BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh University took a two-point lead for one possession of Saturday's game, but Loyola University Maryland made all of its free throws and held off the Mountain Hawks for a 65-60 Patriot League win at Stabler Arena.
Loyola made all 12 of its free throws in the game, marking just the third time in school history that the Greyhounds have been perfect at the line with nine or more attempts. It stands as the second-best performance behind a 2009 game at Rider University when they made 14-of-14.
A Tim Kempton layup with 6:51 left in regulation gave Lehigh (7-8 overall, 1-3 Patriot League) a 50-48 lead, but an unusual sequence put Loyola (6-9, 2-2) in front by four just under two minutes later, an advantage they would hold for the remainder of the game to cap their second-straight victory.
After neither the Mountain Hawks, nor Greyhounds could score on each of their next two possessions, Andre Walker hit a top-of-the perimeter three with 4:57 on the clock. As he left his feet, an away-from-the-ball foul was whistled, giving Loyola another possession.
Twenty-one seconds after he made the first three, Walker drained another to give Loyola a 54-50 advantage.
Lehigh drew within two 22 ticks later on two Kahron Ross free throws, but Eric Laster knocked down a three from the left side at 3:53, stretching it back to a five-point Loyola lead.
After Laster's three, Justin Goldsborough scored in the paint to make it a 57-54 Loyola lead at 3:31. Loyola came up empty on its next possession, but a Mountain Hawks offensive foul gave the ball back to the Greyhounds.
Denzel Brito missed a jumper, but he grabbed his own rebound and was fouled on a putback attempt. Brito made both free throws, and Loyola led five, 59-54, with 1:29 left.
The Greyhounds were 12-of-12 from the free-throw line in the game after entering the contest last in the conference with a 65.3 percent clip from the stripe.
Loyola tipped a ball out of bounds under the basket on Lehigh's ensuing possession, and after a Mountain Hawks' timeout, Austin Price found himself along from the top right of the three-point arc and knocked down a trey to pull Lehigh within two.
Brito and Gregory both missed shots inside five feet on the Greyhounds' offensive end, but Brito tipped in Gregory's miss to make it a 61-57 Loyola advantage.
Price misfired on a three for Lehigh, but he got his own rebound, and Stefan Cvrkalj made one to cut the lead to one, 61-60, with 15 seconds on the clock.
Walker was fouled on for Loyola and made both foul shots, and then a backcourt violation was called against Lehigh, giving possession back to the Greyhounds with under six seconds left in regulation.
Brito threw an arching pass to Laster near halfcourt that Laster pulled out of the air and was fouled. He knocked down both free throws to seal the win.
Four Lehigh players scored in double figures led by Kempton's 14. Goldsborough and Kahron Ross each had 11, and Price tallied 10.
Brito had another solid overall game for the Greyhounds, tallying all seven of his points in the second half. He grabbed a career-best eight rebounds and had five assists with just a single turnover.
Loyola had a season-high 18 assists on 22 made baskets. Franz Rassman, Hubbard and Laster each had three, in addition to Brito's five.
The Greyhounds led by as many as 16 in the first half as they were 5-of-7 from 3-point range before the break. Hubbard made all four of his 3-point attempts in the frame and scored 16 points prior to intermission.
Lehigh got within 10 before halftime, 33-23, and the Mountain Hawks then cut it to three, 35-32, 4:18 into the second half on a three by Ross.
Loyola continues its Patriot League road swing with a second game in four days in the Lehigh Valley. The Greyhounds play at Lafayette College on Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m.