Men's Basketball Rallies Past Navy In First-Ever Patriot League Tilt

Jan. 2, 2014

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BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland trailed the U.S. Naval Academy, 47-34, with 5:16 to play in regulation on Thursday night, btu the Greyhounds used an 18-5 run to tie the score and force overtime, and Loyola defeated the visiting Midshipmen, 63-57, in Patriot League action.

The win was the Greyhounds' first in the League they joined on July 1, 2013 after spending the last 24 years in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Dylon Cormier finished with a game-high 20 points, making 12-of-12 from the free-throw line. His free-throw performance was the fifth best in school history.

Thurgood Wynn hit a 3-pointer for Navy (5-7, 0-1 Patriot League) from the left corner with 5:16 left, giving the Midshipmen a 13-point advantage.

Jarred Jones started the Loyola (6-6, 1-0) run on the next possession as his layup rattled in, and he made a free throw after being fouled.

Jones converted in transition after a Cormier steal, pulling Loyola within eight with 4:55 left. Navy went back up by double digits hen Earl McLaurin made two free throws 12 seconds later, but Denzel Brito converted two at the line Loyola's next trip down the court.

R.J. Williams forced a McLaurin turnover on the inbound play, and Williams drove the right side, making a layup and drawing a foul at 4:09. His free throw cut the Navy lead to five, 49-44.

Williams had steals on two of Navy's next three possessions, but Loyola managed only a pair of points out of the turnovers, a Cormier layup at 2:28.

After a Loyola timeout, Jones came up with a steal for Loyola, and Cormier was fouled in the lane, making two free throws at 1:55 to pull the Greyhounds within a point.

Cormier forced another turnover by way of a steal - Loyola had a season-high 15 steals in the game - but he turned it over himself when he was whistled for a charge at the offensive end.

Brandon Venturini, who had 11 points for the Midshipmen, turned the charge into a Navy layup at 1:23. After another Loyola turnover, McLaurin made 1-of-2 at the line with 61 ticks on the second-half clock to put the Midshipmen up four, 52-48.

Brito made a runner down the left side with 44 seconds left, and Eric Laster had a block on the defensive end on a Venturini shot, keeping Loyola within a pair.

Loyola brought the ball across halfcourt, and Head Coach G.G. Smith called a timeout with 12.8 seconds left. Laster inbounded the ball from the bench side, finding Jones in the paint. Jones caught the ball off-balance, but an onrushing Venturini fouled him, sending the sophomore to the free-throw line for two shots, fouled him.

Jones hit both free throws with 11.0 remaining, knotting the score at 52-52, and a McLaurin shot went off course with less than three seconds left, sending the game to overtime.

Venturini gave Navy the first lead of overtime with an 18-foot jumper 50 seconds into the period, but Cormier picked up a loose ball under Loyola's basket and laid it in to tie the score at 54-54.

The teams traded pairs of free throws before two by Cormier put Loyola in front, 58-56, with 1:52 on the clock.

Navy got the offensive rebound off a missed 3-pointer, but the Midshipment turned it over with 1:10 remaining in overtime.

Brito stepped up for an open look at a three form the top of the perimeter, and he hit his first from behind the arc since December 2, pushing the Greyhounds' lead to 61-56.

McLaurin made 1-of-2 at the line to briefly get Navy within four, but Jones sealed the win with two free throws in the waning seconds.

Loyola forced 23 Navy turnovers in the game, 15 off steals. The 15 steals are tied for 12th most in school single-game history. Three Greyhounds - Jones (five), Cormier and Williams (four each) - had four or more steals.

The Greyhounds also blocked seven shots, led by Jordan Latham's career-high tying four.

In addition to Cormier's 20 points, Jones scored nine, and Brito, Laster and Williams each had seven.

Wynn finished with 15 for the Midshipmen, and Venturini had 11.

Loyola plays its first-ever Patriot League road game on Sunday, January 5, at the U.S. Military Academy. Tip-off is slated for 2 o'clock in West Point, N.Y.