Jan. 2, 2010
BALTIMORE - Loyola shot 51.6 percent (16-31) in the first half and built a 20-point lead prior to intermission and then used its defense late to hold on for a 68-66 MAAC home win over Rider Saturday afternoon at Reitz Arena. The victory was the fourth straight for the Greyhounds and fourth in four home games this season.
Senior guard Brett Harvey scored 15 of his team-high 21 points in the first 13 minutes of the game and sparked a stretch of 14 straight Loyola points with three straight baskets as the Greyhounds continued their first-half dominance during the four-game winning streak by holding a 46-29 intermission lead. The 14-point run gave Loyola a 37-17 lead with 5:34 left until the half.
But Rider would answer to outscore the Greyhounds 39-18 over the next 18 minutes to take its only lead of the game at 56-55 on a Mike Ringgold offensive put-back with 6:59 remaining. Loyola would retake the lead on its next possession as Harvey was fouled with seconds remaining on the shot clock and converted both free throws. Another pair of Harvey free throws book-ended two layups from junior guard Jamal Barney and ended eight straight Greyhounds points for a 63-56 lead with four minutes left.
The Broncs chipped away at the deficit for the final four minutes and got within two points on another Ringgold offensive put-back with 55 seconds remaining. Loyola would down the game and shot clock on the ensuing possession as Rider opted not to foul. A shot clock violation gave the Broncs the ball with 18 ticks left and they put it in the hands of MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Ryan Thompson.
Thompson worked from the left side and drove the baseline. He ran into stout Loyola defense and threw up a wild shot from underneath the basket. The ball was tipped away from the basket and into the hands of sophomore forward Anthony Winbush, who after a couple of dribbles, threw it ahead to freshman forward Julius Brooks who ran out the clock.
The final play summarized Thompson's day as he finished shooting one-for-10 from the field with his only field goal coming with 99 seconds remaining and his team down six points. He did manage to get to the line 13 times, missing only his last try following that lone field goal and ended his day with 14 points.
After Harvey's 21-point outing, Winbush led three other players in double figures with a dozen points and a team-high seven rebounds. He also was the primary defender on Thompson for much of the game. Barney added 11 points with a season-high five assists and five rebounds and sophomore forward Shane Walker scored 10 points with six boards, three assists and two blocked shots.
Ringgold matched Harvey for game-high honors with 21 points, scoring nine field goals with six offensive rebounds among his team-high eight boards. Justin Robinson added 12 points and Novar Gadson chipped in with 10.
Loyola remains in conference play Monday night when it hosts two-time defending champion Siena at 7 o'clock.