Jan. 22, 2012
BALTIMORE - Erik Etherly scored 13 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 19 points, leading Loyola University Maryland to a 65-54 win on Sunday afternoon over Saint Peter's College in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action in Reitz Arena.
Robert Olson added 15 points for the Greyhounds (14-5 overall, 7-2 MAAC), 10 coming in the second half, marking his fifth-straight game with 15 or more points.
The win is the Greyhounds' second in a row after defeating Siena on Thursday night. Their 14-5 record is the best in program history since joining NCAA Division I in 1981-1982, and the 7-2 start in the MAAC matches their best in their 23rd year in the league.
Saint Peter's (4-16, 3-6) led for a 13-minute stretch in the first half before back-to-back Etherly layups put Loyola ahead 24-20 with 5:39 left before the break, forcing the defending MAAC champions to call a timeout.
Both of Etherly's baskets were assisted by Anthony Winbush who finished with a career-high five assists to go with a season-best nine points.
Loyola continued to pump the ball inside to Etherly who grabbed an offensive rebound off a misfired Greyhounds three and dunked the follow-up to make it a five-point lead at 4:59.
He then made 5-of-6 free throws over the next 3:13, wrapped around a pair by Winbush from the free-throw line that gave the Greyhounds a 33-25 lead with less than two minutes in the frame.
Justin Drummond's layup in the paint with 48 seconds left put a cap on Loyola's 20-6 run that covered more than eight minutes and finished with the Greyhounds up by double digits, 35-25.
The Greyhounds continued to push their advantage early in the second half, scoring nine of the half's first 11 points to lead 45-29 when Dylon Cormier sliced down the left side of the lane, made a twisting layup, was fouled and made the ensuing free throw at the 15:57 mark.
Less than three minutes later, two Drummond free throws extended the lead to 19, the largest of the game for Loyola.
Saint Peter's cut its deficit to 10 on two Darius Conley free throws with 9:30 to play, but that was as close as the Peacocks would draw.
"The best thing that happened this week was that last Sunday, no one on our bus was happy," Head Coach Jimmy Patsos said, alluding to the mood after the Greyhounds dropped a MAAC game at Iona after leading at halftime.
"I thought we had a very professional attitude in practice this week, and we prepared well for Siena and Saint Peter's, and then we came out and did what we had to in order to win. `Man' Winbush, as it shows with his five assists today, has done all of those little things that basketball people appreciate, and he was a big part of getting the ball in to Erik who also had a good game in the post."
Winbush's nine points came on the heels of matching his previous season-high of eight on Thursday night against Siena. His five assists bettered his previous career-best of four that he accumulated twice, last coming in December 2009.
Julius Brooks had one of his best games of the season off the bench, playing a season-high 14 minutes while recording highs in points (5) and rebounds (6). Four of Brooks' rebounds were on the offensive glass, helping Loyola outrebound the Peacocks, 33-21, and 14-8 on the offensive boards.
Loyola is back in action with a pair of road games next weekend in the Western New York area. The Greyhounds play at Niagara University on Friday, January 27, at 7 p.m., followed by a 2:15 p.m. contest on Sunday, January 29, at Canisius College.