pointer in 17 games.

“I always had a knack for the ball,” Smith said. “Coach (Ron “Fang” Mitchell) had a team meeting to let us know that rebounding wasn’t our strong suit, so he told us that we had to pick it up especially among the starters. I kind of took it upon myself to do that and get a lot of more boards. I feel like if I am not scoring that I can be more effective in other ways. I can always help the team out.”

His maturity, confidence and leadership have been a huge help to the Eagles this season. Smith is a smooth shooter when he’s in rhythm and has his legs under him. Smith prepped for a larger role this season by spending plenty of time in the gym with senior guard Andre Armstrong. They were like a new and improved version of Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes from “White Men Can’t Jump” as they drove up and down the East Coast playing in as many pick-up games as possible.

Armstrong and Smith are a pair of lethal wing players that can shoot holes through any zone defense in the world when they’re locked and loaded.

“I really worked hard over the summer because I wanted to make a difference next year,” Smith said. “Coming out of high school, I didn’t have a Division I scholarship, so I went to Redemption Christian in New York. I was playing in a tournament in New Jersey and coach Fang saw me. When I came here to Coppin State for my visit, I saw that it was a family environment, everybody was welcoming and it was a nice campus.”

Smith is still a relative newcomer to hoops. Growing up the future secret service agent loved soccer. He eventually gave up his dreams of being the next Pele in sixth grade when his dad got him into basketball. Smith was a quick learner and developed a reputation in high school for lighting up scoreboards. He is thankful to be at Coppin State. More importantly, Smith is a member of the Dean’s List and will graduate next May with his degree in criminal justice.

“Graduating in three years mean a lot to me,” Smith said. “I would be the first one in my house to get a degree.”

That’s another special moment Smith will be able to share with his family.

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UMBC continues America East play Saturday against UMass Lowell

Posted on 07 February 2014 by WNST Staff

The UMBC men’s basketball team (8-15, 4-6 AE) will try to avenge another early-season road setback and extend their home winning streak to three when they welcome America East newcomer UMass Lowell (7-15, 5-5) to the RAC Arena on Saturday, Feb. 8. Tip-off time is set for 2:00 p.m.  Gary Stein and Paul Mittermeier have all the play-by-play action, live streaming is available on the America East digital network (www.umbcretrievers.tv). Streaming is available via most mobile devices.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC matched its win total from a year ago and erased the memory of an ugly loss in Durham last month with a 68-57 victory over UNH on Wednesday evening at the RAC Arena.  For the sixth time in 2013-14, the Retrievers come back from a halftime deficit to rally for a win, as they outscored UNH, 44-28, in the final 20 minutes. FR G Rodney Elliott again led the way, scoring 21 points, while SR G Quentin Jones stayed hot from the floor, adding 16 points. Elliott is up to fifth in America East with a team-best 14.5 points per outing.

RIVER HAWK UPDATE:  A red-hot shooting Albany team snapped UML’s two-game winning streak with a 73-56 triumph at SEFCU Arena on Wednesday. Albany hit 17-of-23 first half shots and led by 24 points at the half. Red-shirt senior forward Antonio Bivins led UML with 17 points and reached the 1,000-point plateau in his career. Bivins, who debuted this season with 14 points versus UMBC on Jan. 5, leads the River Hawks with 14.8 points per game and 5.7 caroms per outing. Senior guard Akeem Williams adds 14.3 points per contest.

WHO’S UP NEXT: UMBC completes the homestand by facing Albany on “RAC in Black” Night on Wednesday, Feb. 12. The game will be broadcast by ESPN3.

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UMBC hosts Hartford for Hall of Fame Day Saturday

Posted on 24 January 2014 by WNST Staff

SET THE SCENE: The UMBC Retrievers (5-14, 1-5) try to salvage the final game of a three-game homestand when they face the Hartford Hawks (10-11, 4-2) on Hall of Fame Day at the RAC Arena. The Saturday, Jan. 25 nightcap of a hoops doubleheader gets underway at 3:30 p.m. Gary Stein and Troy Green have the call, live streaming is available on the America East digital network at www.americaeast.tv. Streaming is also now available on most mobile devices.

RETRIEVER UPDATE:  UMBC played the two undefeated teams in America East, Vermont and Stony Brook, in a span of three days, and dropped both decisions. The Retrievers are mired in a shooting slump – the squad has not surpassed 40 percent shooting from the floor in the last five games. FR G Rodney Elliott (13.8 ppg) has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 12 games, while SR F Chase Plummer coming off a 21-point effort versus Stony Brook.

HAWK UPDATE: Taylor Dyson’s short baseline jumper as he fell to the floor with 2.3 seconds left boosted Hartford to a 56-54 victory over Binghamton on Thursday night. Wes Cole led the Hawks (10-11, 4-2 America East) with 24 points, and the junior guard has buried 18 treys in his last two outings. JR F Mark Nwakamma leads UH in scoring (15.2) and rebounding (6.0). Hartford has won three straight, two of which have been on the road and the Hawks are 5-6 in road games in 2013-14.

Who’s Up Next: UMBC hits the road next week for contests at Binghamton (Jan. 29) and at Maine (Feb .1).

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Loyola tries to even up conference record Saturday against Lehigh

Posted on 10 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Game Information
Opponent Lehigh Mountain Hawks
Date Saturday, January 11, 2014
Time 4:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Reitz Arena

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

  • Loyola plays its fourth Patriot League game of the season on Saturday, January 11, when it hosts Lehigh University at 4 o’clock in Reitz Arena.
  • The Greyhounds head into the second weekend of League competition tied for fifth in the conference at 1-2 with losses to two of the three teams tied for first at 3-0 (American and Army).
  • Loyola has 38 steals in its first three conference games, logging 11 or more in each of the contests.
  • At 9.36 steals per game this season, the Greyhounds lead the Patriot League and are 12th in Division I.
  • R.J. Williams leads the League and is tied for sixth in NCAA Division I in steals per game (2.83).

Last Time Out    

  • Loyola led American University, 26-22, at halftime, but the Eagles scored the first 11 points of the second half and shot 81 percent from the field in the stanza to defeat the Greyhounds, 65-51, on Wednesday night.
  • American scored on five of its first seven possessions in the second half before the Greyhounds logged a basket.
  • Loyola then cut the deficit to two, 35-33, but it could draw no closer.
  • Dylon Cormier scored 13 to lead Loyola, while Eric Laster had 11.
  • Four Eagles starters scored 10 or more, led by 16 each from Kyle Kager and Darius Gardner.

Patriot League Network    

  • Saturday’s game against Lehigh 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 Lehigh    

  • Lehigh and Loyola will meet for the ninth time on the basketball court and first time as Patriot League opponents. The teams have evenly split the first eight meetings.
  • The Greyhounds first played the Mountain Hawks in 1912-1913, the fifth year of varsity basketball on the Evergreen campus. Lehigh won that game, 41-19, and the Mountain Hawks were again victorious the following year. Loyola’s first win in the series came during the 1915-1916 season.
  • Following that game, the programs did not meet again until January 21, 1978, when Loyola scored a 79-64 win in Bethlehem, Pa.
  • Most recently, the teams met in the consolation game of the 1988 Lobo Classic at The Pit in Albuquerque, a game that the Mountain Hawks won, 86-72.

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.

Sticky Fingers    

  • The Greyhounds have posted 11 or more steals in each of their first three Patriot League games.
  • The 38 steals in its last three games have raised Loyola’s Patriot League-leading average to 9.4 per game. Through games of January 8, the Greyhounds are ranked ninth nationally in steals per game.
  • Loyola has had 11 or more steals in seven games – also 12 at UMBC and 11 at Connecticut – through 13 contests.
  • R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is sixth nationally in steals per game (2.8), while Dylon Cormier is fourth (2.1) and tied for 50th.
  • Williams posted a career-high six, tied for fifth-most in school single-game history, at Army.
  • Cormier now has 168 in his career and one shy of moving into a tie for third place at Loyola. With 99 in his career, Williams is tied for 18th on the career chart.

Converting Turnovers To Points    

  • While Loyola has forced an average of 15.1 opponent turnovers per game, a total of 212, this season, the Greyhounds have not converted those miscues into a high number of points.
  • Loyola is averaging just 15.9 points off turnovers per game, a total of 222, or nearly statistically even to the ratio of opponent turnovers.
  • For comparison, Loyola’s opponents are averaging 14.2 points from the Greyhounds’ 12.0 turnovers per game this season.

Offensive Improvement At Army    

  • Loyola’s 82 points in its loss Sunday at Army were its most since scoring 87 in a December 4 win over Catholic University.
  • In the five games in between, the Greyhounds averaged just 63 points per game while shooting 39.2 percent from the field and 25.8 percent from 3-point range.
  • Against the Black Knights, Loyola was better from the field, knocking down 44.8 percent of its shots.

Williams’ Career Day    

  • R.J. Williams had the best statistical game of his three-year Loyola career on 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.

On The Offensive Glass    

  • After recording a season-low three offensive rebounds in last Thursday night’s win over Navy, the Greyhounds had 16 offensive rebounds at Army.
  • Dylon Cormier led the way with a career-high tying seven offensive boards; he leads the Patriot League with 3.4 offensive rebounds per game.
  • Cormier’s 3.4 per game are 1.4 more than the League’s next-best guard in terms of offensive rebounds (Army’s Dylan Cox).

Back In The Win Column    

  • Loyola’s come-from-behind win over Navy last Thursday night was 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 six victories this season, it has outscored its opponents 21.3-12.5 in the final five minutes of regulation.
  • The Greyhounds have shot 61.8 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 35.6 percent from the field and 20 percent from behind the arc.
  • In those 30 minutes, Loyola has committed just nine turnovers to its opponents’ 22. Fourteen of the opponent turnovers have been from Loyola steals.
  • Add in its overtime games, and Loyola has outscored opponents 27.7-16.2 in the final five minutes plus overtime.

Block Party    

  • Jordan Latham tied his career-high with four blocks last Thursday night 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.
  • Offensively, Dylon Cormier averaged 13.6 points in the second halves of the last seven games for Loyola, including a 23-point performance against Saint Joseph’s.
  • Against Stony Brook, the Greyhounds erased a 17-point first-half deficit to tie the score twice in the second half. Versus Saint Joseph’s, Loyola trailed, 60-24, at the half, but it made the contest a three-possession game and lost by 11.

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’ 12 games, Loyola has been outscored, 38.2-28.8, in the first half this season.

Cormier’s Start To The Season    

  • Dylon Cormier has started the season scoring in bunches, averaging 22.3 points per game through 14. Through games of Wednesday, January 8, Cormier was sixth 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 10 20+ point games in 14 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 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.
  • 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 1,525 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 14 games, Cormier has gone to the free-throw line 138 times (fifth in Division I through games of January 8). His average of 9.9 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 297 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 429-of-609 from the free-throw line. He is fourth in school history in both free throws made and attempted.

Turnover Battle    

  • Through 14 games this season, the Greyhounds are averaging 3.1 fewer turnovers per game than their opponents, tops in the Patriot League and tied for 37th in the nation.
  • Loyola has committed 168 turnovers to 212 even greater in the second half of games, as opponents have nearly 2:1 more turnovers (118-62).

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 six victories.
  • Loyola has made 45.5 percent (152-of-334) shots in six wins versus 37.7 percent (176-of-467) in eight losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 16.1 points less (78.3 versus 62.2) points.
  • From behind the 3-point arc, Loyola is eight points better in wins (35.8-27.3).
  • As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (50.0-41.7) in the games they’ve won.
  • Winning Combinations
  • In the Greyhounds’ six wins this season, Dylon Cormier has averaged 27 points per game, and Jarred Jones 13. In the Greyhounds’ losses, however, those numbers slip to 18.8 and 5.1.
  • Cormier and Jones are also the Greyhounds’ top two rebounds in the wins, averaging 6.7 and 5.5. In the Greyhounds’ losses, those averages are 5.3 and 3.0.

Doing The Little Things    

  • Eric Laster has done the stat-sheet filling things in the several games for the Greyhounds.
  • On December 19 versus Stony Brook, he blocked a career-best three shots, and earlier this month, he posted a career-high five assists in a win over Catholic.
  • Laster has 18 assists this year against just 11 turnovers, and he is averaging 3.7 rebounds per game.
  • After averaging just 5.3 minutes in 27 games last season, he has seen his role expand dramatically this season, starting the first 12 games on the wing.
  • Laster has averaged 9.5 points in Loyola’s first 14 contests, and he is shooting 43.4 percent (23-of-53) 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    1,525 points
Next    Mike Powell, 1,580

Field Goals Made
15th    501 field goals made
Next    Tom Caraher, 507

3-Pointers Made
13th    94 3-Pt. Made
Next    B.J. Davis, 104

Free Throws Made
5th    429 free throws made
Next    Kevin Green, 438

Assists
21st    194 assists
Next    R.J. Williams (active), 196

Steals
4th    168 steals
Next    Damien Jenifer, 169

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 continues its two-game homestand with its first-ever appearance on CBS Sports Network. The Greyhounds host Lafayette College on Monday, January 13, at 7:30 p.m.

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