Feb. 7, 2011
Albany, N.Y. - Freshman guard Justin Drummond connected on back-to-back three-pointers to ignite a 12-0 run and five Greyhounds scored in double figures to carry Loyola to a 76-69 MAAC road win over Siena Monday night at the Times Union Center.
After Siena used a 15-2 run to take a 58-50 lead with 12:10 remaining, the Greyhounds went on the attack. Loyola (12-11, 8-5 MAAC) scored nine straights points over the next 3:22 to take a 59-58 lead on two free throws by junior guard J'hared Hall. The game of runs continued as the Saints tallied seven of the next nine for a 65-61 lead with 5:13 to play.
Drummond's first three-pointer pulled the Greyhounds within one and a minute later, he gave Loyola the lead for good with his third three-pointer of the game to make the score 67-65 with 3:49 remaining. When sophomore forward Erik Etherly stole the ball in the Siena backcourt and beat the Saints defenders up the floor for a dunk, the Greyhounds led by four points and Siena would not get any closer.
Loyola converted four straight free throws with under 40 seconds to play and junior forward Shane Walker sealed the game with a dunk when the Siena defense lost him when attempting to foul and force the Greyhounds back at the free-throw line.
"This was a lucky win for us," Greyhounds seventh-year head coach Jimmy Patsos said following the victory. "Justin Drummond stepped up and made those two big threes. We called a play and Brian Rudolph threw it back to him both times and he made those threes. It was a good win for our program."
Both teams tried to gain control of a first half that featured six lead changes and five ties. A Drummond steal and Etherly layup gave the Greyhounds a 40-39 edge at the intermission. Two more lead changes opened the second half before Loyola scored eight straight for a 48-43 lead 3:12 into the second half. That's when Siena (10-13, 7-6 MAAC) went on its 15-2 run for its largest lead of the game.
Balanced scoring was again the formula for Loyola. That, and 57.9 percent shooting (11-19) in the second half. Etherly and sophomore guard Robert Olson each led the team with 15 points and Etherly added a career-high five blocked shots. Drummond and Walker each scored 13 and Hall added 11 off the bench.
The Greyhounds needed that balanced scoring to offset the effort of the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Ryan Rossiter. On the night he became the school's all-time leading rebounder, he posted game-highs with 23 points and 20 rebounds to go along with five assists. OD Anosike added 13 points and Rakeem Brookins scored 11, all coming in the first half. The freshman guard was unable to take the floor in the second half after a hard collision late in the half. The Saints had a large advantage off the boards, 42-22, but Loyola doubled the trips to the free-throw line, 21-10.
Loyola opens a three-game home stand Friday when it hosts Niagara at 7 o'clock in Reitz Arena.