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Loyola tries to bounce back Saturday against St. Joseph’s

Posted on 20 December 2013 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Saint Joseph’s Hawks

Saturday, December 21, 2013  |  3:00 p.m.

Baltimore, Md.  |  Reitz Arena


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola plays its second game in three days after a 12-day layoff for final exams when the Greyhounds host fellow Jesuit school Saint Joseph’s University at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 21.

The game is part of a doubleheader that features the Loyola women hosting UMBC in Reitz Arena at 12 noon.

Dylon Cormier logged his seventh 20+ point game of the season, and the 22nd of his career, on Thursday night against Stony Brook University.

Loyola has recorded 13 steals in each of its last two games, raising its Patriot League leading average to 8.8 per game.

The Greyhounds have posted 11 or more steals four times this season.


Last Time Out

Stony Brook University took a 17-point lead with 1:17 left in the first half, but Loyola rallied to tie the game twice in the second half on Thursday night in Reitz Arena.

The Greyhounds could not get over the hump, however, and never led in a 76-69 non-conference loss to the two-time defending America East Conference regular-season champs.

Dylon Cormier made 16-of-21 free throws and finished with a game-high 25 points for the Greyhounds.

After Stony Brook was up 10 with 14:58 left in regulation, Cormier scored eight during a 10-0 run that tied the game for the first time in the second half, 51-51.


Patriot League Network

Saturday’s game against Catholic will air live on the Patriot League Network.

The game, and all of Loyola’s non-televised home games will be streamed, free of charge, in high definition and can be accessed at LoyolaGreyhounds.com/pln.

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


Series History Versus Saint Joseph’s

Loyola and Saint Joseph’s will meet for the 23rd time in series history, although the first time in the 21st century. The Hawks hold a 16-6 advantage in the all-time series.

The Greyhounds won a double overtime thriller, 80-78, the last time the teams met on January 4, 1996. Loyola shot 93.3 percent (14-of-15) from the free-throw line in the game.

The Greyhounds’ win snapped a 12-game winning streak in the series for the Hawks.

The teams first met during the 1915-1916 season, a contest the Hawks won, 40-20. Loyola, however, won the teams’ second meeting that year, 53-24, in the Greyhounds’ last game of the season.

There were 17 games between the programs from 1915-16 through 1937-38, but they did not meet again until the first game of the 1976-77 season.


Cormier To The Charity Stripe

Loyola went to the free-throw line a season-high 35 times on Thursday night, and Dylon Cormier took 21 of the attempts.

His 21 free throw attempts are 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.

Through nine games, Cormier has gone to the free-throw line 91 times (tied for 18th in Division I through games of December 19). His average of 10.1 free throws per game ranks 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 303 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 396-of-562 from the free-throw line. With five more attempts, he will take over fourth-place in school history, while he is 15 from fifth-place in free throws made.


Sticky Fingers

Loyola has logged 13 steals in each of its last two games, raising its Patriot League leading average to 8.8 per game this season.

The Greyhounds have had 11 or more steals in four games – 12 at UMBC, 11 at Connecticut and 13 at Mount St. Mary’s and versus Stony Brook – through nine contests.

R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League in steals per game (2.3), while Dylon Cormier is fourth (2.0). Cormier had a season-high four thefts against the Seawolves.

Cormier now has 157 in his career at Loyola, fifth-most in school history and three out of fourth place. With 81 in his career, Williams is 26th on the career chart.


Turnovers Trending Lower

Through eight games this season, the Greyhounds have done a relatively good job of taking care of possessions, averaging 11.1 turnovers per game, second best amongst Patriot League teams.

Loyola is slightly ahead of last year’s average of 11.9 turnovers per game (12.0 in the first nine of the season).

Additionally, the Greyhounds lead the Patriot League in turnover margin, averaging 3.4 fewer than their opponents this season. Loyola has forced 14.6 turnovers per game this year, 8.8 per game by route of the steal, a stat that is also tops in the conference.

In all, the Greyhounds have committed 100 turnovers to their opponents 131.


Telling Stat

In Loyola’s four losses this season – at Connecticut, West Virginia, Mount St. Mary’s and versus Stony Brook – the Greyhounds are shooting a full 10 percent worse from the floor than they are in their five victories.

Loyola has made 45.9 percent (134-of-292) shots in five wins versus 35.6 percent (84-of-236) in four losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 21.4 points less (81.4 versus 60.0) in the losses.

As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (47.3-42.4) in the games they’ve won.


Getting To The Line

Hopefully, the ability Loyola showed against Stony Brook to get to the free-throw line (35 attempts on Thursday) is a sign of things to come. When Loyola opened the season with a 4-0 record, it was going tot he free-throw line 32.5 times (129 total).

Since then, however, Loyola has gone to the line an average of just 20.2 times (101 total) in its last five games. Take out the 35 attempts against Stony Brook, and the Greyhounds were averaging just 16.5 free throws attempted over a four-game stretch.


Cormier’s Start To The Season

Dylon Cormier has started the season scoring in bunches, averaging 23.8 points per game through nine. Through games of Thursday, December 19, Cormier is fourth in the nation in scoring, trailing only Niagara University’s Antoine Mason (28.6), Creighton University’s Doug McDermott (25.3) and Texas Southern’s Aaric Murray (24.5).

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 seven 20+ point games in nine contests.

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

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

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


1,400 For Cormier

In the second half at Mount St. Mary’s, Dylon Cormier became the 12th player in school history to score 1,400 or more points in a career. Entering Saturday’s  game against Saint Joseph’s with 1,427, Cormier is four points away from tying Bob Connor (1967-72) for 11th place in school history.

He is the eighth player at Loyola to reach 1,400 points at the Division I level.


Rassman Producing More

Franz Rassman has shown his best scoring form of the season in Loyola’s last three games, averaging 11.0 points in those three contests.

After tallying a career-best 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting against the Cardinals, Rassman finished with 12 points – 10 in the first half – at Mount St. Mary’s.

In Loyola’s first six games of the season, Rassman was making just 31.8 percent of shots (7-of-22), but he has hit 57.7 percent (15-of-26) in the last three contests.


Doing The Little Things

Eric Laster has done the stat-sheet filling things in the several games for the Greyhounds. The guard, who is in his first year as a starter, has pulled down at least four rebounds in each of the last six games.

On Thursday night versus Stony Brook, he blocked a career-best three shots, and earlier this month, he posted a career-high five assists in a win over Catholic.

Laster has 15 assists this year against just six turnovers, and his 4.2 rebounds per game are tied for third on the team.


Williams To The Basket

R.J. Williams has been a true point guard throughout his career at Loyola, but he has taken more opportunities to score this season. He has scored 10 or more three times (the same number he had during his first two years), including tallying 11 versus Stony Brook to match his career-high.

Against the Seawolves, Williams showed his ability to get to the basket for layups or to draw fouls. He is tied for Jarred Jones for team-high honors in free-throw percentage (83.9), as they both have made 26-of-31 this year.


Outside Shooting Off The Bench

Tyler Hubbard’s role as an outside shooter off the bench has continued this year, with good success. The sophomore is hitting 42.9 percent (12-of-28) shots from behind the 3-point arc, while averaging 16.6 minutes per game.

He is also getting to the free-throw line at a good clip with the ability to draw contract when driving into traffic. He has taken the fourth most free throws on the team this season, making 13-of-17.

After averaging 2.8 points in 9.7 minutes per game last season, Hubbard has raised his scoring to 6.1 this year. He has played 24 minutes, season highs, in each of the last two Greyhound games.


Slowing Leading Scorers

Led by Dylon Cormier, who drew primary guarding responsibility, Loyola held Connecticut standout Shabazz Napier to just four points.

Napier, who was named to the All-American Athletic Conference Preseason First Team, was 2-of-7 from the floor, and 0-of-1 from 3-point range in 33 minutes of action.

The 2012 All-Big East First Team honoree and member of this year’s John Wooden Award watch list entered the Loyola game averaging 16.8 points per game this season. In his next game, December 2 against No. 15 Florida, Napier hit the game-winner as time expired to finish with 26 points.

Loyola also did a solid job defensively on West Virginia’s leading scorers, guard duo Eron Harris and Juwan Staten. Harris finished with 14 after entering with a 21.1 points per game average; Staten scored four, despite averaging 18.1 prior to the contest. Combined the duo shot 6-of-23 from the field.


Strong Start

Eric Laster scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half against Connecticut to lead all scorers at the break.

Laster made 1-of-2 attempts from behind the arc before halftime and also hit all three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt.

After averaging just 5.3 minutes in 27 games last season, he has seen his role expand dramatically this season, starting the first five games on the wing. He tied for the team lead in minutes played (34) at Cornell, and he scored in double figures (10) for the first time as a collegian.

Laster has averaged 8.8 points in Loyola’s first nine contests, and he is shooting 44.8 percent (13-of-29) from 3-point range. In 27 games last year, he averaged just 0.8 points (22 total) and shot 32.3 percent from the field.


From Way Back

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cormier Earns League Honors

Dylon Cormier had a career-high setting opening weekend in the Greyhounds’ victories over Binghamton University and Cornell University, and he was named the Anaconda Sports Patriot League Player of the Week on Monday for his efforts.

He earned the honor again on Monday, November 25, after his 34-point effort in the come-from-behind win at UMBC.


Cormier’s 30+ Point Games

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

He was the first Loyola player to score 30 or more in back-to-back outings since Andre 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.


Jones Breaks Out

Jarred Jones had a career night in the season-opener against Binghamton, recording personal bests in points (22), rebounds (7), field goals made (8), field goal attempts (11) and blocked shots (4).

The sophomore carries Loyola’s offense in the first half when it was otherwise stagnant, scoring nine points in just over five minutes. During that span, Loyola scored just two other points, but a Jones layup at 11:12 closed the Binghamton lead to four.

Jones tied for game-high, and led Loyola, with six offensive rebounds. His boards led to 10 Greyhounds points.

While his offensive production was critical, his four blocked shots were just as important. Jones swatted two Binghamton layups with weak-side help in the final 2:10 of regulation. The first block came in transition, and the second was on a drive from the left side. Both shots would have given Binghamton the lead if not for the blocks.

He followed that game with a 13-point, 7-rebound effort against Cornell.


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.


Meet The Staff

Joining G.G. Smith on the Greyhounds’ bench this season will be assistant coaches Keith Booth, Josh Loeffler and Dan Ficke and director of operations Kevin Farrell.

Booth spent the last two seasons as an assistant women’s coach at Loyola after serving as an assistant to Gary Williams for seven years at the University of Maryland. An All-American and four-time All-ACC player at Maryland, Booth won an NBA Championship with the Chicago Bulls.

Loeffler brings considerable Patriot League experience with four seasons, and two League Championship Game appearances (2010 and 2011), at Lafayette College. He was also the head coach at NCAA Division III school Stevens Institute of Technology from guided the Ducks to a 46-13 record in two seasons and an NCAA Sweet 16 bid in 2007.

Ficke is a graduate and four-year lettermen of Loyola where he also earned his master’s degree. The last three seasons, Ficke has been a member of the staff at Wake Forest University where he was the Special Assistant to the Head Coach and Director of Scouting and Recruiting.

Farrell returns for his second season as the Greyhounds’ director of operations and sixth overall with the program. He was a four-year manager for the team as an undergraduate at Loyola.


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.


New Year, New Coach, New League

In addition to sporting a new coach, Loyola will also be a member of the Patriot League for the first time in 2013-2014. The school announced in August 2012 that it would make the move to the conference, and the move became official on July 1, 2013.

The Greyhounds will compete against American University, fellow Patriot League newcomer Boston University, Bucknell University, Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy.


Preseason Patriot League Picks

Loyola senior guard Dylon Cormier was one of five players named to the Preseason All-Patriot League First Team, an honor shared by Bucknell’s Cameron Ayers, Holy Cross’ Dave Dudzinski, Boston University’s D.J. Irving (player of the year) and Lehigh’s Mackey McKnight.

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


Brito, Laster Spend Summer Overseas

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

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

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


Cormier On The Charts

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


12th 1,427 points
Next Bob Connor, 1,431
Field Goals Made
17th 470 field goals made
Next B.J. Pendleton, 490
3-Pointers Made
16th 91 3-Pt. Made
Next Teron Owens, 92 
Free Throws Made
6th 396 free throws made
Next Maurice Hicks, 412
21st 181 assists
Next Milt Williams, 190
5th 157 steals
Next Kevin Green, 159


Into The Fold

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

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

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


High Marks

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


Up Next

Loyola will play its final regular-season non-conference game of the year on Monday, December 30, at the University of Miami.

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Towson picks up easy win over St. Joe’s

Posted on 27 April 2013 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – Junior John Fennessy, sophomore Max Siskind, and freshman Chris Vetter each scored their first career goal as Towson Lacrosse (8-7, 4-2 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)) claimed a 13-6 victory over Saint Joseph’s (5-11, 1-5 CAA) Saturday evening at Johnny Unitas® Stadium.

Sophomore Greg Cuccinello posted his first career hat trick with a career-high four goals, while juniors Thomas DeNapoli each scored a pair of goals for the Tigers. DeNapoli also dished out a career-high tying three assists in the win. Senior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage recorded 12 saves, including 10 in the second half.

Fennessy opened the scoring at 13:14 with a 65-yard shot that bounced into an empty net after SJU’s Austin Keen left the crease. Almost three minutes later, Cuccinello scored his first goal of the game off an assist from Hodgson. Siskind scored just under a minute later, beating the Hawks’ keeper from just outside the crease. Cuccinello took advantage of a man-up opportunity off a feed from DeNapoli at 5:35 – exactly four minutes after Siskind’s tally. Hodgson gave Towson a 5-0 lead when he shot while falling to the ground and found the back of the net.

Joe McErlean finally got the Hawks on the board 12 seconds into the second quarter. Senior Matt Hughesscored for Towson at 12:59 to push the lead back to five goals before Johnny Simanski posted a goal for St. Joe’s at 3:35. Hodgson gave the Tigers a 7-2 lead with 2:24 remaining in the first half.

The third quarter was quiet offensively. DeNapoli tallied his first goal of the game off a feed from Hodgson at 6:44. The third different Hawk to score for SJU was Williams when he beat Wascavage high left at 4:58. But Cuccinello’s third goal of the game – his first career hat trick – and Vetter’s tally at 1:30 extended the Tigers’ advantage to 10-3.

The Hawks scored back-to-back goals at the start of the fourth frame when Williams added his second and Will Abbott picked up a ground ball off a SJU face-off win, took it down and scored. However, sophomore Cory Dobyns tallied his first goal back after missing two games with an injury when he buried a pass from DeNapoli at 13:00.

Saint Joseph’s continued to hang around. Williams posted a hat trick with a goal at 10:42 to inch the Hawks to within five, 11-6.

Towson next faces Drexel in the CAA Tournament semifinals at Penn State on Wednesday, May 1 at 5:30 p.m.

NOTES: Fennessy, Siskind, and Vetter each scored their first career goals … Hughes scored a goal on Senior Night … Cuccinnello posted his first hat trick …

College Men’s Lacrosse: Saint Joseph 0, Towson 0
Saint Joseph’s (5-10, 1-4 CAA)               0-2-1-0/0
Towson (7-7, 3-2 CAA)                           5-2-3-0/0

GOALS: SJU – Simanski, McErlean; TOW – Hodgson 2, Cuccinello 2, Siskind, Hughes, Fennesy. ASSISTS:SJU – Dougherty; TOW – DeNapoli 2, Hodgson, McCarty. SAVES: SJU – Keen (X, 60:00, X GA); TOW – Wascavage (X, 60:00, X GA). SHOTS: SJU – 15; TOW – 29. GROUND BALLS: SJU – 7; TOW – 11. FACE-OFFS: SJU – 5-11; TOW – 6-11. CLEARS: SJU – 6-9; TOW – 4-4. EMO: SJU – 0-2; TOW 1-1. ATT: 1739.

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Towson wraps regular season Saturday with visit from St. Joe’s

Posted on 26 April 2013 by WNST Staff

Opening Face-Off
With the loss at No. 17 Drexel last weekend, Towson secured the three seed in the 2013 CAA Tournament held at Penn State. Saint Joe’s is coming off a midweek loss to Marist, 14-6. Today’s game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and can be heard live on the Towson Sports Network on www.towsontigers.com with Spiro Morekas and former Tiger midfielder Hunter Lochte calling the action.

Updating the Tigers
Towson’s six-goal tear in the third and fourth quarters couldn’t fully erase a nine-goal run Drexel put together on Saturday as the Tigers fell, 14-11, to the No. 17 Drexel Dragons. Junior Thomas DeNapoli scored six goals and added an assist to lead Towson. Seniors Andrew Wascavage and Jake Graves split time in net.

Scouting the Hawks
Saint Joesph’s is being out-scored by nearly 3.5 goals per game and are just 12-58 in extra-man opportunities. Opponents are winning the ground ball battle 438-361, causing more turnovers (104-88) and taking control at the “X,” winning 169-292 face-offs (.579). The Hawks come into today’s contest on a four-game losing streak. Pat Swanick (22g, 6a), Matthew Sarcona(14g, 5a) and Michael Dougherty (13g, 7a) are the three Hawks in double figures for goals.

Last Time Out vs. Saint Joseph‘s – April 28, 2012
(SJU 6, Towson 3)
Nearly one year ago, Saint Joseph’s used a three-goal third quarter to pull away from Towson and claim a 6-3 win over the Tigers in Philadelphia. Rob ZoppoCarl Iacona and Michael Brashears each scored a goal for Towson.Ryan McGee led all players with a hat trick and one assist for four points.

Towson-Saint Joseph’s Series History
This series is one of the newest in program history, which started in 2011 when the Hawks joined the CAA. The teams have split the series, each winning at home.

Towson-Saint Joseph’s By the Numbers

All-Time Series Record Tied 1-1
at Towson Towson leads, 1-0
at SJU SJU leads, 1-0
at Neutral Sites N/A
at Unknown Sites N/A
First Meeting 2011 – Towson 15, SJU 2
Last Meeting 2012 – SJU 6, Towson 3
Streak SJU +1


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Morgan welcomes St. Joe’s for Saturday showdown

Posted on 04 January 2013 by WNST Staff

Game Dates: Jan. 5, 2013
Opponent: Saint Joseph’s Hawks
Site: Hill Field House, Baltimore, Md.
Game Time: 4 p.m.
MSU Coach: Todd Bozeman (114-92 – 7th yr)
Websites: MorganStateBears.com/SJUHawks.com

BALTIMORE, Md. —  Morgan State will take on the Saint Joseph’s Hawks in a non-conference matchup at Hill Field House in Baltimore, Maryland. MSU will enter the contest to bounce back from a 66-63 loss at San Diego in which junior guard Justin Black paced the Bears with 16 points. MSU will be attempting to snap a four game losing skid. Saint Joseph’s (7-4) recorded a 63-49 decision at Drexel on Dec. 31 in Philadelphia, Pa. C.J. Aiken led the Hawks with 19 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots.

• After opening the season with a 71 point effort in a win against UTSA, the Bears have gone 3-7 while averaging 67 points and 44 percent shooting.

• Morgan State, who shot 67.6 percent from the line last season, continues to have hard times from the stripe … through the first 10 games the Bears are shooting 59 percent (143-242 FT).

• The Bears, who held VMI to 9 of 32 from 3-point range, have allowed an average of 74.1 points and opponents are shooting 33 percent from 3-point territory.

• Morgan State shot a season-high 52.8 percent at South Carolina and a season best 65.0 percent from the stripe, with 11 steals.

• DeWayne Jackson has scored 140 points in 10 games and ranks among the MEAC’s scoring leaders ranked No. 7 (14.0 ppg).

• One area where the Bears haven’t been inconsistent is under the basket. Morgan State ranks No. 3 in the league in total rebounding at 34.9 per game, No. 3 in offensive rebounds at 36.6 and No. 1 in field goal percentage at 45.6.

• Justin Black was just shy of posting a triple-double at Liberty. The junior guard finished with a career-high 12 rebounds to go along with nine points and nine assists … he enters the LMU Holiday Classic game looking to bounce back from a 2 point effort at Virginia.

• DeWayne Jackson is ranked among the top theft artists in school history. Jackson has collected 136 steals with the Bears steals with the Bears and currently ranks No. 5. The school record for career steals is held by Terrence Wright (1992-96) with 186 career steals … Jackson is 52 steals away from becoming the school’s new leader.

Morgan State entered the game with more size than Saint Joseph’s, but it was the Hawks’ quickness that helped hand the Bears a loss on December 28 2011 at Hagan Arena. Saint Joseph’s (10-3) improved to 7-0 at home and head coach Phil Martelli became the school’s all-time coaching leader with 310 wins. The Hawks dominated MSU 81-50 behind Carl Jones’ game-high 16 points and Halil Kanacevic’s 12 assists to go along with eight rebounds, seven blocked shots. MSU connected on just 18 of 70 shots (25.7 percent) and shot 17 percent from 3-point territory, while SJU combined to shoot 33 of 64  (51.6 percent) from the field.  Ian Chiles and freshman guard Blake Bozeman led the Bears with 10 points apiece.

Morgan State is 1-7 vs. the A10 Conference. The Bears fell 81-50 at Saint Joseph’s in the first ever meeting between the teams. MSU holds the following records against the A10: vs. LaSalle 1-3; vs. George Washington 0-1; and 0-1 vs. Xavier.

The Hawks welcome back 12 veterans — five starters — from a squad that posted a 20-14 overall record, finished 5th in the A10 with a 9-7 ledger. Senior guard Carl Jones leads Saint Joseph’s averaging 15.4 points and is shooting 36 percent from 3-point territory. Junior guard Langston Galloway (14.9 ppg) and junior forward C.J. Aiken are also averaging double-figures (12.5 ppg). Head coach Phil Martelli (Widener ’76) enters his 18th season as the Hawks head coach and he currently holds a 327-227 (.590) record.

Morgan State was picked to finish third in the 2012-13 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men’s basketball preseason poll behind Savannah State and Delaware State.

Morgan State senior DeWayne Jackson was selected to the Preseason All-MEAC First Team by the conference head coaches and sports information directors. Junior center Ian Chiles was selected to the Second Team.

Morgan State will face six teams this season that the program has never met in its basketball history. The first time opponents are: UTSA, Old Dominion, Holy Cross, South Carolina, Illinois State and San Diego. The Bears do not see a familiar foe until the Nov. 29 matchup at Liberty (MSU leads, 1-0), their fifth game of the season. The other five opponents MSU previously has played are University of Virginia (trails, 0-1), Loyola Marymount (leads, 2-0), and Saint Joseph’s (trails, 0-1).

DeWayne Jackson is the lone returning senior who saw action for Morgan State last year. There are seven (7) juniors, four (4) sophomores and two (2) freshmen on the Bears roster.

The Bears will look to rebound from last year’s dismal season in which the Bears recorded a 9-20 finish. It marked Todd Bozeman‘s worst season as a head coach, and it was Morgan State’s worst season since going 4-26 in 2005-06.

Morgan State senior DeWayne Jackson was selected to the Preseason All-MEAC First Team by the conference head coaches and sports information directors. Junior center Ian Chiles was selected to the Second Team.

DeWayne Jackson (1,296, 430 rebs., 139 asts) needs 68 points to surpass former teammate Kevin Thompson (1,364 points – 2009-12) to become the school’s No. 11 all-time leading scorer. Jackson is one of three Bears on MSU’s all-time scoring list who have been coached by Todd BozemanKevin Thompson (2009-12) ranks No. 9 (1,487 points) and Reggie Holmes (2007-10) is the school’s all-time scoring leader with 2,051 points.

Morgan State has eight players from the Metropolitan-D.C. area, including one from Baltimore. Senior DeWayne Jackson (Bowie High) and sophomore Blake Bozeman (Solebury Prep) are both from Bowie. Transfer guard Daryl Traynham is from Melwood (Wise High), walk-on Daon Riley is from Severn (Old Mill High), and Cedric Blossom is from Columbia (Montrose Christian). Anthony Hubbard is a product of Woodbridge (Va.), while junior Justin Black attended DeMatha High and Donte Pretlow was a standout at Dunbar High in Baltimore.

Todd Bozeman, now in his seventh season as head coach of the Bears, has an overall win percentage of .553 (114-92) after 204 games at Morgan State. That winning mean is the second highest among 15 head coaches in the history of the Morgan State men’s basketball program. Nathaniel Frazier’s winning percentage of .578 (166-121) is the highest percentage in Morgan State history.

During his tenure in Baltimore, Todd Bozeman has coached seven (7) different players to All-Conference honors, including four Players of the Year selections: Ron Timus (2007 2nd Team), Boubacar Coly (2008 Defensive POTY, 1st Team), Jamar Smith (2008 Offensive POTY, 1st Team), Marquise Kately (2008 & 2009 2nd Team), Reggie Holmes (2007 All-Rookie, 2008 2nd Team, 2009 Offensive POTY, 2009 & 2010 1st Team), Kevin Thompson (2009 All-Rookie, 2010 Defensive POTY, 2010 1st Team, 2011 2nd Team), DeWayne Jackson (Rookie of the Year, 2011 1st Team).

In the first nine games of the season, three Bears average more than 12 points a game. DeWayne Jackson leads with 14.0 points per game.Anthony Hubbard is averaging 13.7 points and 7.2 rebounds on the boards, while Justin Black is averaging 12.8 ppg.

Senior DeWayne Jackson is filling the stat sheet in the early season, averaging 14.0 points (ranked No. 7), 4.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists (ranked No. 12) and 2.4 steals (ranked No. 2) per game. Jackson has also registered eight blocks. He has recorded nine double-digit scoring games, including a season-high 32-point effort at Virginia (Dec. 19).

Junior Justin Black and sophomore Shaquille Duncan are key contributors off the Bears bench. Both are high-energy players with the ability to ignite the team. Black played a big role in Morgan State’s win over Liberty by almost posting a triple-double. He finished the game with 12 rebounds, nine points and nine assists. He currently ranks third on the team in scoring (12.4) and is averaging 4.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 31.8 minutes per game.
Duncan has played in every game, averaging 22.8 minutes per game. He led the Bears to an overtime victory at VMI where he posted a career-high 17 points and 14 rebounds with three blocks. He’s averaging 6.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and ranks No. 4 in the MEAC by averaging 2.3 blocks per game.

The Bears will open the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference schedule when they host the South Carolina State Bulldogs at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12 at Hill Field House.

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