WORCESTER, Mass. - Jarred Jones and Andre Walker combined to score 21-straight Loyola University Maryland points during the second half, and the Greyhounds shot a season-best 57.7 percent from the field to beat host College of the Holy Cross, 71-54.
Jones finished with game-highs of 22 points, eight rebounds and four steals; Walker added 15 points, 11 coming after halftime, and three assists.
A Jones basket in the paint 1:57 into the second half started the stretch where the two shouldered the scoring load, and a Walker 3-point play with a layup and free throw 25 seconds later pushed the Greyhounds’ advantage to 18, 46-28.
Holy Cross (8-12 overall, 3-6 Patriot League), however, scored 14 of the next 16 points to get within six, 48-42, on a Robert Champion three with 12:56 left in regulation.
Coming out of a Loyola timeout, Walker knocked down a 12-foot pull-up jumper, and he scored on Loyola’s next possession to put the lead back in double figures.
Karl Charles, who led the Crusaders with 17 points, found room in the pain to score, but Walker came back with a pair of free throws to make it 54-44 Loyola.
Holy Cross had one more run in it, but this was limited to five in a row as Jehyve Floyd scored in the paint and Malachi Alexander knocked down a three from the left side to cut the Crusaders’ deficit to five, 54-49, with 9:10 left.
On Loyola’s next possession, Jones caught a Tyler Hubbard pass and scored to stop the mini-run, and Loyola forced a missed three by Alexander on Holy Cross’ offensive end. With the shot clock winding down, Hubbard missed a driving layup, but Jones was there to tip in the putback at 8:05.
Franz Rassman pulled down the defensive rebound after a missed Pat Benzan three for Holy Cross, and Jones converted again for Loyola to stretch the lead back to 11, 60-49, at 7:25.
Neither Loyola (5-13, 4-4), nor the Crusaders would score for nearly three minutes until Jones used a Chancellor Barnard pass to score inside at 4:31. Loyola’s lead was then 13, and it would stay at 11 or more for the remainder of the game.
Jones, who scored Loyola’s first six points of the game before being limited to just six first-half minutes due to a pair of fouls, finished 10-of-14 from the field; he scored his 22 in the same number of minutes. Rassman was 5-of-7 with 10 points, and Walker made 6-of-10.
Loyola’s 57.7 percent mark from the field eclipsed the 52.5 percent it shot in November at Saint Bonaventure University. It was also the Greyhounds’ best percentage from the field in more than three years since they shot 60.4 in a Jan. 17, 2013, win over Marist College.
Meanwhile, the Greyhounds held Holy Cross to just 38.3 percent from the field. The Crusaders led for just 63 seconds in the first half.
Loyola took the lead for good with an Eric Laster putback at 12:57 in the first half. Holy Cross drew within three, 25-22, on a Champion layup at 6:11, but the Greyhounds held them to just two points for the remainder of the half, going on a 14-2 run to lead 39-24 at the break.
The Greyhounds return to Reitz Arena for their next two contests, starting with a 7 p.m. game on Saturday, Jan. 30, against Lafayette College.