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Ward, Pontrello lead way as Loyola tops Colgate

Posted on 29 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Ward, Pontrello Spark Offense As No. 1 Loyola Tops No. 17 Colgate

HAMILTON, N.Y. – Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello combined for five goals and nine total points, and top-ranked Loyola University Maryland defeated No. 17 Colgate University, 10-8, in Patriot League action on Saturday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium.

Ward scored two both of his goals in back-to-back fashion midway through the third quarter, and he had an assist on a 12-yard Matt Sawyer shot with 4:05 remaining that gave the Greyhounds (9-1, 5-0) a two-goal cushion.

Pontrello finished with three goals and an assist, scoring two of his in a span of two minutes, 42 seconds between the third and fourth quarters.

Loyola’s defense yielded 11 shots to the Raiders (7-3, 4-1) in the fourth quarter, but most came from 12 or more yards away. Goalkeeper Jack Runkel posted 12 saves in the victory, and the Greyhounds held Colgate’s leading scorer, Ryan Walsh, without a point for the first time in his career, a span of 42 prior games.

Pat Laconi had four ground balls and three caused turnovers, the last of each coming with less than 25 seconds to play, enabling the Greyhounds to run out the clock. Joe Fletcher had a team-best seven ground balls, and he had primary man-to-man marking responsibilities for Walsh.

The teams traded goals one-for-one in the first half with the Greyhounds never trailing, but Colgate tied the game at 4-4 heading into halftime as Kevin Boyle finished a transition opportunity for the Raiders following a Loyola turnover. He took a Brandon McCann pass and scored from just in front of the crease with 4.4 seconds left, tying the game for the fourth time.

Cameron Williams scored his second goal of the game to give Colgate its first lead 2:46 into the second half, running down the right alley for a shot.

Jeff Chase answered for Loyola, as he scored from 10 yards out after cutting left to right, knotting the game at 5-5 with 9:29 to play in the third quarter.

Chase’s goal sparked a 4-0 Loyola run that put the Greyhounds in front, 8-5. Sawyer wheeled around the crease and found Ward in front of him for a goal 43 seconds after Chase’s to put Loyola in front 6-5.

Ward then gave the Greyhounds their first multi-goal lead of the game at 6:02 following a Raiders turnover. Pontrello picked up a ground ball during a Colgate failed clear and fed it ahead to Ward who scored from close in on the left side.

Pontrello then pushed the advantage to 8-5 when he caught a Ward pass at goal-line extended left, dodged toward the crease and scored his second of the day at 2:31 in the third.

Colgate, however, got a pair of goals late in the third to make it a one-goal game once again.

Matt Clarkson scored one at 1:08, and then after a Greyhounds turnover, Tyler Rigo got his hands free on the right side for a goal with 16.4 seconds left in the third quarter, pulling the Raiders within one, 8-7.

Loyola quickly pushed its advantage back to two, however, in the fourth quarter. Graham Savio won the period’s opening faceoff to himself, ran into the box and got a shot past Colgate goalkeeper Brandon Burke, but it hit hard off the crossbar and rebounded in front of the crease.

Ryan Fournier collected the ground ball and fed Pontrello on the left side of the crease where he shot-faked and scored his third of the day 11 seconds into the final quarter of regulation.

Clarkson, however, scored quickly for Colgate, tallying his season-high third of the day 1:16 after Pontrello’s third.

The teams played to the one-goal game for nearly 10 minutes before Ward rolled from behind the cage and found Sawyer open 12 yards out up top, and Sawyer ripped a sidearm shot to put Loyola in front two, 10-8.

Colgate had the next possession after winning the faceoff, but it had no shots from inside 12 yards against the Greyhounds defense. The Raiders’ first three attempts went wide, and Runkel made a save on the fourth to gain possession again for Loyola.

At the end of the clear, Loyola drew a slashing call against Colgate, but the Greyhounds turned the ball over on the extra-man opportunity, giving the Raiders possession with 90 ticks left on the clock.

McCann sent a Raiders shot wide after a Colgate timeout, and Loyola called for a break in the action with 41 seconds remaining.

Eric Foote had the ball at the top of the box where Laconi stripped him with a check and picked up the ground ball. He cleared it to Ward and despite beind doubles in the corner, he found Brian Sherlock who ran out the clock with the ball in his stick.

In addition to Ward’s two goals and three assists and Pontrello’s three and one, Sawyer had a goal and an assist, while Chase, Sherlock, Brian Schultz and Kevin Ryan added goals.

Clarkson led Colgate with three goals, while Williams and Rigo had two apiece and McCann assisted on three first-half goals. Burke made 12 saves in goal.

Loyola continues its Patriot League road swing on Saturday, April 5, with a 12 noon game in Annapolis, Md., against the U.S. Naval Academy.

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#1 Loyola hits road to face Colgate Saturday

Posted on 29 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Game Information
Opponent Colgate Raiders
Date Saturday, March 29, 2014
Time 12:00 p.m.
Location Hamilton, N.Y. | Andy Kerr Stadium

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

  • Loyola University Maryland opens a two-game Patriot League road trip on Saturday, March 29, when it travels to Hamilton, N.Y., to face Colgate University at 12 noon.
  • The Greyhounds, by virtue of a 21-4 win over Lafayette last Saturday, have scored 20 or more goals twice this season, marking the first time they have done so since the 1997 team scored 24 against Fairfield, 20 versus Towson and 21 in the NCAA First Round against Notre Dame. Earlier this year, Loyola beat Towson, 20-4.
  • Loyola’s 17-goal margin of victory over the Leopards was its largest since beating Fairfield 19-2 on April 21, 2007.
  • The Greyhounds had a 52-22 advantage in ground balls against Lafayette, the largest margin in the statistical category Loyola has posted since Charley Toomey became head coach in 2006. The previous high was 23 earlier this season at Holy Cross.
  • Nikko Pontrello has moved up to second in the country in goals per game (3.78) with his nation-leading 34 total.
  • Justin Ward is second in both assists per game (3.33) and total assists (32).

Last Time Out

  • Loyola’s starting attack of Nikko Pontrello, Brian Schultz and Justin Ward combined for 12 goals, and the Greyhounds defeated visiting Lafayette College, 21-4, last Saturday in Patriot League action.
  • Pontrello finished with five goals, while Schultz had four and Ward three. Ward led all players with seven points, chipping in four assists.
  • Nine Greyhounds in all scored goals against the Leopards as Brian Sherlock tallied three and two assists, while Romar Dennis had a pair along with one helper.
  • Led by Ward’s four and two each by Sherlock and Tyler Albrecht, 15 of the Greyhounds’ 21 goals were of the assisted variety.
  • Loyola’s 71.4 percent assist ratio matched its best of the season. The Greyhounds also assisted on the same percentage in a 14-7 win at Lehigh on March 1.
  • The Greyhounds won 18-of-29 faceoffs against Lafayette. Graham Savio was successful on 13-of-19, and Blake Burkhart made good on 5-of-8. Savio had a career-best 11 ground balls, as well as his first career assist.

Follow The Action    

  • Saturday’s game, and all non-televised Patriot League games, will be broadcast on the Patriot League Network. Additionally, all of Loyola’s non-televised home games will be available on the free HD network.
  • Log on to PatriotLeague.tv to watch the home games on your computer, web-enabled televisions and most mobile devices.

In The Polls    

  • Loyola moved up to the No. 1 spot in both the USILA coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls on Monday following its wins last week over Georgetown and Lafayette.
  • The Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 at some point in each of the last three seasons, most recently in the first polls of the 2012 season.
  • Colgate checks in at 19th in the coaches rankings and 17th in the media version.

Series History    

  • Loyola and Colgate will meet for the first time when the teams take the first on Saturday. It is the second time this year (Holy Cross) that the Greyhounds have played an opponent for the first time.

Get To Ten    

  • Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 63 occasions. After defeating the Leopards, 21-4, on Saturday, Loyola has won 80.9 percent of those games (51-12).

Since 2012    

  • Loyola has the best winning percentage in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse since the start of the 2012 season. The Greyhounds are 37-7 during that stretch (17-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 8-1 this season) for a .841 mark.
  • Only Duke has won more games (38) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by more than eight percent (38-12, .760).

Chart Toppers    

  • A pair of Greyhounds attackers are at or near the top of two offensive categories through games of Tuesday, March 25, in both total goals and assists.Nikko Pontrello paces Division I with 34 goals, while Justin Ward is second with 30 assists.
  • The duo is the No. 2 point-scoring tandem in the country with 39 each. Albany’s Lyle (48) and Miles (44) have a combined 92, 14 more than Pontrello and Ward

Pontrello Putting Up Points    

  • Nikko Pontrello had his ninth multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Saturday when he scored five against Lafayette. Through games of Monday, March 24, Pontrello leads the nation in total goals with 34.
  • He scored two in the season-opener at Virginia and then had three each against Penn State and Towson before scoring a career-high six goals at Holy Cross. He then tallied four at Lehigh, five against Duke and three at Georgetown.
  • Two of his goals have been game-winners in one-goal contests. Pontrello scored 19 seconds into overtime to give Loyola a 12-11 win at Penn State, and he then tallied one with 51.4 seconds left in regulation to push the Greyhounds past Georgetown, 10-9.
  • Pontrello leads the Greyhounds with 34 goals and is tied with Justin Ward for the team-lead with 39 points through nine games.
  • He leads the Patriot League and is second nationally in goals per game (3.78), while he is tied for first and 13th with Ward in points per game (4.33).

Stopping Shots    

  • After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .649 mark, saving 87 out of 134 shots on goal he’s faced. In a six-game stretch  against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel made 61 saves and allowed just 26 goals (.701).
  • The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.14 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .608 through nine games. He is fourth in the nation in saves percentage and sixth in goals against average.
  • In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.81 goals against average and .559 saves percentage; he is fifth in Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982) with 388 career saves. Runkel’s record between the pipes is 35-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 41 victories. Amato (as of Monday), however, Amato is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.
  • Runkel picked up his fourth-straight Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honor on March 17, becoming the first player in League history to win any of the weekly honors (Offensive, Defensive, Goalkeeper or Rookie) four-consecutive times.

Record-Setting Quarterback    

  • Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 24 assists in the last six contests. He is second in the nation in total assists (30), and he is also second in the country and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.33 assists per game this year. His 30 assists are already tied for eighth in school Division I single-season history.
  • With four assists against Duke  Ward set Loyola’s career Division I record (since 1982) in total assists, eclipsing the mark of 83 set from 1989-92 by Jim Blanding. Following his four against Lafayette, Ward now has 97 in his career. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also 10th in school Division I history in total points with 145.
  • Ward is in his third year as a starter on attack for the Greyhound after earning USILA All-America Honorable Mention last year after finishing tops on the team in points (62) and assists (35) and second in goals (27). His 62 points ranked tied for fifth in school single-season Division I history, and his 35 assists check in at third on that list.

Offensively Efficient    

  • Loyola is one of only two teams nationally to rank in the top five in shooting percentage and fewest turnovers per game. The Greyhounds lead Division I by averaging 9.89 turnovers per game, nearly two fewer than Denver, which is second in the statistical category. Loyola is also fifth in shooting percentage (.354).
  • The Pioneers are the only other team to be in the top five of both categories, checking in second in turnovers per game (11.78) and shooting percentage (.380).

Near The Top At Both Sides    

  • The Greyhounds are also one of just two teams to be in the top five of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (14.11) rank fourth, and its goals allowed (7.33) are tied for fifth.
  • North Carolina is the other team in the top five for both, matching the Greyhounds in goals allowed while it is second in goals per game (14.78).
  • While it is tied for fifth nationally in scoring defense, Loyola is just fourth in the Patriot League in the category. Army (1st, 5.50), Lehigh (2nd, 6.67) and Colgate (4th, 7.11) all rank ahead of the Greyhounds nationally. In conference games, however, Loyola and Army are tied at 5.25 per contest.

Man-Up Success    

  • Loyola has converted on just under half of its man-up possessions this year, scoring 14 goals on 29 opportunities. Its .483 success rate is good for 10th in NCAA Division I through games of Monday, March 24.
  • Nikko Pontrello leads the way with five man-up goals, while Kevin Ryan has three and Matt Sawyer and Brian Schultz each have two.
  • Eight of Loyola’s extra-man goals have been assisted by Justin Ward.

Games Of Runs    

  • Loyola has used significant runs in all nine of its games this season, and it has had four stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 16 runs of 3-0 or better. Here is a look at their four best scoring stretches:

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

Five-Plus For Two    

  • Matt Sawyer scored six goals, and Nikko Pontrello tallied five for the Greyhounds on Sunday against Duke, marking the first time in over a decade that two Loyola players have scored five or more in the same game.
  • The last pair to do so was Gavin Prout (six) and Tim Goettelmann (five) in a 14-9 win on March 25, 2000, at 14th-ranked Brown University.

Tripled Up    

  • Matt Sawyer entered the March 9 game against Duke with a single-game high of two goals, those coming in the season-opener at the University of Virginia. It took the senior from Waxhaw, N.C., just 15-minutes, 56-seconds against the Blue Devils to match that total, and 20:51 to exceed it.
  • Sawyer finished the game by tripling his previous high, totaling six goals on just seven shots. Through nine games this year, Sawyer has scored 11 goals, good for fourth on the team.

Sherlock Scoring    

  • Brian Sherlock, a redshirt freshman who transfered to Loyola after sitting out last year with an injury at North Carolina, had a career-high five points with three goals and two assists against Lafayette. He has now posted 17 points with nine goals and eight assists this season through nine games, and he also has shown his skill off the ground with 15 ground balls.

Fletch, White And Blue    

  • Senior defender Joe Fletcher was the lone current collegiate player selected as part of one of 52 players who made up the United States Men’s National Team training roster this fall, and the day before Loyola’s season-opener, he found out he is one of 30 players who made the cut for the team that will compete at the 2014 World Cup in Denver.
  • Against Holy Cross, Fletcher set a career-high with eight ground balls, eclipsing his previous total of seven set on three different occasions. In a pair of games against Towson and the Crusaders, he had 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers.
  • He earned his second Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor this year on Monday after picking up seven ground balls and causing a turnover against Duke. He also was primarily responsible for holding the Blue Devils’ All-American attacker Jordan Wolf to one goal. Fletcher was again honored on March 17 after limiting Army’s John Glesener to two goals on 22 shots.
  • This season, the Preseason All-American is second on the Greyhounds with 37 ground balls and caused turnovers (13). His 58 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

Not Just Defensive Midfield    

  • Short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on March 3 after matching his career-high with two goals at Lehigh.
  • The senior, who is a team co-captain and Preseason All-American, had a goal an assist versus Army and a goal at Georgetown, bringing his season totals to six goals an one assist. He now has 11 goals and 10 assists in his four-year career. His 14 caused turnovers this season have brought his career total to 55, fourth most in school history.

Schultz Stepping Up    

  • In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has parlayed his opportunity into a solid start to the season. Through nine games, Schultz has scored 17 goals, second most on the team, and assisted on nine, second behind team-leader Justin Ward.
  • Entering this season, Schultz had seen most of his playing time on extra-man opportunities for the Greyhounds, posting a combined three goals and five assists.

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair    

  • Two of Loyola’s senior co-captains were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List when it was released last week. Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward were among the 50 players nationally to receive recognition.
  • They were also two of 20 players nationally to be named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award that seniors who have performed at a high level athletically and in the classroom and who have used their platforms as student-athletes to make positive impacts in the community.
  • In addition to the senior duo that is on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, junior attacker Nikko Pontrello was also named to the group on March 20.

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Balanced Navy attack not enough to top Colgate

Posted on 22 March 2014 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. —  Seven different players scored for the Midshipmen, but it would not be enough to stifle a potent Colgate offense that dealt Navy a 10-7 loss in men’s lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Navy fell to 3-5 on the year, including 2-3 in Patriot League action, while the Raiders, who are ranked 18th in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, improved to 7-2 and 3-1 in conference play.

“We did an awful lot of good things today, but give credit to Colgate who just made more plays than us,” said third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “Overall there are some good things that we did today and we need to stay the course.”

The Midshipmen looked to have the hot hand early, as they opened up a 2-0 lead six minutes into the contest.  Senior attackman Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) scored his 16th goal of the season just under two minutes into the game and classmate Pat Durkin(Germantown, Md.) punched in an unassisted goal at 8:57.

Colgate answered Durkin’s goal with an uncontested shot by leading scorer Ryan Walsh at the 7:15 mark.  With the goal, Walsh extended his streak of consecutive games with a point to 42 which is the fourth-longest active streak in Div. I lacrosse this season.

Navy pushed its lead back to two when Durkin carried the ball down the right side of the box and found senior attackTucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) anchored on the left crease and Hull fired in his 70th collegiate goal at the 3:35 mark.  Hull now joins the ranks of just 12 players in Div. I lax this season who have amassed 70 goals and 50 assists over their careers.

Colgate, however, would score the final two goals of the first period, including a goal by sophomore middie Eric Foote with 44.2 seconds remaining in the quarter, to even the score at 3-3.

The Raiders scored on a high-to-high shot by Brendon McCann to open the second quarter and take its first lead of the contest at 13:19.

Navy’s T.J. Hanzsche (Berwyn, Pa.) answered at the 11:51 mark when he curled around the right side of the cage and punched in his shot from seven yards out.  The goal extended Hanzsche’s point/goal-scoring streak to 14 straight games.

That goal, however, would be Navy’s last for more than 30 minutes of action, and Navy would score the next three goals to take a 7-4 lead less than three minutes into the fourth quarter.

“I thought we picked up right where we left off in practice this week and scored a few early,” said Sowell.  “Unfortunately we had that long drought and Colgate had a number of quality possessions.  They are good all around, but in particular they have a solid offense.”

Navy finally found the back of the net at 11:11 in the fourth quarter and closed to within two (5-7) when senior midfielderAustin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) split the double team on the right wing and sent his shot past Colgate rookie goalkeeper Brandon Burke.

Colgate, who had five different goal scorers in the game, saw three different players stick goals over a five-minute span to give the Raiders a 10-5 advantage.

The Mids tried to rally over the final two minutes of the contest, as a transition goal by senior long pole Pat Kiernan(Ridgewood, N.J.) and a faceoff win and goal by freshman Brady Dove (Stevensville, Md.) trimmed the lead to three with 1:47 to play in the game, but it would not be enough to overcome the deficit.

McCann and Foote led the way for Colgate with three goals apiece, while Burke was solid in goal with seven saves.

Navy keeper John Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) made nine stops, including four each in the second and fourth quarters.  Connors also caused a pair of Colgate turnovers, while Kiernan forced three.

The faceoff game ended nearly even as Colgate junior Alex Kinnealey won 11 draws, while Dove won 10 for the Mids.  Kinnealey took control early in the game, winning eight of the 11 draws in the first 30 minutes of action, however Dove won seven of the 10 in the second half.  Kinnealey came into the contest winning 61.3 percent of his faceoffs, while Dove had won 61.0 percent.

“We anticipated if (the faceoff battle) being a big challenge for us,” said Sowell.  “Brady has been great all season for us, but today he came up against a matchup that gave him some trouble.  Sometimes you come across a player that trumps your move.  I thought he did a good job of adjusting in the second half.”

The Mids will be back in action next Saturday when they make the trek to north to face Boston U. in the inaugural game between the two programs.  Faceoff is slated for 1:00 pm.

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Navy returns home Saturday to face Colgate

Posted on 21 March 2014 by WNST Staff

2014 Navy Men’s Lacrosse Game Specifics
Game 8 Navy (3-4, 2-2 PL) vs. Colgate (6-2, 2-1 PL)
Date and Faceoff March 22 at 12:00 pm ET
Location Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000)


Game Preview

• After playing its last two games on the road, the Navy men’s lacrosse team (3-4, 2-2 Patriot League) returns home Saturday to battle conference foe Colgate (6-2, 2-1 PL).  Faceoff is slated for 12:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• The game will be streamed online for FREE via PatriotLeague.TV and NavySports.com.  Live stats will also be available at NavySports.com.
• The Mids’ struggles with road play continued last week with a pair of road losses to Towson (14-9) and Lehigh (13-2).  Sophomore attack T.J. Hanzsche handled the highlights for the Mids, scoring both of the Mids’ goals as he pushed his consecutives games with a point (and goal) to 12.
• Colgate is coming off a 15-10 loss against No. 4 Cornell this past Tuesday, snapping a four-game winning streak by the Raiders.  Colgate won those four games (Bucknell, Hobart, Boston U. and Binghamton) by a combined of six goals.

Meet the Mids Set for Saturday
• Navy will hold its annual Meet the Mids event following its game against Colgate on Saturday.
• Members of the Navy men’s lacrosse team will be available for autographs on the Blue Concourse, with the first 300 kids in line for the postgame autograph session receiving a Navy lacrosse “Meet the Mids” t-shirt, compliments of Annapolis area Papa John’s and Chick-fil-A.
• For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, call 1-800-US4-NAVY or visit NavySports.com(.)

Taking the Field In …
10 – Navy has lost just five games (57-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season … Navy is 11-0 under Sowell when scoring 10 or more goals (5-0 in 2012, 3-0 in 2013, 3-0 in 2014).
9 – The Mids have reached double digits in 9 of the 16 games they have played against Colgate, winning all 9 of the games.
8 – Navy is 8-6 under third-year head coach Rick Sowell when leading after the first quarter of play.  The Mids have held the lead after the first 15 minutes of action if 5 of their 7 games this season and own a 3-2 mark in those contests.
7 – Among starting attack Sam Jones’ 15 goals this season, 7 have been unassisted.  As a team, 31 of Navy’s 75 goals (41.3) have been unassisted.
6 – Freshman faceoff specialist Brady Dove, who is Navy’s all-time freshman faceoff wins leader, needs 6 wins on Saturday to become just the 14th player in school history to win 100 draws over the span of a career.
5 – Senior midfielder Pat Durkin has scored 5 goals this season and all 5 have been scored at home.
4 – Senior attack Tucker Hull needs 4 goals to join Navy’s all-time goals scored list with 73.  He would also join teammate Sam Jones as one of just nine active NCAA players to score 70 plus goals and register 50 assists.
3 – Jones needs just 3 points to become only the seventh player in school history to reach the 30-point milestone in each of his four seasons and the first sinceNick Mirabito (2005-08).
2 – Sowell is 2 wins from earning his 100th collegiate victory.  He owns a 98-99 record in 15 years as a head coach.
1 – Navy senior long pole Pat Kiernan stands No. 1 on Navy’s career caused turnovers list with61 over his four year career.  He leads Navy this season with 10 takeaways.

Scouting the Raiders
• In his third season as head coach at Colgate, Mike Murphy has led the Raiders to a 6-2 mark winning four in a row prior to Tuesday night’s 15-10 loss to fourth-ranked Cornell.  In addition to the loss again The Big Red, Colgate dropped an 8-7 decision to Lafayette in its Patriot League opener on Feb. 22.
• Colgate owns a 2-1 Patriot League mark, picking up wins over Bucknell (9-8) and Boston U. (7-5), while stumbling against Lafayette (8-7).
• Anchoring the Colgate offense is junior All-Patriot League attackman Ryan Walsh who has posted 28 points on 18 goals and 10 assists.  He enters today’s game boasting a 41-game point-scoring streak which is the fourth longest behind Duke’s Jordan Wolf (48), St. John’s Kieran McArdle (44) and Albany’s Miles Thompson (41).  Thirteen (8-5) of Walsh’s 28 points have been scored in Patriot League contests.
• Four other players have turned in 10 points or more this season, including sophomore attack Kevin Adams whose 15 points have been scored off goals, while senior attack Brendon McCann has split his gave evenly with 17 points on 10 goals and 7 assists.  McCann is coming off a 3-goal, 1-assist performance against Cornell.
• The Raiders have relied upon the play of freshman Brandon Burke in goal to lead the defense.  Burke owns a 7.07 goals-against average and a 57.6 save percentage.  Prior to Tuesday’s game against Coglate where he surrendered 15 goals and made 10 saves, Burke had been ranked fifth nationally in saves per game (9.43) and was No. 2 in GAA, giving up 5.93 goals per game.  In his three Patriot League appearances, he has posted a 7.00 GAA and a 56.2 save percentage.
• Junior middie Alex Kinnealey has been strong at the faceoff position, winning 61.3 percent (84-137) of the draws he has taken this season, including 59.6 percent (31-52) in conference play.  Going into the Cornell game, he stood 10th nationally in faceoff winning percentage (62.7).  Additionally, he paces the team with 50 ground balls.
• All-league defenseman Bobby Lawrence has been stellar in his senior season, producing a team-best 17 caused turnovers.  He is ranked 11th nationally in caused turnovers per game  (2.1).

Navy vs. Colgate – The Series
• Navy leads the all-time series with Colgate, 11-5, including wins in 3 of the last 5 contests.
• The two teams have met 14 times since the Midshipmen joined the Patriot League in 2004.  During that span, Navy has produced a 9-5 record and outscored Colgate, 144-111.
• Five of the last six contests between the two programs has been decided by one goal, including the 2012 contest in which Navy’s Sam Jones targeted a shot with 3.4 seconds remaining in the game to lead the Mids to a 12-11 victory.
• Today’s contest marks the eighth game played in Annapolis with Navy holding a 5-2 advantage.  Colgate has won each of the last two games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, scoring a 10-9 win in 2009 and a 5-4 decision in 2011.
• Navy and Colgate have twice faced one another in the Patriot League Tournament and have been met with split results.  In 2007, the Mids claimed a 15-9 win over the Raiders in the championship game, before dropping the program’s first Patriot League Tournament contest at the 2008 semifinals against eventual champion Colgate.

Kiernan Among Nation’s Top Poles
• Senior long stick defensive midfielder Pat Kiernan is one of the best at his position in the country.
• Kiernan, a 2014 Preseason All-American, was among the national leaders in both caused turnovers (12th, 2.00) and ground balls (32nd, 5.23) last season.
• He is Navy’s record holder for career caused turnovers (61), a stat introduced in 2009.  With 26 caused turnovers last season, he finished the year ranked No. 3 on the Mids’ single-season list.  He is also ranked ninth (14, 2012) and tied for 13th (11, 2011) on the chart.
• He is tied with ninth-place Matt Russell (2003-06) on the career ground balls list with 159, trailing eighth-place Chad Donnelly who posted 172 from 1997-2000.  Meanwhile, he turned in 68 grounders last spring to etch his name in at ninth on the Mids’ single-season chart.  It’s the most ground balls by a Navy player since 2008 when draw specialist Mikelis Visgauss grabbed 80.
• He is also 19th on the Mids’ career faceoff wins list, winning 24 of the 54 draws (44.4) he has taken.
• Kiernan has produced 13 career points, including  a program-record 10 in 2012.
• He is tied for seventh in the country among active poles with 13 points.
• Kiernan is tied as the all-time leader in career points scored by a Navy defensemen, while his 10 goals are the most at Navy.

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Loyola tries to snap funk Saturday at Colgate

Posted on 21 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Colgate Raiders

Saturday, February 22, 2014  |  2:00 p.m.

Hamilton, N.Y. | Cottrell Court  |  PLN

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland plays its penultimate regular-season road game of the year on Saturday, February 22, in Hamilton, N.Y., where it will take on Colgate University

The Greyhounds are looking for their first conference road win of the season.

Jordan Latham led Loyola in scoring, tying with Jarred Jones for team-high honors, for the second game in a row against Bucknell on Wednesday night. It was the third time in his career he has paced Loyola in points.

Latham is averaging 9.1 points in Patriot League play after finishing non-conference play averaging 5.0. He is shooting 49.5 percent from the field in the 15 League games.

 

Last Time Out

The Greyhounds had their worst half of the season in the first 20 minutes on Wednesday night against Bucknell, scoring just 14 points to trail by the same number at halftime. Loyola rallied, however, taking a lead of as many as seven in the second half before ultimately falling, 55-53, to the Bison.

R.J. Williams made a driving layup with 1:13 left for Loyola, but Cameron Ayers hit a 3-pointer from the right win to put Bucknell up, 55-53, with less than 16 seconds left.

Jarred Jones’ layup attempt with four seconds remaining rolled around more than half of the rim before falling off to give the Bison the win.

 

 

Patriot League Network

Saturday’s game against Colgate 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 Colgate

Loyola and Colgate will meet for the second time as Patriot League foes and the fourth time overall when the teams take the floor on Saturday afternoon.

The teams had not played in over 30 years before Loyola hosted the Raiders on January 25, 2014, in Reitz Arena.

Dylon Cormier and R.J. Williams scored 16 of Loyola’s final 18 points, and the Greyhounds held off the Raiders, 67-60, in that contest. Cormier finished with 21 points, and Williams had a career-high 15

Colgate led by as many as nine early in the first half, but Loyola ended up with a 31-24 halftime advantage.

Loyola won the programs’ first meeting on December 22, 1974, taking a 79-78 decision in the opening round of the Scranton Holiday Tournament.

The Raiders were 56-54 winners the next time the teams squared off. They met in the Albright Invitational Consolation Game on December 30, 1983, in Reading, Pa.

 

Start Of A New Era

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

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

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

 

Academic Honors For Rassman

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

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

 

Cormier Has Hand Surgery

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

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

 

Career Night For Latham

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

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

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

He followed that game by leading the team in scoring for the second game in a row, tying Jarred Jones with 13 points, on Wednesday night against Colgate. He had career-highs of seven free-throws made and 11 attempted in that contest. It was the first time in his career that he had led the team in scoring in back-to-back games.

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

 

Latham And The League

In Loyola’s 15 Patriot League contests, Jordan Latham has significantly raised his scoring contributions. He finished Loyola’s regular-season slate of 11 games with a 5.0 points per game, but he has bumped that up to 9.1 points in League contests.

In conference games, Latham is shooting 49.5 percent (33.8 non-conference), and he is also better at the free-throw line, making 67.4 percent as opposed to 47.4.

Latham has also rebounded better, 4.2 in the League, up from 3.4, and his blocked shots per game are 1.5, higher than his previous 1.1.

The improved play in the Patriot League has raised his cumulative totals to 7.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

In Patriot League play, his 1.5 blocked shots are fourth in the conference, and his 1.3 overall are 6th.

 

Laster Impression

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

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

Through 26 games, 23 starts, this year, Laster is second on the team with an 8.2 points per game average. He is shooting 41.2 percent from the field and 40.5 percent form 3-point range. The sophomore also has averaged 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He played a career-high 37 minutes on February 19 against Bucknell to raise his minutes per game to 27.3.

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

 

Turnover Back In Line

After two games in which the Greyhounds had two of their top three turnover totals of the season – 17 at Lafayette and 22 versus Boston University – they had their lowest mark of the year with just five against Bucknell.

It was the sixth time this season Loyola finished a game with nine or fewer miscues. It is 4-2 in those games with both losses coming at the hands of the Bison.

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

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

Overall, turnovers have not been a major issue for the Greyhounds this season. They are averaging 12.0 giveaways per game this year, fourth fewest in the Patriot League. Additionally, Loyola is tops in the conference in turnover margin, averaging 2.12 fewer per game than its opponents.

 

Block Party

Jordan Latham and Jarred Jones have combined for 21 blocked shots in the last five games for the Greyhounds (Latham 12, Jones 9), helping Loyola take over the Patriot League lead in blocked shots per game (4.3).

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

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

 

Patton’s Playing Time

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

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

 

Hubbard Hits From Deep

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

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

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

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

 

Winning Without Boards

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

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

 

Jones-ing For Points

Jarred Jones has scored in double figures each of the last two games – 10 against Boston University and 13 versus Bucknell – after recording just seven points in a three-game stretch from February 5-12. Prior to that skid, he scored 17, his second highest total of the year, on February 1 versus Army.

He also has six rebounds in each of the last three Greyhounds games.

 

Jones On The Defensive End

Although he struggled offensively during a stretch, Jarred Jones has continued to be a solid defensive player for the Greyhounds. In those games, he has blocked seven shots and come up with 10 steals.

He has at least two steals in each of Loyola’s last seven games, dating back to January 29 against Holy Cross. He also has blocked two or more shots in five of the last seven games with a career-high tying four on February 8 at Lehigh. He is second on the team with 32 blocks and seventh in the League with 1.3 per game.

Jones is also seventh in the Patriot League in steals per game. He averages 1.5 per game with a total of 39.

 

Setting Up The Shots

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

Williams is sixth in the Patriot League in assists per game (4.0). He had 34 assists in eight non-conference games, and he entered January and Patriot League action averaging 3.8 per game. Since then, Williams has 58 assists in 14 games for an average of 4.1.

The junior from Baltimore has also increased his scoring average during Patriot League play. Overall he is averaging 7.7 points per game, 8.1 against conference opponents.

 

Gotta Get To The Line

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

Overall, Loyola is getting to the free-throw line more than seven fewer times in losses than wins (27.7-20.1).

 

Away From The Friendly Confines

Loyola lost its 11th straight road game on February 12 at Lafayette after winning its first three this season away from Reitz Arena. At 3-11 on the road, the Greyhounds are shooting 38.2 percent as opposed to 44.9 percent while going 7-5 at home. Opponents are shooting 46.4 percent in their own facilities, 43.7 percent in Reitz Arena.

The Greyhounds turn the ball over at a rate of almost one per game more on the road (12.4-11.6), and they also force nearly two more turnovers at home (15.1-13.4).

With these factors, the Greyhounds are averaging nearly seven points less per game on the road, 62.7, to their 69.1 points per game at home.

 

Sticky Fingers

The Greyhounds posted 10 steals against Bucknell on February 19, marking the sixth time in 16 Patriot League games that they have grabbed 10 or more. Through February 21, Loyola leads the League with 8.4 steals overall.

Through games of February 20, the Greyhounds are 17th nationally at 8.38 steals per game. Loyola has had 11 or more steals in eight games through 26 contests.

R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is 14th nationally in steals per game (2.4), while Dylon Cormier is second (2.19) and 25th.

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

With 120 in his career, Williams is 10th on the career chart. His 55 this season are tied for ninth on the school single-season chart.

 

Cormier’s Scoring

Dylon Cormier had 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 21, Cormier was 14th in the nation in points per game.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Over 1,600

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

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

 

Telling Stat

In Loyola’s 16 losses this season, the Greyhounds are shooting more than nine percent worse from the floor than they are in their eight victories.

Loyola has made 47.0 percent (249-of-530) shots in 10 wins versus 37.7 percent (343-of-909) in 16 losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 14.9 less (74.8 versus 59.9) points per game.

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

 

Start Of The Smith Era

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

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

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

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

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

 

Look Back At 2012-2013

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cormier On The Charts

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

 

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

Following that contest, Loyola will close the regular-season in nearby Annapolis, Md., where it will take on the U.S. Naval Academy at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 1.

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Loyola looks to bounce back Saturday against Colgate

Posted on 24 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Colgate Raiders

Saturday, January 25, 2014  |  7:00 p.m.

Baltimore, Md. | Reitz Arena 

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola returns to Baltimore for its next Patriot League game, a 7 o’clock contest on Saturday, January 25, against Colgate University.

The game will be the Greyhounds’ first in Reitz Arena since January 13.

Loyola has won three-straight games at home and is 5-2 overall on the Evergreen campus this season.

The Greyhounds moved into a tie for first with Army in the Patriot League in blocked shots per game (3.9). In League games, Loyola is averaging 4.3 through seven contests.

Loyola continues to lead the Patriot League in steals per game, averaging 8.8 a contest. Starting guards R.J. Williams (2.4) and Dylon Cormier (2.2) are first and second, individually.

Last Time Out

Bucknell took more than two-times as many free throws as did Loyola on Wednesday night, and the Bison dealt the Greyhounds a 70-60 loss in Lewisburg, Pa.

Loyola made just 8-of-16 free throws, while Bucknell capitalized on 27-of-34 at the line.

The Greyhounds made more field goals, 24 to the Bison’s 19, in the game, and they committed nine turnovers, one less than Bucknell.

Dylon Cormier scored 20 points and had seven rebounds, both team highs.

Jarred Jones added 13 off the bench for the Greyhounds.

Cameron Ayers was 10-of-10 at the line and led Bucknell with 19 points.

 

Patriot League Network

Saturday’s game against Colgate 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 Colgate

Loyola and Colgate will meet for the first time as Patriot League foes and the third time overall when the teams take the floor on Saturday night.

The teams have not played in over 30 years and split the previous two meetings.

Colgate was a 56-54 winner the last time the teams squared off. They met in the Albright Invitational Consolation Game on December 30, 1983, in Reading, Pa.

Loyola won the pair’s first meeting on December 22, 1974, taking a 79-78 decision in the opening round of the Scranton Holiday Tournament.

 

Lookin’ Good

Loyola’s coaches will be wearing Under Armour shoes during Saturday’s game as part of the national Suits And Sneakers Awareness Weekend. The initiative is run by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and American Cancer Society to promote awareness to the fight against cancer.

 

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.

 

Gotta Get To The Line

Loyola faced a 34-16 disadvantage in free throws attempted on Wednesday night at Bucknell, and the Bison held an even greater 27-8 lead in free throws made. The 19-point advantage from the line more than made up for Bucknell’s 10-point margin of victory.

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 two other wins, Catholic and Lehigh, it took 19 and 24 free throws, respectively.

Overall, Loyola is getting to the free-throw line almost nine fewer in losses than wins (28.9-20.1).

 

Away From The Friendly Confines

Loyola lost its eighth straight road game on Wednesday night at Bucknell after winning its first three this season away from Reitz Arena.

At 3-8 on the road, the Greyhounds are shooting 39.3 percent as opposed to 46.5 percent while going 4-2 at home. Opponents are shooting 47.3 percent in their own facilities, 43.3 percent in Reitz Arena.

Loyola does shoot slightly better from 3-point range on the road, making 32.1 percent of shots from behind the arc as compared to 28.2 at home.

The Greyhounds turn the ball over at a rate of almost one per game more on the road (12.2-11.4), and they also force an additional turnover at home (15.0-13.9).

With these factors, the Greyhounds are averaging nearly six points less per game on the road, 66.5, to their 72.0 points per game at home.

 

The Difference

The Greyhounds won two in a row – January 11 against Lehigh and two days later versus Lafayette – after going 1-6 in their previous seven.

They produced two of their three best shooting performances of the season in the games, shooting an even 50 percent against the Mountain Hawks and a season-best 54.9 versus the Leopards.

Combined, Loyola made 54-of-103 (52.4 percent) of its shots in the wins after shooting 39.2 percent (150-of-383) in its previous seven.

Similarly, Loyola’s opponents shot seven-percent worse (42.3 in the last two versus 49.3).

 

Rebounding On The Boards

Loyola also outrebounded Lehigh and Lafayette by an average of 8.5 in the two victories. In the seven prior games, Loyola was being outrebounded by 7.1 a contest. The Greyhounds outrebounded a team just once (Navy by 2) during that stretch.

Loyola had its biggest positive rebounding margin of the season last Monday against Lafayette, grabbing 38 to the Leopards’ 23.

The Greyhounds followed that by outrebounding Boston University, 32-30, marking the third game in a row Loyola has outrebounded its opponent, the first time this year they have done that.

The loss to the Terriers, however, dropped Loyola’s record to 5-3 when grabbing more rebounds than its foes.

 

Senior Efficiency

Jordan Latham and Dylon Cormier, the Greyhounds’ two senior starters, were at the front of the Greyhounds’ wins against Lehigh and Lafayette.

The pair shot 63.3 percent from the field (31-of-49) in the games, averaging a combined 38 points.

Cormier scored 25 in each of the games, while Latham put together the first back-to-back double-figure scoring games of his career, finishing with a season-high 14 against the Mountain Hawks and 12 versus Lafayette.

They were also been the Greyhounds’ top two rebounds in the wins. Latham had six boards in both games, while Cormier had 11 against Lafayette and eight versus Lehigh.

 

Distributing End

While Jordan Latham and Dylon Cormier put up the scoring and rebounding numbers, it was the excellent play of point guard R.J. Williams that made the offense go against Lafayette and Lehigh.

Williams had a career-high 10 assists on versus the Leopards, logging his first career double-double in the process with 12 points.

In those two games, Williams has a 3:1 assist:turnover ratio (15:5), and he is also averaging 10 points and five rebounds.

He matched his career-high by going to the free-throw line eight times against Lehigh, and he then quickly broke that with nine attempts versus Lafayette. His 17 free-throw attempts in the two games are also tops on the team.

 

Lower Volume, Higher Efficiency

Dylon Cormier has averaged 21.0 points per game over the Greyhounds’ last four, and he has done so with considerably better efficiency.

Over the four games, Cormier has made 61.1 percent (33-of-54) of his shots from the field, a 15 percent improvement over his 46 percent mark for the entire year.

Versus Lafayette, Cormier made 73.3 percent of his shot attempts (11-of-15). That came after a 10-fo-18 performance versus the Mountain Hawks.

In Loyola’s four previous games – Miami, Navy, Army and American – Cormier had made just 33.8 percent of his shots (21-of-62). That included a game in which he made 10 at Army, but with 25 attempts.

In the seven games prior to the current two-game winning streak, Cormier was just 4-of-26 (15.4 percent) from 3-point range. Against Lehigh and Lafayette, however, he has attempted just one from behind the arc.

 

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.

 

Seems Simple, But…

Loyola’s wins came in no small part to better shooting percentage, and a big key to that was converting on the shortest of shots. The Greyhounds made 72.7 percent (32-of-44) of layups, dunks and tip-ins against Lehigh and Lafayette after making just 59.6 percent (28-of-47) in their previous two games at Army and American. This led to Loyola scoring 74 points in the paint in the two victories.

 

Cormier To The Glass

Dylon Cormier led, or tied for the team lead, for the 10 time this season with seven rebounds against Bucknell. Six of the Greyhounds’ eight wins this season have come when Cormier leads the team on the boards.

This season, Cormier leads the Greyhounds with 6.2 rebounds per game, a total that ranks tops among Patriot League guards and fifth overall.

He is also the top offensive rebounder in the conference, averaging 3.3 per game, a mark that is 0.9 better than any other player in the League.

Cormier has 112 total rebounds this year, with 59 coming on the offensive end.

 

Sticky Fingers

The Greyhounds posted 11 or more steals in each of their first three Patriot League games, and they had five versus Lehigh, six versus Lafayette and 10 at Boston University.

The 65 steals in its last seven games have raised Loyola’s Patriot League-leading average to 8.8 per game. Through games of January 23, the Greyhounds are ranked 18th nationally in steals per game.

Loyola has had 11 or more steals in seven games through 16 contests.

R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is 14th nationally in steals per game (2.4), while Dylon Cormier is second (2.2) and tied for 32nd.

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

Cormier now has 179 in his career, and against Bucknell, he passed Tracy Bergan for second all-time at Loyola in career thefts. With 104 in his career, Williams is tied for 16th on the career chart.

 

Cormier’s Start To The Season

Dylon Cormier has started the season scoring in bunches, averaging 22.0 points per game through 18. Through games of Thursday, January 24, Cormier was ninth 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 13 20+ point games in 18 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.

Cormier now has 1,609 career points through 112 career games. Next up on the career scoring list is Mike Krawczyk who scored 1,676 from 1968-72.

 

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 18 games, Cormier has gone to the free-throw line 166 times (fifth in Division I through games of January 23). His average of 9.2 free throws per game is tied for 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 276 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 446-of-637 from the free-throw line. He is third in school history in both free throws attempted and made.

 

Last Five Focus

In Loyola’s eight victories this season, it has outscored its opponents 19.0-12.0 in the final five minutes of the games.

The Greyhounds have shot 56.7 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from 3-point range, in the final five minutes of the wins. Their opponents have shot just 37.1 percent from the field and 20.8 percent from behind the arc.

In those 40 minutes, Loyola has committed just 13 turnovers to its opponents’ 25. Seventeen of the opponent turnovers have been from Loyola steals.

 

Block Party

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

Latham now has 78 career blocks, fifth-best in school history.

 

Die Hard Dogs

Loyola has trailed with five minutes to go in regulation in four of its eight 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.

 

Turnover Battle

Through 18 games this season, the Greyhounds are averaging 2.2 fewer turnovers per game than their opponents, tops in the Patriot League and 41st in the nation.

 

Telling Stat

In Loyola’s 10 losses this season, the Greyhounds are shooting nearly eight percent worse from the floor than they are in their eight victories.

Loyola has made 46.1 percent (178-of-386) shots in six wins versus 37.9 percent (219-of-578) in eight losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 15.8 points less (77.4 versus 61.6) points.

As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (50.1-41.7) in the games they’ve won.

 

Lasting Impression

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

Laster has averaged 9.0 points in Loyola’s first 18 contests, and he is shooting 43.4 percent (29-of-68) 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.

 

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 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
7th 1,609 points
Next Mike Krawczyk, 1,676
Field Goals Made
12th 534 field goals made
Next Maurice Hicks, 541
3-Pointers Made
13th 95 3-Pt. Made
Next B.J. Davis, 104
Free Throws Made
3rd 446 free throws made
Next Mike Powell, 448
Assists
20th 204 assists
Next Dave Wojick, 219
 

 

Steals

2nd 179 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.

 

Nod To Maryland Prep Basketball

The State of Maryland is home to the most college basketball recruits, according to Mode Analytics. Loyola’s home produces 58 players per 1,000 college-age males, six more than second place Louisiana.

 

Up Next

Loyola returns to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the second time in two weeks to face College of the Holy Cross on Wednesday, January 29, at 7 p.m.

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Middle Tennessee coach, LB apologize for actions in Bowl loss to Navy

Posted on 31 December 2013 by WNST Staff

RESPONSES FROM MIDDLE TENNESSEE HEAD COACH RICK STOCKSTILL AND LINEBACKER RODERIC BLUNT ON INCIDENTS DURING MONDAY’S ARMED FORCES BOWL VS NAVY

 

HEAD COACH RICK STOCKSTILL

“After seeing the replay of the game, I saw things that I was unable to see live from the sideline. I have called Navy Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo, quarterback Keenan Reynolds, and Brant Ringler, the executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, and apologized for Roderic Blunt’s actions.

“I have strived to run a first-class program and I do not condone this type of play. We have shown a history of good sportsmanship and, this season, we ranked as the ninth-least penalized team in the country. We were called for just one defensive personal foul penalty prior to the bowl game.

“I understand the game of football and what goes on out on the field, but there is no place for that type of behavior. It was a very emotional game for both sides, played with a lot of passion and sometimes players get caught up in that emotion. However, the bottom line is we hold ourselves to high standards and we expect our players to be good representatives of our university.

“Roderic knows the consequences of his actions. As head coach, I will take steps to ensure our team understands the importance of proper behavior and the conduct we expect as Blue Raiders.”

 

COMMENT FROM LINEBACKER RODERIC BLUNT

“I would like to apologize to my team, coaching staff, Navy, and most importantly, Keenan Reynolds for my actions Monday. I accept responsibility and the consequences of my actions. It was my last college game and emotions were at an all-time high. But there is still no excuse for my actions and know this is not a reflection of Blue Raider football.”

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Navy wraps season Monday morning against MTSU in Armed Forces Bowl

Posted on 29 December 2013 by WNST Staff

Game 13 Navy (8-4) vs. Middle Tennessee State (8-4 / 6-2 Conference USA)
Date and Kickoff Dec. 30, 2013 at 10:45 am CT / 11:45 am ET
Location Fort Worth, Texas | Amon G. Carter Stadium (50,000)
Television ESPN
TV Talent Beth Mowins (play-by-play), Joey Galloway (analyst) and Paul Carcaterra (sideline)


Setting the Stage

• Navy and Middle Tennessee State will meet on the gridiron for the first time when the two square off on Monday, Dec. 30 at Amon G. Carter Stadium (50,000) in Fort Worth, Texas in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Kickoff is set for 10:45 am local time, 11:45 am in Annapolis.
• Navy enters the contest looking to win a bowl game for the first time since 2009.  The Mids have lost five of their last six bowl games. A victory would also give Navy at least nine wins for the fifth time in the last 10 years.
•    ESPN will televise the game with Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway and Paul Carcaterra on the call.
• ESPN Radio will also broadcast the game nationally with Mark Neely and Tom Ramsey calling the action.

Navy To Play Middle Tennessee State In Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
•    Navy (8-4) will play Middle Tennessee State (8-4) in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Monday, Dec. 30 in Ft. Worth, Texas. Kickoff is set for 10:45 am (11:45 am in Annapolis) at Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of Texas Christian University and will be televised nationally by ESPN and broadcast nationally by ESPN Radio.
• The Armed Forces Bowl is Navy’s 19th bowl game all-time and the school’s 10th in the last 11 years.  This will be the fifth time that Navy has played in the state of Texas for a bowl game and the first since the Mids 35-13 rout of Missouri in the 2009 Texas Bowl in Houston. Navy has also played in the 2003 EV1.net Houston Bowl (lost to Texas Tech, 38-14), the 1964 Cotton Bowl in Dallas (lost to Texas, 28-6) and the 1958 Cotton Bowl in Dallas (beat Rice, 20-7).
• The bowl game will mark the first meeting between Navy and Middle Tennessee State.  The Blue Raiders will enter the game having won their final five contests and scoring 40 or more points in four of their final five games.
• Texas and Tennessee are two of Navy’s most highly-recruited areas as the Midshipmen have 18 players from Texas and nine from Tennessee.
• Tickets for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are on sale now at: http://bit.ly/1bqibUX
• Ticket prices are $30 (Lower Level & Upper Level End Zone), $40 (Upper Level Sideline), and $50 (Lower Level Sideline). The only way to sit with the Navy contingent is to buy your tickets through the Navy Ticket Office.
• Fans can also purchase tickets to sponsor midshipmen and enlisted personnel and their families for $50 per ticket. Donated tickets are 100% tax deductible.
• The Naval Academy class that donates the most tickets receives a 30 percent discount on football season tickets for 2014 for every member that donates four or more tickets.  Any individual that donates 10 tickets or more will receive a 30 percent discount on the 2014 season ticket package regardless of class affiliation. Be sure to donate in your correct ticket account that signifies you as a USNA Alumni.
• “We strongly encourage Navy fans to buy their bowl tickets directly from the Naval Academy Athletic Association,” said Gladchuk. “It is very important for this game and for future Navy bowl considerations for our fans to purchase tickets through the NAAA. If you can’t make it to the game, we ask that Navy fans buy tickets for our midshipmen and enlisted personnel which will allow us to create the usual pageantry of Navy football.”

Navy Bowl History
• The 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be Navy’s 19th bowl appearance and the 10th in the last 11 years.
• Navy owns a 7-10-1 bowl game record.

Scouting Middle Tennessee State
• Middle Tennessee State enters the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl with an 8-4 record and having won five straight contests.  The Blue Raiders have scored at least 42 points in four of those five wins.
• MTSU owns victories over Western Carolina (45-24), Memphis (17-15), Florida Atlantic (42-35 in OT), Marshall (51-49), UAB (24-21), Florida International (48-0), Southern Miss (42-21) and UTEP (48-17).
• The Blue Raiders have lost to North Carolina (40-20), BYU (37-10), East Carolina (24-17) and North Texas (34-7).
•    Sophomore running back Jordan Parker leads the MTSU rushing attack with 741 yards and six touchdowns on 145 carries, while junior Reggie Whatley has carried the ball 93 times for 631 yards and three touchdowns.
•    Senior quarterback Logan Kilgore has completed 197 of his 322 pass attempts (.612) for 2,289 yards and 16 touchdowns.
•    Senior wide receiver Tavarres Jefferson has caught 41 passes for 532 yards and five touchdowns, while junior Marcus Henry has 36 catches for 528 yards and three touchdowns.
•    The Middle Tennessee defense is led by sophomore linebacker T.T. Barber, who has 112 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss and three interceptions.  Strong safety Kevin Byard has 92 tackles, five interceptions and one forced fumble.
•    As a team, Middle Tennessee is ranked third in the country in fumbles recovered (16), fifth in turnovers gained (31), ninth in turnover margin (1.0), 10th in fewest penalties per game (4.0), 14th in tackles for a loss allowed (4.33), 15th in fumbles lost (6), 19th in in third down conversions (.473), 23rd in pass sacks allowed (1.25) and 25th in rushing offense (208.3).
•    Individually, defensive end Dearco Nolan is ranked 10th in forced fumbles per game (0.33) and Barber is 17th in solo tackles per game (5.8)

Navy vs. Conference USA
•    Navy is 21-19-1 (.524) all-time against teams currently in Conference USA.

Reynolds, Navy Run To 34-7 Win Over Army
•    PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Navy sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds ran for 136 yards and scored three touchdowns (47, 11 and 1 yard) to lead the Midshipmen to a 34-7 victory over Army, their 12th straight in the series.
• He has 29 rushing touchdowns, breaking the NCAA single-season mark for a quarterback previously held by Ricky Dobbs (Navy, 2009) and Collin Klein (Kansas State, 2011), both of whom had 27.
• Reynolds ran 30 times on a frozen, snow-covered field. He also caught a 2-point conversion pass on a trick play following his second touchdown.
• His third score – with 46 seconds left in a lopsided game – gave him 176 points for the season, breaking the school record of 174 set by Bill Ingram in 1917.
• Navy (8-4) won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the second consecutive season and ninth time in 11 years. The trophy is awarded to the service academy with the most victories in games between Navy, Army and Air Force.
• The Midshipmen haven’t lost to Army since 2001 and lead the series 58-49-7. Navy’s 12-game run is the longest in the history of the rivalry that began in 1890.
• Niumatalolo became the second coach in Navy history to start his coaching career 6-0 against Army, matching Paul Johnson (2002-07).
• Army (3-9) fumbled five times and was intercepted once in its fifth straight defeat. Embattled coach Rich Ellerson fell to 0-5 against the Midshipmen and 20-41 overall since taking the job in December 2008.
• The snow that was forecast in the morning hours began during the pregame pageantry that makes this game a one-of-a-kind spectacle. Making his first collegiate start, Army quarterback A.J. Schurr lost the handle on the wet football with his arm cocked to throw. Teammate Larry Dixon recovered, but the 20-yard loss doomed the Black Knights to end their first possession with a punt.
• Schurr fumbled on the next drive, too, and this time Navy recovered at its own 38. That ended his day.
• Following the turnover, Navy fullback Quinton Singleton burst through a hole in the middle and ran 58 yards to the Army 4, setting up a field goal for a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter.
• Angel Santiago came in at quarterback for the Black Knights at just about the same time the intensity of the snow increased. On fourth-and-3 at the Navy 33, Terry Baggett lost three yards.
• Midway through the second period, Navy fullback Noah Copeland ran 39 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-0.
• With 2:38 left in the half, Reynolds gingerly picked his way through the Army defense on his record-tying touchdown run. Navy went into halftime leading 17-0.
• In the third quarter, the snow turned to rain and Santiago did his best to make a game of it. After throwing a 29-yard pass to Xavier Moss, the junior quarterback scored on a 4-yard run to get the Black Knights to 17-7.
• Reynolds answered with an 11-play drive that produced a field goal. Army then failed to convert a fourth-and-3 from its own 42, a futile gamble that all but assured the Black Knights another frustrating loss against their far more successful service academy rivals.
• Reynolds scored his record-breaking touchdown with 6:22 left, and the conversion pass from wide receiver Brendan Dudeck made it 28-7.

Service Academy Dominance
• Navy has been the dominant Service Academy over the last decade plus, winning 21 of the last 23 meetings (.913) against Air Force and Army.  The Mids have posted a 91-49 (.650) record since 2003, won nine CIC Trophies in the last 11 years and have gone to 10 bowl games in the last 11 years.

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Navy to face Middle Tennessee in Armed Forces Bowl

Posted on 08 December 2013 by WNST Staff

Middle Tennessee State accepts bid to meet Naval Academy in 11th annual Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Dec. 30 

FORT WORTH, Texas – Following Saturday’s conference championship games and the final selection of teams for the 35 college football bowl games, the U.S. Naval Academy now knows that Middle Tennessee State University will be its opponent in this month’s Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas. The Midshipmen will meet the Blue Raiders in the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl to be played in Fort Worth, on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013.

The 11th edition of this postseason college football bowl game, which is more than a bowl game with its military theme and involvement, will kick off at 10:45 a.m. (CST) from Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of TCU. The game will air on ESPN, ESPN Radio and will be carried worldwide on the Armed Forces Network.

By defeating UTEP, 48-17 on Nov. 30 at home in Murfreesboro, Tenn., the Blue Raiders, led by Head Coach Rick Stockstill, finished the regular season with an 8-4 overall record in Conference USA.

“It is a distinct honor and privilege to have both the U.S. Naval Academy and Middle Tennessee in this year’s salute to the military of our country. The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and the City of Fort Worth are very excited to host both of these teams, their alumni as well as their fans,” said Brant Ringler, Executive Director of the patriotic bowl. “I can assure you this game will add significantly to the legacy of this great event. The game itself will be the centerpiece to a memorable week of colorful festivities in the heart of Texas.”

Navy, coached by Ken Niumatalolo, has a 7-4 record so far this season playing with poised passion and dedicated determination and has some unfinished regular-season business as they continue to prepare for Saturday’s annual rivalry showdown with the U.S. Military Academy (Army) in Philadelphia. Navy, which is on a three-game winning streak, became bowl-eligible on Nov. 16 when it defeated South Alabama, 42-14, at home in Annapolis, Md, allowing the Midshipmen to honor their commitment to play in Fort Worth.

While the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is played in honor of the armed forces and has previously hosted the U.S. Military Academy (2010) and the U.S. Air Force Academy (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012), this is the first year that the bowl is hosting the Naval Academy. The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is the only bowl game that has hosted all three U.S. Military Academies.

The Blue Raiders head to Fort Worth riding a five-game winning streak after going 6-2 in league play to finish tied for second in the East Division of C-USA..

 

COACHES’ LOGS

Navy’s Niumatalolo is in his sixth season at the helm of the Midshipmen and 16th overall with Navy football. During his first five-plus years as head coach at Navy, Niumatalolo’s Mids have compiled a record of 47-30 (.610) including appearances in four post-season bowl games plus this year’s BHAFB. He moved into third all-time in Navy career coaching wins this season. Niumatalolo has also been selected one of seven men in the inaugural class of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. He will be inducted Jan. 23, 2014 prior to the NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu.

Middle Tennessee’s Stockstill is in his eighth season leading the Blue Raiders. His overall record at Middle Tennessee is 51-48 and this is the fourth bowl game he has led his school to during his tenure.  A veteran coach, Stockstill has been part of the coaching staffs at Bethune-Cookman, Central Florida, Clemson, East Carolina and South Carolina before becoming head coach at Middle Tennessee in 2006. Stockstill has also been selected twice as the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year.

For more info on Middle Tennessee football, visit www.GoBlueRaiders.com.

MIDS vs. BLACK KNIGHTS

The long-time rivalry between Navy and Army is as arguably the No. 1 rivalry in all of college football. This year’s patriotic classic will be played Saturday when the Mids and the Black Knights meet on the gridiron field of battle for the 114th time. Navy holds the all-time series edge, 57-49-7, including last year’s 17-13 win over Army in Philadelphia. Both noted triple-option teams, Army leads the nation in rushing averaging 323.6 yards per game while Navy is currently third nationally with a 320.1 average.

With the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy on the line, the Navy vs. Army matchup is scheduled to kickoff Saturday at 3 p.m. (ET) on the FieldTurf of Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Television Network and broadcast on the Navy Radio Network.

Navy has been the most dominant service academy in the last decade plus in the battle for the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy, winning 20 of 22 (.909) meetings with Air Force and Army, including this year’s 28-10 win over Air Force.

For more Navy football info, visit www.navysports.com.
ROAD TO FORT WORTH

NAVY:

Record: 7-4 • Home: 5-0 • Away: 2-4 • Neutral: 0-0

Date Opponent Result/Time Television Attendance Series History

W No. 1 9-7 at Indiana W, 41-35 Big Ten Network 47,013 Series tied, 2-2

W No. 2 9-14 Delaware W, 51-7 CBS Sports Network 36,208 Navy Leads, 10-7

L 9-28 at Western Kentucky L, 7-19 ESPNEWS 19,813 Navy Leads, 2-1

W No. 3 10-5 Air Force W, 28-10 CBS Network 38,225 Air Force Leads, 27-19

L 10-12 at Duke L, 7-35 Raycom Sports/ACC Network 23,749 Navy Leads, 20-15-5

L 44-45 (2 OT) 10-19 at Toledo ESPNEWS 18,221 Toledo Leads, 3-1

W No. 4 10-26 Pittsburgh W, 24-21 CBS Sports Network 37,094 Pittsburgh Leads 22-14-3

L 11-2 at Notre Dame L, 34-38 NBC 80,795 Notre Dame Leads, 74-12-1

W No. 5 11-9 Hawai’i W, 42-28 CBS Sports Network 33,327 Hawai’i Leads, 2-1

W No. 6 11-16 South Alabama W, 42-14 CBS Sports Network 33,086 Navy Leads 1-0

W No. 7 11-22 at San Jose State W, 58-52, CBS Sports Network 16,876 San Jose State Leads, 2-1

12-14 Army+ 3 p.m. CBS Navy Leads, 57-49-7

+Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, Pa.)   All Times Eastern

 

Middle Tennessee:

Overall Record: 8-4 • Conference Record: 6-2 • Home: 5-1 • Away: 3-3 • Neutral: 0-0

Date Opponent Result Television Attendance

8-29 Western Carolina W, 45-24 None, 20,011

9-7 at North Carolina L, 20-40, ACC Network, 48,000

9-14 Memphis W, 17-15, CSS        , 23,992

9-21 at FAU* W, 42-35 (ot), CSS, 13,911

9-27 at BYU L, 10-37, ESPNU 58,763

10-5 East Carolina* L, 17-24,      FSN 20,109

10-12 at North Texas* L, 7-34, None 21,171

10-24 Marshall* W, 51-49, FS1 19,898

11-2 at UAB* W, 24-21, FCS 20,483

11-9 FIU* W, 48-0, FCS 16,717

11-23 at Southern Miss* W , 42-21, CSS 22,134

11-30 UTEP* W, 48-17, MyTV 30 11,560

*Conference USA Game


IT’S A DATE

This will mark the third time in its 11-year history that the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be held on December 30, as the 2010 and 2011 contests were both held on that date. The most recent Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl was played Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 featuring a match-up between the Rice Owls and U.S. Air Force Academy Falcons, in which the Owls claimed the bowl victory 33-14. Last year’s showcase drew an attendance of 40,754.

 

TICKET TIME

Tickets for the 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are now on sale through ArmedForcesBowl.com. Armed forces veterans and active-duty personnel receive free admittance via the bowl’s corporate armed forces ticket underwriting program, while supplies are available.

 

ARMED FORCES SALUTE

Owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured the “armed forces” theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing armed forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military’s top skydiving teams; custom homes awarded to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; armed forces bands and honor guards; the annual Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance; and the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America.

For additional information about the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, please visit ArmedForcesBowl.com, Facebook.com/ArmedForcesBowl or Twitter.com/ArmedForcesBowl.

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Deserving or not, Ravens remain firmly in AFC playoff hunt

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Deserving or not, Ravens remain firmly in AFC playoff hunt

Posted on 18 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

They don’t deserve to be in the postseason and certainly don’t look like a playoff team.

The eyeball test warrants a failing grade.

Too little consistency and too many bad losses will cost them at the end of the season.

They’re simply not good enough.

The following statements have been used over and over in describing the Ravens as they’ve lost four of their last five games to fall to 4-6 on the season and 2 1/2 games behind division-leading Cincinnati in the AFC North.

And those same descriptions can and have been used to describe the seven other teams currently jockeying for the final wild-card spot in the AFC playoff picture. In fact, “plodding” might be a better term to use in describing the race for the No. 6 seed in the conference.

Unless commissioner Roger Goodell elects to eliminate the final spot, a team with an underwhelming résumé through Week 11 will find itself playing in January as the final seed in the single-elimination tournament. The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins hold the slight edge at the moment over the rest of the pack at 5-5, but their flaws are as apparent as any of the six 4-6 teams chasing them.

“What it goes to show you is how close it is, and what a razor-thin margin it is in the National Football League,” coach John Harbaugh said in describing the current playoff picture. “That’s what makes the National Football League great. We would all rather be sitting here talking about being atop the division and chasing a home-field advantage or something like that. And that’s something that we were shooting for. We wanted to be in that position. We haven’t done the things we needed to do to be in that position.”

The frustration is understandable after a 4-6 start, but deeming the Ravens undeserving of the playoffs and writing them off are subjective statements that would be true in most seasons but are made in isolation from the rest of the field through Week 11. While I’m unwilling to say they’re definitively better than any of the other seven teams fighting for the final spot, you won’t convince me that any of those competitors are superior to the Ravens, either.

The truth is the AFC is mired in mediocrity once you look beyond Denver, New England, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Kansas City, making it difficult to predict which team — if any — will make a strong run over the final six weeks to sneak in. At this point, 10-6 would virtually guarantee the final playoff spot, but 9-7 has a good shot of being the season-ending target.

As mediocre as the entire field of 5-5 and 4-6 teams has looked, even an 8-8 record — or, gasp, 7-9? — with a favorable tie-breaker arsenal could conceivably be awarded with the No. 6 seed. Whether you elect to embrace that possibility with any level of enthusiasm is your choice.

With a head-to-head tie-breaking win over Miami and a meeting with the Jets this Sunday, the Ravens have an opportunity to gain the upper hand against the two teams they’re currently chasing in the wild-card race. That doesn’t mean they have the advantage over the rest of the field, but their chances appear no worse than any other team — even if you must hold your nose while saying that.

“We are right there. We can do it, and we’re good enough to do it,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got every tool we need; all we have to do is go get it done. But that’s on us. We believe we have what it takes, but it’s up to us to prove it, and we’ve got to go prove it by winning these games.”

Whether the Ravens can do it remains to be seen, but three straight games at home starting Sunday provides a crucial opportunity to stack wins and ease the pain from their current 1-5 record on the road.

Here’s a look at the rest of the race for the AFC’s No. 6 seed in the current order in which teams stand based on tie-breaking procedures, which I’ll forgo including beyond conference records for now:

6. NEW YORK (5-5)
Conference record: 2-5
Remaining schedule: at Baltimore, Miami, Oakland, at Carolina, Cleveland, at Miami
Case for: Only one game remaining against a team with a winning record, league’s top-ranked run defense
Case against: Struggling rookie quarterback Geno Smith, minus-85 point differential (worst among the eight contenders for No. 6 seed)

7. MIAMI (5-5)
Conference record: 4-3
Remaining schedule: Carolina, at New York Jets, at Pittsburgh, New England, at Buffalo, New York Jets
Case for: One of the NFL’s better pass rushes, potential of young quarterback Ryan Tannehill
Case against: 31st in total offense, fallout from the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito saga

8. OAKLAND (4-6)
Conference record: 4-3
Remaining schedule: Tennessee, at Dallas, at New York Jets, Kansas City, at San Diego, Denver
Case for: Fourth-ranked run offense, sixth-ranked run defense
Case against: Unrest at quarterback position, 25th-ranked pass defense

9. TENNESSEE (4-6)
Conference record: 3-4
Remaining schedule: at Oakland, at Indianapolis, at Denver, Arizona, at Jacksonville, Houston
Case for: Seventh-ranked pass defense, fifth in conference in takeaways
Case against: Season-ending injury to quarterback Jake Locker, four remaining road games

10. PITTSBURGH (4-6)
Conference record: 3-4
Remaining schedule: at Cleveland, at Baltimore, Miami, Cincinnati, at Green Bay, Cleveland
Case for: One game remaining against teams currently above .500, veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger
Case against: 30th-ranked rush offense, 26th in run defense

11. BALTIMORE (4-6)
Conference record: 4-4
Remaining schedule: New York Jets, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, at Detroit, New England, at Cincinnati
Case for: Expected return of Dennis Pitta, four remaining home games
Case against: 31st in yards per carry and 30th in total offense, three games remaining against teams currently above .500

12. CLEVELAND (4-6)
Conference record: 3-4
Remaining schedule: Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, at New England, Chicago, at New York Jets, at Pittsburgh
Case for: Fifth in total defense, play-making ability of wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron
Case against: 26th-ranked rush offense, 10th in AFC in takeaways

13. SAN DIEGO (4-6)
Conference record: 2-5
Remaining schedule: at Kansas City, Cincinnati, New York Giants, at Denver, Oakland, Kansas City
Case for: Fourth-ranked passing offense, plus-4 point differential (best among the eight No.6 seed contenders)
Case against: 27th in pass defense, four games remaining against teams currently above .500

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