Feb. 3, 2012
BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland held Rider University to just 12 first-half points, going on an 18-0 run that held the Broncs scoreless for more than eight minutes to take control of a 63-46 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory in front of a sellout Reitz Arena crowd and a national television audience on ESPNU.
Rider's 46 points were the fewest Loyola has allowed since a 68-45 victory at Niagara University on February 21, 1992.
The Greyhounds (17-5 overall, 10-2 MAAC) have now held five-straight opponents to 57 or fewer points, a school Division I record. Loyola also extended its best-ever start in Division I to 17-5 with the win (the Greyhounds moved to Division I in 1981-1982).
Robert Olson scored eight of his 14 points during the 18-0 run that took Loyola's 6-5 lead and made it 24-5 when Olson hit his second 3-pointer in three possessions at the 8:44 mark.
"I was proud of our students and fans who represented our program and school so well in front of a national television audience," Head Coach Jimmy Patsos said. "We do not win that game like that without our fans. They were just tremendous."
After Danny Stewart scored for Rider (9-15, 6-6) slowed the Loyola run, the Greyhounds continued to apply the first-half pressure.
Anthony Winbush's short-corner jumper with 2:27 to go extended the advantage to 26, 35-9. Rider managed just three free throws in the last 2:03, and two Cormier free throws and a runner by a sophomore guard with 22 ticks left made the halftime score 39-12.
Loyola, which shot 51.7-percent (15-of-29) from the field in the first half, held Rider to just 13-percent (3-of-23) shooting and five free throws before the break. The Broncs also committed 12 first-half turnovers.
The second half started in opposite fashion to the way the first half was played, with Rider limiting the Greyhounds' scoring.
The Broncs scored the first nine points of the first half, cutting Loyola's lead to 39-23 on a Brandon Penn three less than 4:30 in.
Etherly made 1-of-2 from the line to finally put Loyola on the board in the second half, but Rider then got within 13 on a fast-break layup by Jonathon Thompson with 12:48 left in regulation.
Walker made a pair of free throws under a minute later, and after two Jeff Jones free throws for Rider at 11:38, Loyola scored seven in a row to push its lead back to 20, 49-29, on two Cormier shots from the charity stripe with 9:35 left.
Etherly again went 1-of-2 at the line, and the Olson knocked down the Greyhounds' first two field goals of the second half, finding the soft spot in the Broncs' zone at the free-throw line, at 10:43 and 9:55.
"When we needed them to be, Erik Etherly and Robert Olson were the best players on the court in the second half," Patsos said. "We needed to run more offense (early in the second half), and that is on me, but then Erik and Bobby really took over for a few minutes."
The Greyhounds would lead by as many as 23 in the second half, and Rider drew no closer than 13.
Stewart was the only Rider player in double-figures, recording a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Rider shot 30.6-percent (15-of-49) from the field in the game, the lowest by a Greyhounds' opponent this season by more than seven percentage points. The Broncs were also just 2-of-18 from 3-point range.
The sellout was the first in Reitz Arena since the Greyhounds packed the gym on November 14, 2008, in a season-opening loss to Mount St. Mary's.
Loyola is back in action on Super Bowl Sunday when it takes on Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, N.J. Game time is now scheduled for 12 noon.