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Loyola Pays Visit to Bucknell Wednesday Night

Posted on 28 December 2011 by WNST Staff

Opponent Bucknell Bison
Date Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Lewisburg, Pa. | Sojka Pavillion
TV Bucknell Webstream
Series Record Bucknell leads, 5-1
Last Meeting Bucknell 70, Loyola 59 – Dec. 28, 2010, at Loyola

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will play its final game of 2011 on Wednesday, December 28, when it takes on Bucknell University at 7 p.m. in Lewisburg, Pa., at Sojka Pavilion.

Both the Greyhounds and Bison are coming off six-day layoffs for Christmas after they both played on December 22, Bucknell at Boston University and Loyola at the third-ranked Kentucky Wildcats.

Series History

Bucknell and Loyola will play for the seventh time on Wednesday. The Bison lead the all-time series 5-1 after defeating the Greyhounds 70-59 a year ago to the date of this game.

The teams played in 1986-1987 and 1987-1988, and then twice during the 1992-1993 campaign, with Bucknell winning each time.

Loyola snapped the skid against the Bison with a 55-49 win in Lewisburg on December 28, 2009.

Road Warriors

Wednesday’s game will close a six-game road swing for the Greyhounds. They have not played at Reitz Arena since defeating Marist in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener on Thursday, December 1.

Loyola is 3-2 on the current slate of road games, winning the first three before falling at St. Bonaventure and Kentucky.

The Greyhounds return to Baltimore for the first of three-straight home games on Monday, January 2, to play Niagara.

Back-to-Back Tournament Teams

For the only time this season, Loyola will be facing teams that appeared in the 2011 NCAA Tournament in consecutive games.

Both teams bowed out to eventual National Champion Connecticut, Bucknell falling 81-52 in the West Region First Round, while Kentucky lost 56-55 in the Final Four.

Highest Ranked Opponent

Loyola took on Kentucky on December 22 in Rupp Arena when the Wildcats were ranked No. 3 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls.

The Wildcats’ No. 3 rankings matches the highest-ranked opponent Loyola has faced in program history, equalling that of Kansas in January 2008.

Kentucky’s announced crowd of 22,774 was the largest a Loyola athletics team has ever played in front of.

Switching It Up

Jimmy Patsos started the sixth different lineup combination of the season last Thursday against Kentucky when forwards Jordan Latham and Shane Walker and guards Dylon Cormier, Justin Drummond and Robert Olson were in the starting five.

Latham and Drummond both made the second starts of their careers. Latham also started the season opener at Wake Forest, and Drummond opened the game Florida Gulf Coast game.

Back To Form

After scoring fewer than 10 points for back-to-back games at Mount St. Mary’s and St. Bonaventure, the first time he was in single digits since January, Erik Etherly posted a double-double at Kentucky with team highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The double-double was Etherly’s fifth this season and ninth of his career. His most recent feat came on December 7 at George Washington when he scored 12 and matched his career-best with 15 rebounds.

Etherly has scored in double figures in 20 of the Greyhounds’ last 22 games, going back to January 28, 2011, against Siena. In those 22 games, Etherly has averaged 14 points per contest.

Slowing Lamb

Entering the December 22 game against the Greyhounds, Preseason All-SEC and Dick Vitale Solid Gold selection Doron Lamb was leading the Wildcats at 16.7 points per game.

Loyola held the sophomore to nine points and limited him to just five shots (he entered averaging 11 field goals attempted) in 31 minutes of action. The nine points were his second-lowest of the season and came two days after he scored a season-best 26 points against Samford.

Low TOs

Loyola and Kentucky combined for just 19 turnovers in Lexington, and the Greyhounds matched their season-low with only nine.

The Greyhounds have posted just nine turnovers in three of their last five games, all coming on the current swing of games away from Reitz Arena – at Siena, Mount St. Mary’s and Kentucky.

Latham Continues Contributions

Jordan Latham has seen increased playing time in the last three Loyola games, seeing 18 minutes of action at Mount St. Mary’s and 17 at both St. Bonaventure and Kentucky, the top three totals of his career.

He scored just two points at The Mount and four at St. Bonaventure, but his size, effort and solid defense were noted by the coaches, leading to increased time on the floor. Latham then tallied a career-high seven points against the Wildcats.

Latham is a new addition to the Loyola side this season after transferring during the offseason from Xavier. He was granted an NCAA waiver and will be immediately eligible to play for the Greyhounds in 2011-2012 rather than having to sit out the typical year-in-residency.

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

Last Time Out

Loyola cut No. 3 Kentucky’s lead to four points on the first possession of the second half on an Erik Etherly dunk, but the Wildcats fended off the challenge and eventually went on a 15-2 run en route to a 87-63 victory.

Twice in the first half, Kentucky appeared ready to break the game wide open. The Wildcats scored nine straight after Dylon Cormier’s opening bucket, but Loyola then reeled off six-straight to make it a 9-8 game. Later, Marquis Teague made two free throws to put Kentucky up 33-23 only to see Loyola pull within a pair, 33-31, on an Etherly dunk with 4:30 remaining in the half.

Streak Snapped

St. Bonaventure University defeated Loyola 76-6, snapping the Greyhounds’ eight-game winning streak. Loyola had reeled off the span of wins since falling in its season-opener at Wake Forest.

The winning streak was the longest in the school’s NCAA Division I history (since 1981-82), and it is the longest since the 1964-1965 team won eight in a row during January and February.

Drummond’s Career Day

Justin Drummond put together a career-high scoring effort in the Greyhounds’ loss at St. Bonaventure, finishing with 26 points to eclipse the 22 he scored last February against Canisius.

Drummond, who came off the bench and played 32 minutes, made 10-of-19 shots, both of his 3-point attempts and all four of his free throws. He also led Loyola with five rebounds.

Drummond spread his 26 points evenly between the two halves, scoring 13 in each. He scored six-straight points as Loyola held the Bonnies scoreless for over two minutes in the second half, trimming St. Bonaventure’s advantage from 12 to six with 4:06 to play.

First Time With One

St. Bonaventure limited Loyola’s scorers, holding all players under 10 points, save for Justin Drummond’s 26. It was the first time this season that just one player was in double figures and just the third time (George Washington and Mount St. Mary’s) that less than three have tallied 10 or more.

Honors Abound For Cormier

Loyola sophomore guard Dylon Cormier picked up a couple of awards for his recent play, earning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week and Jesuit Basketball Spotlight National Player of the Week honors on December 12, both for the first time in his career.

Cormier averaged 20.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in a pair of wins over George Washington University and Mount St. Mary’s University.

This season, Cormier leads Loyola in scoring (16.8), 3-point percentage (.424) and steals (1.8) and is third in rebounding (5.0).

Walker Off And Running At Mount

Shane Walker scored his first five points of the game last Saturday at Mount St. Mary’s from the free-throw line, but he made a 3-pointer from the top left of the arc with less than five seconds to go in the first half, pushing the Greyhounds’ lead to seven at the break.

In the second half, he continued his scoring effort, tallying 12 of his team-high 20 points in the second 20 minute stretch. He made another three and finished the game 10-of-13 from the charity stripe, setting career-highs in free throws made and attempted.

Walker’s 20 points were a season-high, and the game marked the eighth time in nine games this year he has scored 10 or more.

His only sub 10-point outing came one game earlier when he scored just four points at George Washington. Both of his field goals against the Colonials were big ones, however. The first came after George Washington cut Loyola’s one-time 20-point advantage to just eight with 5:18 to play, and the momentum appeared to have shifted to the Colonials. On the ensuing possession, R.J. Williams misfired on a jumper, but Walker came from the weak side to grab the rebound and lay it off the glass for his first points.

Minutes later, Walker took advantage of a mismatch at the top of the perimeter and drove down the right side of the lane, laying another basket off the backboard to put Loyola up 15 in the final 90 seconds.

He also had a season-best nine rebounds against George Washington.

Big Shots From Bobby

Robert Olson was just a point behind Shane Walker for team-high honors at Mount St. Mary’s, finishing with a season-high 19. He was 6-of-11 from the field and 3-of-7 from behind the arc.

He scored 16 of his points after halftime, making a three 43 ticks in after the Mountaineers had cut Loyola’s lead to four. He then had a traditional 3-point play and one from behind the arc in consecutive possessions with less than five minutes left to push the Greyhounds lead to 12 on two occasions.

Timing Was Right

Justin Drummond scored all nine of his points in the first half at Mount St. Mary’s, although he did not make his first two field goals until less than 90 seconds were left in the stanza.

Aggressive play by Drummond, on the offensive glass and driving to the basket, put Drummond at the free throw line for six attempts, of which he made five, in the game’s first 17 minutes.

With under a 90 seconds in the first half, Drummond twice took the ball on the low block, backed his defender down and scored off the glass. His four points were in the middle of a 9-0 run Loyola used to close the half and go from two down to seven up at the break.

Best Start In Division I History

Loyola’s victory against Siena on December 3 moved the Greyhounds’ record to 6-1 and gave the 2011-2012 team the best start in school Division I history, improving on the 5-1 start the Greyhounds achieved in 2005-2006.

The Greyhounds also are 2-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the first time in the 23 years in the league.

Back-To-Back Career Nights

Dylon Cormier tied his previous career-high of 20 points against both Coppin State and UMBC earlier this season, matching the amount he scored last season as a freshman, also against UMBC.

He recorded his third 20-point effort of the season on December 3 at Siena, scoring 22, and he set another career-high one game later with a game-best 26 in the win over George Washington.

This season, Cormier has averaged 18.3 points per game through eight games, scoring 15 or more five times. Last season, Cormier scored 10 or more in 12 games, something he has already done eight times this year.

His points have come in a variety of ways. At Siena, he knocked down 5-of-6 threes, while against the Colonials, he posted 10-of-13 from the free-throw line. Earlier in the year, he scored 20 at UMBC behind a 15-of-17 effort from the charity stripe.

Cormier also registered a career-best nine rebounds against George Washington.

Threes Starting To Fall

After starting the season cold from behind the 3-point arc – the Greyhounds made just 11-of-56 (.196) in their first four games – Loyola has seemingly reversed the trend, making 44-of-107 (.411) in its last six contests. The numbers were buoyed by 8-of-15 (.533) and 6-of-11 (.545) performances against Florida Gulf Coast and George Washington, respectively.

Crashing The Boards

Loyola has outrebounded opponents by 43 this season, 405-362, through 11 games this season.

The Greyhounds’ advantage has been even more dramatic on the offensive glass where they have outrebounded opponents, 165-119. They have pulled down offensive boards on nearly 50-percent of missed shots this season.

Loyola’s 23 rebounds at St. Bonaventure were the fewest by the Greyhounds this season, and the -12 is the biggest deficit they have seen in the rebounding battle this year.

The offensive rebounds have come from guards and forwards. Guard Dylon Cormier and forward Erik Etherly lead the team with 28 each, while guard Justin Drummond has 25, and forward Shane Walker has 24.

Solid MAAC Start

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

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

Thievery

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

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

Consistency Is The Key

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

Walker was held to just four against the Colonials, but Cormier finished with 26, and Etherly had 12.

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

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

Spreading The Wealth

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

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

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

Running Away

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

Opponent Run Start Finish
Coppin State 10-1, 4:26 31-32, 1:36 (1) 41-33, 17:11 (2)
UMBC 16-4, 8:08 35-31, 19:16 (2) 51-34, 11:08 (2)
FGCU 22-5, 6:53 15-16, 8:08 (1) 37-21, 1:11 (1)
Marist 9-0, 1:50 47-48, 11:16 (2) 56-48, 9:26 (2)
Marist 15-3, 5:47 61-57, 6:03 (2) 76-60, :16 (2)
Siena 13-0; 4:27 0-2, 19:28 (1) 13-2; 15:35 (1)
Geo. Wash. 17-0; 3:58 18-19, 6:28 (1) 34-19, 2:30 (1)
The Mount 9-0, 1:55 24-26, 1:59 (1) 33-26, :04 (1)

Triple Digit Blocks

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

Century Mark

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

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

Loyola All-Time Coaching Wins List
1. 349 Lefty Reitz 1937-1944, 1945-1961
2. 165 Nap Doherty 1961-1974
3. 106 Jimmy Patsos 2004-present
4. 85 Mark Amatucci 1982-1989
5. 72 Gary Dicovitsky 1976-1981

Two Of A Kind

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

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

Men’s & Women’s Coaches With 100

Loyola University Maryland is one of just 26 mid-major schools that has men’s and women’s basketball coaches with 100 or more victories at their current school after Greyhound women’s coach Joe Logan got his 100th on December 18 in a win at George Washington.

Loyola is the only school in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to have accomplished the feat, and it is one of only five institutions at which the coaches have both won 100 or more games in 10 or fewer seasons.

Two Over Twenty

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

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

Getting To The Line

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

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

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

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

Baltimore Bred And More From Nearby

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

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

Comments (1)

The 15-7-0 is Italian. It’s Pronounced FRA-GEE-LAY.

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The 15-7-0 is Italian. It’s Pronounced FRA-GEE-LAY.

Posted on 26 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. Jerome Simpson is HOLY CRAP THAT TOUCHDOWN WAS SO AMAZING I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FINISH THIS SENTENCE.

The ESPY Awards are an annual event put on by ESPN that you’ve never watched from start to finish despite the fact that the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” promotes them for about 6 months.

And since you likely won’t be watching next July, I’ll prevent the suspense. Jerome Simpson’s TD catch for the Cincinnati Bengals against the Arizona Cardinals Saturday wins SOMETHING.

As our own Brian Billick said on FOX, “you don’t get style points in the NFL but that oughtta be worth eight.”

Or more.

Oh, and don’t look now but Cincy is playing great football just before they welcome the Ravens to Paul Brown Stadium next Sunday with the fate of the AFC North hanging in the balance. I don’t want to talk about that right now though. Perhaps never.

2. You just can’t help but be thrilled for Jim Schwartz and the Detroit Lions.

As someone who roots for a baseball team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 1997, I know a thing or two about what it must have felt like for fans in the Music City to watch their team clinch a Wild Card spot in the final moments of their win over the San Diego Chargers Saturday night…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTwsmzTk7Lc

The Bolts were finally eliminated from the playoffs, which you would assume will lead to Norv Turner’s firing. They may or may not have already interviewed Bill Cowher for Turner’s job, and Jon Gruden may or may not be next.

In the meantime, if you’re going to lose at least do it with amazing hair like SD DE Antonio Garay…

3. Kellen Moore and Boise State deserved much better than blowing out an Arizona State team that didn’t bother to try before Christmas in Las Vegas.

It was the final win of a record-setting career for the Broncos quarterback, it was just really unfortunate it happened in this venue instead of in a BCS bowl, as America would have enjoyed watching them play a team that actually gave a s**t…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIXqNJhQPww

The win came as rumors swirled that Penn State was interested in hiring BSU coach Chris Petersen. In a related story, I am interested in being hired by Saturday Night Live.

Petersen obviously is not interested in replacing Joe Paterno in State College. And if you were living as large as this dude is, why would you take ANY job?

4. Cam Newton totally Cam Newton’ed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday.

In the Carolina Panthers’ win over the Bucs Saturday, Newton broke National Football League records for rookie passing yards (Peyton Manning) and quarterback rushing touchdowns (Steve Grogan). He did it in pretty spectacular fashion…

Things couldn’t be worse for the Bucs. Head coach Raheem Morris apparently “sent home” DE Brian Price after getting a 15 yard personal foul call and the team’s freefall continued on toward what looks more and more likely to be Morris’ ultimate firing.

I kinda feel bad for them. Perhaps I should offer some of my mom (the great Karen Clark)’s holiday stuffed shells…

Kick rocks, ham.

5. I don’t know if David Akers’ record for the most field goals in a single season should be considered “significant”, but he owns it either way.

Akers broke the record with FIVE field goals in the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the Seattle Seahawks, moving the Niners a step closer to clinching the Number 2 seed in the NFC.

The Seahawks’ slim postseason hopes may have disappeared, but Marshawn Lynch HAS THE GREATEST PAIR OF KICKS I HAVE EVER SEEN…

Perhaps Foster the People has a follow up ready?

But as amazing as they are, perhaps Under Armour & Brandon Jennings did one better with their “Rudolph” inspired kicks…

Okay…synthetic fur? I HAVE to get back into the shoe game.

6. You might have survived the insanity to get the Air Jordan XI Concords, but USC fans still got a better Christmas gift than you.

Matt Barkley returning to Southern California is confusing because we know he would have been a potential Top 5 pick in the NFL Draft, but we also know what could be ahead. Heisman Trophy, Pac 12 & BCS Championship hopes and bevies of hot chicks.

I mean, the guy can play Jason Mraz on the guitar. He must be dodging panties every day he walks around Los Angeles. Tough life there…

Of course, he’s also been filmed doing this…

7. I’ll ask for the 8th time. Can everyone please stop telling me about the New England Patriots’ defense?

With the Pats trailing the Miami Dolphins 17-0 at halftime Saturday, Facebook and Twitter were alive in Charm City with hopes of the Ravens still having a shot at the #1 seed in the AFC.

I however looked at my executive producer Ryan Chell and said “when Tom Brady decides to start playing I think they’ll be fine.”

They were. The Pats charged back from the halftime deficit to beat the Fins and are now a win away from clinching the #1 seed in the AFC. Apparently none of that is enough for owner Robert Kraft to get a high five…

Also, this looks like a good holiday film/way to make sure you don’t struggle in the red zone…

Of note for Miami, Reggie Bush remarkably ran for 100+ yards AGAIN in the defeat and we learned this weekend his mom does not want him to get back together with Kim Kardashian. That’s fine, I think Catalina Otalvaro would be a better catch anyway…

(Continued on Page 2)

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Loyola Looks To Keep Streak Going Sunday at St. Bonaventure

Posted on 18 December 2011 by WNST Staff

Opponent St. Bonaventure Bonnies
Date Sunday, December 18, 2011
Time 2:30 p.m.
Location St. Bonaventure, N.Y. | Reilly Center
TV St. Bonaventure Webstream
Series Record St. Bonaventure leads, 7-0
Last Meeting St. Bonaventure 98, Loyola 73 – Jan. 27, 1975 at St. Bona.

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will return to the court, after taking the week off for final exams, on Sunday, December 18, to take on St. Bonaventure University at 2:30 p.m.

The eight-day layoff the Greyhounds will close is their longest of the season.

Series History

The Greyhounds will be looking for their first-ever win against St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies have won all seven of the previous games.

The teams first met on the hardwood in March 1927, a 33-18 St. Bonaventure victory. The sides met again in 1936-1937 and then not again until Nap Doherty’s Greyhounds took on the Bonnies on December 22, 1967. They met again during the 1969-1970 and 1970-1971 seasons when St. Bonaventure was ranked No. 5 and No. 19 by The Associated Press. Bona’s 1969-1970 team, a squad that advanced to the Final Four with future Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Lanier in his senior year, was the highest-ranked team Loyola would face until playing No. 3 Kansas on January 8, 2008.

Sunday’s game will be the first meeting between the teams since January 27, 1975, a 98-73 St. Bonaventure win.

A Good Run

Since falling at Wake Forest on November 11 in the season-opener, the Greyhounds have reeled off eight-straight victories. The winning streak is the longest in the school’s NCAA Division I history (since 1981-82), and it is the longest since the 1964-1965 team won eight in a row during January and February.

Honors Abound For Cormier

Loyola sophomore guard Dylon Cormier picked up a couple of awards for his recent play last week, earning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week and Jesuit Basketball Spotlight National Player of the Week honors, both for the first time in his career.

Cormier averaged 20.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in a pair of wins over George Washington University and Mount St. Mary’s University.

This season, Cormier leads Loyola in scoring (17.8), 3-point percentage (.452), steals (1.9) and is third in rebounding (5.0).

Garnering Attention

Loyola’s eight-game winning streak has received more attention of late from the national media. The Greyhounds were ranked 15th in the latest edition of the ESPN.com Mid-Major Power 15 Rankings, and they checked in at 23rd in the current CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25.

It is the first time Loyola has been ranked in the CollegeInsider.com poll since late in the 2007-2008 season.

The Greyhounds are one of two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams – Iona the other – that is ranked in both polls. The Gaels are 11th on ESPN.com, fifth in the CollegeInsider.com edition.

Walker Off And Running At Mount

Shane Walker scored his first five points of the game last Saturday at Mount St. Mary’s from the free-throw line, but he made a 3-pointer from the top left of the arc with less than five seconds to go in the first half, pushing the Greyhounds’ lead to seven at the break.

In the second half, he continued his scoring effort, tallying 12 of his team-high 20 points in the second 20 minute stretch. He made another three and finished the game 10-of-13 from the charity stripe, setting career-highs in free throws made and attempted.

Walker’s 20 points were a season-high, and the game marked the eighth time in nine games this year he has scored 10 or more.

His only sub 10-point outing came one game earlier when he scored just four points at George Washington. Both of his field goals against the Colonials were big ones, however. The first came after George Washington cut Loyola’s one-time 20-point advantage to just eight with 5:18 to play, and the momentum appeared to have shifted to the Colonials. On the ensuing possession, R.J. Williams misfired on a jumper, but Walker came from the weak side to grab the rebound and lay it off the glass for his first points.

Minutes later, Walker took advantage of a mismatch at the top of the perimeter and drove down the right side of the lane, laying another basket off the backboard to put Loyola up 15 in the final 90 seconds.

He also had a season-best nine rebounds against George Washington.

Big Shots From Bobby

Robert Olson was just a point behind Shane Walker for team-high honors at Mount St. Mary’s, finishing with a season-high 19. He was 6-of-11 from the field and 3-of-7 from behind the arc.

He scored 16 of his points after halftime, making a three 43 ticks in after the Mountaineers had cut Loyola’s lead to four. He then had a traditional 3-point play and one from behind the arc in consecutive possessions with less than five minutes left to push the Greyhounds lead to 12 on two occasions.

Doing It On Defense

Mount St. Mary’s pulled within five points, 46-41, with 9:01 left in the second half last Saturday, but the Greyhounds defense keyed their next run.

Loyola went on a modest 7-0 run that covered four minutes, 20 seconds, but the forced a Mount turnover and did not allow an offensive rebound during the stretch. On the offensive end, the Greyhounds scored on three of five possessions, using a good chunk of the shot clock each time.

Timing Was Right

Justin Drummond scored all nine of his points in the first half at Mount St. Mary’s, although he did not make his first two field goals until less than 90 seconds were left in the stanza.

Aggressive play by Drummond, on the offensive glass and driving to the basket, put Drummond at the free throw line for six attempts, of which he made five, in the game’s first 17 minutes.

With under a 90 seconds in the first half, Drummond twice took the ball on the low block, backed his defender down and scored off the glass. His four points were in the middle of a 9-0 run Loyola used to close the half and go from two down to seven up at the break.

Streak Snapped

Erik Etherly did not score on Saturday at Mount St. Mary’s, marking the first time in 39 games at Loyola the forward has been held without a point. It also snapped a 19-game streak of scoring 10 or more points for Etherly.

Best Start In Division I History

Loyola’s victory against Siena on December 3 moved the Greyhounds’ record to 6-1 and gave the 2011-2012 team the best start in school Division I history, improving on the 5-1 start the Greyhounds achieved in 2005-2006.

The Greyhounds also are 2-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the first time in the 23 years in the league.

Last Time Out

Mount St. Mary’s came out strong in the 167th all-time meeting between the teams, taking a five point lead in the first half, but Loyola scored the final nine points of the frame to go up by seven on a Shane Walker three with four ticks left on the clock.

Julian Norfleet pulled The Mount to within four on two occasions early in the second half, but Robert Olson made one of his three 3-pointers the first time, and a 5-0 mini-run fueled by four Shane Walker points pulled the Greyhounds further in front.

Norfleet led all scorers with 23, but Walker was close behind with 20, and Olson had 19. Dylon Cormier added 15, while Anthony Winbush led all players with eight rebounds, a season-high.

Back-To-Back Career Nights

Dylon Cormier tied his previous career-high of 20 points against both Coppin State and UMBC earlier this season, matching the amount he scored last season as a freshman, also against UMBC.

He recorded his third 20-point effort of the season on December 3 at Siena, scoring 22, and he set another career-high one game later with a game-best 26 in the win over George Washington.

This season, Cormier has averaged 18.3 points per game through eight games, scoring 15 or more five times. Last season, Cormier scored 10 or more in 12 games, something he has already done eight times this year.

His points have come in a variety of ways. At Siena, he knocked down 5-of-6 threes, while against the Colonials, he posted 10-of-13 from the free-throw line. Earlier in the year, he scored 20 at UMBC behind a 15-of-17 effort from the charity stripe.

Cormier also registered a career-best nine rebounds against George Washington.

Doubled Up

Erik Etherly posted his second double-double in three games, scoring 12 points to go with a career-high tying 15 rebounds at George Washington. This season, Etherly has double-doubles in half of the Greyhounds’ eight games, and all four have come in victories. Wednesday night’s effort was the ninth of his career.

Up to and including that game, Etherly scored in double-figures for 19-straight games, starting January 28, 2011, against Siena. In those 19 games, Etherly averaged 14.3 points per game.

Threes Starting To Fall

After starting the season cold from behind the 3-point arc – the Greyhounds made just 11-of-56 (.196) in their first four games – Loyola has seemingly reversed the trend, making 35-of-77 (.454) in its last five contests.

The Greyhounds were 6-of-16 (.375) against Florida Gulf Coast, 8-of-15 (.533) in the Marist tilt, 8-of-19 (.421) at Siena, a season-best 6-of-11 (.545) at George Washington and 7-of-16 (.438) at Mount St. Mary’s.

During the last five contests, Dylon Cormier has made 10-of-16 (.625) 3-pointers, while Robert Olson has hit 10-of-23 (435). R.J. Williams is 4-of-7 (.571); Justin Drummond, 5-of-12 (.417); and Shane Walker, 5-of-15 (.333).

Crashing The Boards

Loyola has outrebounded opponents by 63 this season, 352-289, through nine games, an average of 7.0 per contest.

The Greyhounds’ advantage has been even more dramatic on the offensive glass where they have outrebounded opponents, 143-101. They have pulled down offensive boards on nearly 50-percent of missed shots this season.

Last Saturday’s eight offensive rebounds against Mount. St. Mary’s were the fewest Loyola has had this season and the first time it has grabbed less than 13 offensive boards.

The offensive rebounds have come from guards and forwards. Dylon Cormier, Shane Walker and Erik Etherly lead the team with 23 each, while Justin Drummond is right behind with 22. Anthony Winbush has 12.

Productive Minutes For Latham

Jordan Latham played a career-high 18 minutes for Loyola in the frontcourt at Mount St. Mary’s. While the 6-foot-8 forward scored just two points, he played solid interior defense for the Greyhounds that included swatting a shot into the third row of the stands.

Latham is a new addition to the Loyola side this season after transferring during the offseason from Xavier. He was granted an NCAA waiver and will be immediately eligible to play for the Greyhounds in 2011-2012 rather than having to sit out the typical year-in-residency.

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

Stopping A Scorer

The Greyhounds’ scouting report heading into the George Washington game focused on stopping the Colonials’ leading scorer, Tony Taylor. Mission accomplished.

The Greyhounds yielded just six points to Taylor, who averaged more than 15 per game entering the contest. Taylor, who was also honored before the game for recently scoring his 1,000th career point, made just 3-of-8 shot attempts and was held with a 3-point make.

Solid MAAC Start

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

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

Thievery

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

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

Consistency Is The Key

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

Walker was held to just four against the Colonials, but Cormier finished with 26, and Etherly had 12.

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

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

R.J. Racks Up More Minutes

Freshman R.J. Williams made the first start of his collegiate career on November 20 at New Hampshire and has started the four games since then, playing 31 or more minutes in each.

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

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

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

Spreading The Wealth

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

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

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

Running Away

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

Opponent Run Start Finish
Coppin State 10-1, 4:26 31-32, 1:36 (1) 41-33, 17:11 (2)
UMBC 16-4, 8:08 35-31, 19:16 (2) 51-34, 11:08 (2)
FGCU 22-5, 6:53 15-16, 8:08 (1) 37-21, 1:11 (1)
Marist 9-0, 1:50 47-48, 11:16 (2) 56-48, 9:26 (2)
Marist 15-3, 5:47 61-57, 6:03 (2) 76-60, :16 (2)
Siena 13-0; 4:27 0-2, 19:28 (1) 13-2; 15:35 (1)
Geo. Wash. 17-0; 3:58 18-19, 6:28 (1) 34-19, 2:30 (1)
The Mount 9-0, 1:55 24-26, 1:59 (1) 33-26, :04 (1)

Triple Digit Blocks

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

Century Mark

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

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

Loyola All-Time Coaching Wins List
1. 349 Lefty Reitz 1937-1944, 1945-1961
2. 165 Nap Doherty 1961-1974
3. 106 Jimmy Patsos 2004-present
4. 85 Mark Amatucci 1982-1989
5. 72 Gary Dicovitsky 1976-1981

Two Of A Kind

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

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

Two Over Twenty

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

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

Getting To The Line

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

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

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

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

Cormier At His Best Against City Competition

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

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

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

Baltimore Bred And More From Nearby

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

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

What’s Next?

The Greyhounds continue their current six-game road trip with one more game before Christmas. Loyola will face the nation’s current No. 3 team, Kentucky, in Rupp Arena on Thursday, December 22, at 1 p.m. in a game that will be televised on Fox Sports South and air on many Fox Sports affiliates nationwide.

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The 15-7-0 Is Feeling Rather Presidential This Week

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The 15-7-0 Is Feeling Rather Presidential This Week

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. The Towson University football team didn’t play a game this weekend, but somehow it will likely go down as the greatest of their lives.

The scene at the Towson Center Saturday afternoon rivals some of the most incredible I’ve seen in Charm City sports history, but sports had very little to do with it.

The most special moment of the visit from President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama (Michelle’s brother Craig Robinson is the head coach of the Oregon State team that crushed the Tigers Saturday afternoon) came at halftime.

Athletic Director Mike Waddell introduced Head Coach Rob Ambrose & the CAA Champion football team, who were enjoying a week off as they prepared for their FCS playoff showdown with Lehigh next Saturday at Unitas Stadium. The President walked out to greet the team, then posed for a picture to the absolute delight of the young men.

It was the type of moment that induces chills. Wow.

2. I’m really jealous of the Cincinnati Bengals for having AJ Green on their roster.

Oh, and Jermaine Gresham too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFByq1hpVGE

They duo (and Cincy QB Andy Dalton) were vital in the Bengals’ come from behind win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday in a game that judging by the attendance no one in the Queen City knew was happening…

Can’t help but notice a few empty seats in the background there, gang. This is a team fighting for AT LEAST an AFC Wild Card spot, not completely out of the AFC North race. This is the best you can do? Maybe “Los Angeles Bengals” has a nice ring?

Since we’re here, here’s a picture of Colt McCoy Tebowing…

3. Rob Gronkowski is not the only reason the Patriots are good, but something tells me there’s a correlation between 11 TD catches and a 6’6″ frame.

To be fair, the way New England was playing Sunday it’s possible a 4’6″ receiver could have caught a TD from Tom Brady Sunday at The Linc…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwO47-nf1lM

Vince Young threw for 400 yards in the defeat, basically because he had no choice but to throw the football every time the Philadelphia Eagles had the ball.

That SHOULD put the final nail in Philly’s “Dream Team” coffin. Andy Reid’s has been sitting open for awhile now outside the City of Brotherly Love. Will it be nailed down as well? We’ll see.

4. Robert Griffin III’s injury might be just enough to default the Heisman Trophy back to Andrew Luck somehow.

The other candidate in the mix (and perhaps the frontrunner) is Alabama RB Trent Richardson, but we’ll get back to him.

After an incredible performance a week earlier against Oklahoma, the Baylor QB might have been one more spectacular performance away from locking up the chance to hear his name called in New York in two weeks. Unfortunately, RG3 was taken out of the game in the second half (probably for a concussion) and had to watch the second of the Bears’ win over Texas Tech from the Cowboys Stadium sideline…

So…Stanford QB Andrew Luck (the preordained winner of the Heisman before the season) was back in the picture with the chance to lock the thing up. Luck was good but not great in the Cardinal’s win over Notre Dame and left the thing up for grabs again.

As I searched YouTube for a recap video of Luck’s final game at Stanford Stadium I believe a Fighting Irish fan summed it up well by channeling M*A*S*H…

I don’t even know what that means!

The (regular) season is over for Richardson so he won’t have another chance to make a statement. Luck’s Cardinal don’t get another chance either since Oregon won the Pac-12 North. Baylor will play host to Texas next week in Waco, but Griffin’s status is up in the air due to his injury.

If none play again, I think I’d vote Luck. Someone will yell at me for that. Go ahead.

5. Houston is a Conference USA Championship Game win over Southern Miss away from playing in a BCS Bowl.

Fourth on the list (of three) candidates to win the Heisman is Cougars QB Case Keenum, who shredded Tulsa Friday in a manner similar to the way he’s shredded everyone else he’s played this season.

If the Cougars top the Golden Eagles in next week’s C-USA title game, they’ll become the first ever team from the conference to make a BCS bowl. Teams from the WAC and Mountain West have played BCS buster, but never C-USA.

Someone will call the occasion “historic”. Those people won’t really know what the word historic means.

6. Another reason why I like Tim Tebow? Sabermetricians would hate him.

He effing did it again, huh?

You know what’s the ONLY THING IN THE WORLD that could make us not spend the entire week talking about the Denver Broncos’ QB? How about a picture of San Diego Chargers kicker Nick Novak peeing on the sidelines at Qualcomm Stadium?

Thanks CBS!

7. Mark Sanchez also really pissed off a lot of haters Sunday.

The New York Jets’ QB threw for four TD’s, including a game winner to Santonio Holmes in their win over the Buffalo Bills…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJtRuC19Ab8

We’ll of course remember the game as the time Bills WR Stevie Johnson insisted on making a complete ass out of himself…

…again.

Dan Marino was asked about what he thought of Sanchez Sunday, but he was too busy checking out Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge’s boobs to respond…

And here’s my cue to post another VS picture of Aldridge…

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Towson Opens Home Slate Saturday Against Oregon State

Posted on 25 November 2011 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. - After starting the season with four games away from home, the Tigers are set to open up their home slate Saturday against Pac-12 foe Oregon State on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. The game can be seen nationally on ESPN3.

Scott Garceau will handle play-by-play duties for ESPN3 while Towson coaching legend Vince Angotti will provide the color commentary. 

Under first-year head coach Pat Skerry, Towson has played the 15th toughest non-conference schedule in the country thus far, facing off against No. 13 Kansas, No. 17 Michigan, Belmont and UNC Greensboro. Including Oregon State, the Tigers have opened the season against four squads ranked in the top 100 of the RPI in just five games played.

Oregon State enters the weekend 4-1 after dropping a hard-fought battle to No. 18 Vanderbilt, 64-62, in the championship game of the TicketCity Legends Classic in New Jersey.

The Beavers are led by Jared Cunningham‘s 22.6 points per game. Sophomore forward Devon Collier registered a game-high 19 points in their loss to the Commodores Monday.

The Tigers are paced by Robert Nwankwo’s 13.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest. The senior forward is coming off a season-high 17 point performance against UNC Greensboro and he’s recorded a pair of double-doubles this season, both coming against nationally-ranked opponents.

Towson has won five straight home openers.

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Morgan Hoops Continues West Coast Swing Tonight at USC

Posted on 22 November 2011 by WNST Staff

2011 MORGAN STATE BASKETBALL
Game 4
Tuesday, November 22 – 7 p.m. (PT)
Morgan State (0-3, 0-0 MEAC) vs. USC (1-2, 0-0 Pac 12)
Los Angeles, Calif. – Galen Center
BEAR FACTS
Head Coach: Todd Bozeman
Alma Mater/Year: Rhode Island/1986
Record at MSU/Year: 102-68/6th
Career Record: 137-30
Basketball SID:  Leonard L. Haynes IV
GAME TIME
• Morgan State will face USC in Los Angeles, California at the Galen Center on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. (PT)  The game will be televised live by FoxSports Net and will be broadcast by ESPN Radio 710 (KSPN-AM). There will also be a Gametracker at USCTrojans.com. This will be MSU’s first-ever meeting with the Trojans and will mark USC’s final home game as part of the Las Vegas Invitational.
BEAR BITS
• MSU is off to an 0-3 start with a road loss at #14/15 Xavier (63-74), a home loss against Murray State (69-80) and a recent loss at UNLV (92-55). The Bears will continue its stretch of four games in six days when they face the USC Trojans on Tuesday night.
• Ian Chiles led the Bears with a career-high 16 points (8-13), Shaquille Duncan had 11 points and  Kevin Thompson chipped in 9 points in a 92-55 loss against UNLV at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Senior forward Kevin Thompson needs just six more rebounds to reach 1,000 in his career.
 
The Bears will look to rebound from last year’s fourth place MEAC finish and reclaim the conference title for the fourth time in five years.
The Bears completed the 2010-11 season with a 17-14 mark and posted a 10-6 conference record.
Morgan State was selected to win the MEAC Regular Season Title, edging out last year’s MEAC Tournament Champion Hampton. The Bears received eight (8) first place votes and a totaled 616 points to take hold of the conference’s top spot going into the season.
MSU senior Kevin Thompson returns to lead the Bears this season…the 6-foot-9 forward was the 2010 MEAC Defensive Player of the Year and was selected to the 2011 All-District 1st Team … Thompson averaged 13.1 points per game, 9.1 rebounds and has recorded 13 double-doubles (pts & rebs) last season.
MSU recorded several non-conference victories last year including wins over Loyola Marymount University (81-79), Maryland Baltimore County (75-62), Western Illinois (72-53), Robert Morris (67-66).
Morgan State has lost four straight dating back to their loss against Hampton in the MEAC Championship game on March 12,2011.
Senior point guard Larry Bastfield is the only Bear to have started in every game (31) last season…currently he has started in 34 straight games.
THE SERIES VS. THE TROJANS
• Morgan State and USC will meet for the first time on Tuesday.
NOTE ON THE TROJANS
• David Hanson hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:26 remaining to lift Cal Poly to a 42-36 victory over Southern California on Saturday, snapping the Mustangs’ nine-game losing skid against Pac-12 schools. Aaron Fuller had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Trojans (1-3), who lost their third in a row. All four of their games have been decided by seven points or less.

• USC will be playing its fifth game of seven within 16 days to start the season. Six of the seven games are potentially versus teams that finished .500 or better in the 2010-11 season.
• Five of the eight Trojans to have played significant minutes this season have already had a 10-point scoring game. Four different players have had at least 6 rebounds.
•  USC’s 2011-12 schedule features 22 of 31 games against teams which finished the 2010-11 season with a record of .500 or better. Among the nonconference highlights are games against perennial national powers Kansas, UNLV, New Mexico, Minnesota, Nebraska and a potential match-up vs. preseason No. 1 North Carolina.
BEARS TO COMPETE IN LAS VEGAS INVITATIONAL
           
•  The 11th annual Las Vegas Invitational, which is scheduled for November 25th and 26th at the Orleans Arena.
•  The Invitational will feature preseason top-ranked North Carolina, UNLV, South Carolina and the University of Southern California, plus Morgan State, Cal-Poly, Mississippi Valley and Tennessee State.

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Towson Hoops Faces Belmont Saturday in Murfeesboro

Posted on 18 November 2011 by WNST Staff

Tigers Take on Belmont in “Maui on the Mainland”

Robert Nwankwo Leads Towson Averaging 15 Points & 10 Rebounds Per Game

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Towson will continue its extremely tough non-conference schedule Saturday, Nov. 19 as the Tigers take on Belmont in the opening round of the “Maui on the Mainland” Tournament being held on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.

Towson and Belmont, which is receiving votes in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, will tip off at 2:30 p.m. from the Murphy Center. That game will be followed by Middle Tennessee State taking on UNC Greensboro. The winners will face off in the championship game on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. while the losers will play in the consolation game at 1:00 p.m.

Both Towson (0-2) and Belmont (0-2) have faced all nationally-ranked opponents thus far. The Tigers fell at No. 13 Kansas and at No. 17 Michigan to open the Pat Skerry era while Belmont fell by just one at No. 6 Duke before losing at No. 10 Memphis Tuesday.

The Tigers are led by senior forward Robert Nwankwo, who has started the season off by recording consecutive double-doubles against the Jayhawks and Wolverines. He enters the weekend averaging team-highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Belmont is led by sophomore guard JJ Mann and senior forward Mick Hedgepeth. Mann has averaged 15 points per game while Hedgepeth has pulled down 7.5 rebounds per contest through the Bruins’ first two outings.

Saturday will be the first all-time meeting between the squads.

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turgeon

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 08 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Pro Wrestling: TNA Turning Point (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View); Golf: Australian Open (Wednesday-Saturday 8pm from Sydney live on Golf Channel), LPGA Tour Lorena Ochoa Invitational (Thursday-Sunday 4pm from Guadalajara, Mexico live on Golf Channel); Auto Racing: NASCAR Kobalt Tools 500(Sunday 3pm from Phoenix live on ESPN); Women’s College Basketball: Loyola @ Maryland (Friday 7pm Comcast Center), Georgetown @ Maryland (Sunday 2pm Comcast Center); Tennis: ATP Tour BNP Paribas Masters (Tuesday 5am Wednesday & Thursday 4:30am  Friday 8am & 1:30pm Saturday 8am Sunday 9am from Paris live on Tennis Channel)

10. Foo Fighters/Social Distortion (Friday 7pm Verizon Center); Daughtry (Saturday 7:30pm Patriot Center); Everlast (Wednesday 7pm Recher Theatre); Howie Day (Saturday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Chuck Brown (8pm & 11pm Rams Head on Stage); Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (Wednesday & Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Fitz and the Tantrums (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Manchester Orchestra (Monday 6pm 9:30 Club); Rockapella (Thursday 8pm Strathmore); Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience (Thursday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Sting (Thursday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall), Kansas (Friday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall), 3 Doors Down (Sunday 7pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Joe Bonamassa (Friday 8pm Hippodrome)

My buddy Chad Lamasa and I are headed to see the Fighters of Foo Friday night. He got the tickets, so I have to bring the Mentos. They kick a little ass…

I REALLY shouldn’t enjoy Chris Daughtry, but I totally do. I wish he was bringing Timbaland to Fairfax with him…

Fitz and the Tantrums are one of my absolute favorite bands of 2011. Before you watch a video of them playing with Daryl Hall, let’s debate whether it would be more fun to spell favorite “favourite”. I say yes.

If you’re not stoked for Rockapella, you and I disagree on the topic. I respect your feelings however.

9. Pauly Shore (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Michael Ian Black (Saturday 9pm Ottobar); Maryland Irish Festival (Friday-Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds); “J. Edgar” out in theaters (Friday)

I believe Pauly Shore was voted “Most likely Hollywood star to be playing at a joint called Magooby’s Joke House in the future” 15 years ago. I’d call his fall from stardom surprising if it was. It isn’t.

Meanwhile Leonardo DiCaprio was voted “Most likely Hollywood star to be releasing another awesome movie this week” about 10 minutes ago. He’s so freaking good. The J. Edgar Hoover movie looks incredible, but it would take a lot of work for someone to make a movie half as good as “Catch Me If You Can”…

I’m going to do my best to come by the Irish Festival Saturday. Mostly because I want to eat a meal that resembles this…

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Towson Thursday: Good Graduation Rate News, Hoops Team Preps for Maui Invitational

Posted on 27 October 2011 by WNST Staff

NCAA ANNOUNCES TIGER STUDENT-ATHLETES GRADUATING AT IMPRESSIVE RATE
Tiger Gymnastics and Tennis Teams Post Perfect GSRs
TOWSON, Md. – According to the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) Report released by the NCAA this week, Towson University student-athletes continue to graduate at an impressive rate.
The NCAA released the Federal Graduation Rates for all institutions, as well as the Graduation Success Rate, an NCAA formula that accounts for transfers in and out of each program.
The NCAA report revealed that student-athletes who entered Towson during the 2004-05 academic year had a GSR of 82 percent. On a national level, all NCAA schools posted an average GSR of 82 percent, the highest mark that has ever been achieved.
According to the Federal Graduation Rate, Towson student-athletes graduated at a rate of 79 percent, some 13 percent higher than the graduation rate of all students (66 percent) at Towson University.
Student-athletes at Towson University ranked in the upper half of Colonial Athletic Association with their 82 percent GSR.  In fact, seven of the 12 CAA schools recorded a GSR above 80 percent.
“We are proud of the academic progress of our student-athletes,” said Mike Waddell, Towson’s Director of Athletics. “The word student comes before athlete for a reason and we have put more emphasis on developing Total Tigers from the day they set foot on campus to the day they leave with a diploma. Although our 82 percent GSR is good, I know we can do better and we will.”
Seven of the Tigers’ 19 intercollegiate athletic teams had a GSR of at least 90 percent. The TU gymnastics team and the women’s tennis team each posted perfect a 100 percent GSR. The field hockey team had a 95 percent GSR followed by women’s soccer (94 percent), women’s basketball (91 percent), women’s lacrosse (90 percent) and volleyball (90 percent).
Towson University currently has 20 intercollegiate athletic teams. Since the start of this GSR period, the women’s golf program was  added as the 20th sport.
The NCAA developed the Graduation Success Rate to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The rate holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.
The most recent Division I Graduation Success Rates are based on the four entering classes from 2001-2002 through 2004-05. Nearly 105,000 student-athletes are included in the most recent four classes using the GSR methodology, as compared to about 76,500 in the federal rate.
The NCAA began compiling these figures with the entering freshmen class of 1995.

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Towson Hoops Picked to Finish 12th in CAA

Posted on 18 October 2011 by WNST Staff

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Colonial Athletic Association held its annual men’s and women’s basketball media day on Tuesday at Champps-Pentagon Row in Arlington, Va. The gathering of the league’s head coaches and media members also saw the release of the CAA Preseason Polls.

Both Coach Pat Skerry of the men’s basketball team and Coach Joe Mathews of the women’s basketball team conducted numerous interviews with the media in attendance.

On the men’s side, Drexel was picked to finish first in the voting by the league’s coaches. George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth rounded out the top three. The Tigers were picked to finish 12th in the league.

The women’s side saw Delaware, who returns all five starters picked to finish first. VCU and James Madison rounded out the top three selections. The Tigers, who return three starters from a year ago, were picked to finish 11th.

The Tiger men will open the 2011-12 season on Friday, Nov. 11 at Kansas while the Tiger women’s team opens its season on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Western Kentucky.

Note: Delaware G Devon Saddler (Aberdeen) was named to the preseason All-CAA second team.

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