Jan. 22, 2011
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. - Sophomore guard Robert Olson scored all 19 of his second-half points over the final 8:22 to lift Loyola to a 75-69 MAAC road win Saturday afternoon at Marist's McCann Center. The win is the Greyhounds' fourth straight and sixth in seven games and moved Loyola into sole possession of third place.
"We weathered the storm and Olson did a good job to carry us at the end," Greyhounds seven-year head coach Jimmy Patsos said after the game. "They [Marist] lost a couple of kids this week and went out and played hard Thursday at Rider and again today. They really competed and gave us all we could handle."
It wasn't headed that direction at halftime as Loyola (10-9, 6-3 MAAC) shot 50 percent (15-30) from the field and held a 23-12 rebounding advantage to grab a 40-28 advantage at the intermission. Junior guard J'hared Hall and freshman guard Justin Drummond each tallied 11 points off the bench in the half as the Greyhounds wiped away an early nine-point deficit with a 27-5 run.
But Marist (4-17, 3-6 MAAC) opened the final 20 minutes by holding Loyola to a single field goal for the first 11:38 and using a 19-4 run to take a 46-44 lead. And that's when the spotlight turned to Olson. Having scored his only points of the game on a steal and layup 96 seconds into the game, he got things started with a three-pointer at the 8:22 mark for a 49-48 Loyola lead.
There would be three ties and three lead changes over the next five minutes before the Greyhounds took the lead for good on two free throws by junior forward Shane Walker coming out of the four-minute timeout. Olson forced a tied ball on the Marist possession and, upon alertly calling timeout, it was Loyola's ball with 2:23 left.
Hall added a conventional three-point play to put the Greyhounds ahead 63-58 with 2:14to play. Marist's Candon Rusin knocked down two free throws three seconds later to return the game to one possession. As they have much of the season late in games with the lead, Loyola used most of the shot clock on its turn with the ball and Hall found Olson on the left wing for a three-pointer with four seconds left to shoot and a 66-60 lead with 100 seconds remaining.
Adam Kemp hit a short jump shot on the Red Foxes' possession to make the score 66-62 score and again the Greyhounds ate clock when they had the ball and called upon Olson. His driving layup extended the lead to 68-62 with 49 seconds remaining.
Marist's Devin Price would score five points around a Loyola free throw to close the gap to 69-67 with 30.4 to play, but following the Red Foxes' final timeout, the Greyhounds inbounded the ball to Olson who was quickly fouled. He converted both free throws, an exercise he would repeat the next two times Loyola got possession to close out the game.
Olson finished with a career-high 21 points, including eight-for-eight from the foul line. Hall ended with 16 and Drummond added 14 as Loyola held a significant 30-6 margin in bench points. Walker picked up two quick second-half fouls after grabbing 10 first-half rebounds and finished with 12 boards and nine points, playing 12 minutes with four fouls before fouling out with 40 seconds remaining.
Marist was led by Dorvell Carter's 16 points and Kemp posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds to go along with four blocks. Price added 14 and nine assists, Sam Prescott chipped in with 11 and Jay Bowie finished with nine as the Red Foxes got 63 of their points out of their five starters.
Loyola returns to action Friday to host Siena in the first half of a two-game home weekend. Iona visits Reitz Arena on January 30 to close out the weekend and the month.