BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland men's basketball had one of its best shooting performances of the season, and the Greyhounds held College of the Holy Cross to just 30.8 percent from the field in a 64-54 Patriot League victory Thursday night in Reitz Arena.
Andre Walker led the Greyhounds (8-12 overall, 4-5 Patriot League) with 14 points, while Tyler Hubbard and Eric Laster scored 13 and 11, respectively, in a game that was delayed a day due to the effects of Winter Storm Juno in Holy Cross' New England region.
Loyola shot 46.8 percent from the field, 50 percent in the second half, its third-best shooting performance of the season. The Greyhounds did commit 18 turnovers, but they limited Holy Cross (8-11, 3-6) to 17 points off the miscues.
The Greyhounds also had their best rebounding performance of the season, outdoing the Crusaders on the boards by 18, 43-25. Cam Gregory led all players with 10 rebounds, the fifth double-digit output of his young career. Four others had five or more rebounds; Franz Rassman grabbed six, while Walker, Chancellor Barnard and Denzel Brito each had five.
In the game's first 17 minutes, the lead changed hands twice, and Holy Cross tied it for a third time on two Anthony Thompson free throws at 3:33, but the Greyhounds closed the half on an 8-0 run to take a 26-18 lead into the locker room.
Hubbard and Walker did all of the scoring during the stretch with the former tallying five and the latter, three.
Holy Cross' Malcolm Miller hit a 3-pointer 11 seconds into the second half from the top of the perimeter to momentarily set a tone for the Crusaders, but Laster responded with a three of his own from the left wing 30 ticks of the clock later.
Laster would score seven in a row after Miller's basket, grabbing a steal in full-court pressure and scoring on a layup and grabbing an offensive rebound off his own miss and scoring.
Miller scored to stop Laster's run, but Laster came back with a pull-up jumper from the left side at 17:24. Matt Husek connected for Holy Cross on its offensive end, but Chancellor Barnard took a Walker and scored in the paint to make it 37-25 Loyola with 16:36 left in regulation.
Holy Cross cut its deficit to six on two Malachi Alexander free throws at 12:58, but a Hubbard three sparked a 9-2 Greyhounds run that put them up 47-37 at 9:28 on a Nick Gorski hook shot.
The Crusaders did not go quietly, however, scoring seven of the next eight points. They trailed four, 48-44, at 5:52 after Miller made 1-of-2 at the line.
Over the next 1:45, however, Loyola scored six unanswered to built its lead back to double-digits, 54-44, on a Barnard offensive rebound and putback at 4:07.
Miller, who had a game-high 21 points and was Holy Cross' only player in double figures, knocked down a three 19 ticks later to score the first three of a 7-0 stretch for the Crusaders. Miller made two foul shots with 2:16 remaining, and it was a one-possession game in Loyola's favor, 54-51.
On the Greyhounds' next possession, Hubbard broke down the defense with a drive from the right side and found Gregory with a pass under the basket. Gregory laid it in to push the margin to five, and after Miller missed a three on Holy Cross' next trip down the court, Denzel Brito was fouled with 60 seconds remaining.
He hit both free throws in that trip to the line and was good on all six of his attempts in the last minute to secure the win.
The win moved Loyola into a six-way tie for fourth place in the Patriot League through the end of the conference slate's first half. The Greyhounds start the second half of its League schedule on Saturday, Jan. 31, when it travels to West Point, New York, to face the U.S. Military Academy at 3 o'clock.