BALTIMORE - Despite a double-double from freshman forward Cam Gregory, Loyola University Maryland (11-18, 7-11) dropped its regular season finale, a 57-47 Patriot League loss to Navy (12-18, 8-10), at Reitz Arena on Saturday afternoon.
With the loss, the Greyhounds will be the number nine seed in the Patriot League Tournament which starts on Tuesday. Loyola will play the eighth-seeded team on the road in the first round. Loyola's opponent will be determined on Saturday afternoon.
The Midshipmen, who could be seeded as high as sixth in the Patriot League Tournament, jumped out to a 7-0 lead against Loyola and never looked back. Navy grabbed its quick lead in the opening two minutes as senior guard Brandon Venturini nailed a three-point basket, the first of Navy's seven three-pointers in the game.
Led by senior forward Worth Smith, who scored 11 first half points, the Mids led by as much as 18 points (27-9) before intermission. The Mids, who shot 52.2 per cent from the floor in the first half, owned a 32-21 lead at halftime.
Loyola opened the second half with a 7-0 run to cut its deficit to 32-28 with 17:20 left in the game. Leading by 41-36, the Mids went on a 10-1 run as Smith scored five points, giving Navy a 51-37 advantage with 9:28 remaining in the game.
Although the Greyhounds allowed just one basket in the final nine minutes, their own shooting problems prevented them from posting a come-from-behind win.
Loyola made only 38.3 percent of its field goal attempts and converted only one of 10 three-point field goal attempts. The Greyhounds also struggled at the free throw line, making only 10 of 20 foul shots.
Gregory, who posted the second double -double of his young career, led Loyola with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He helped the Greyhounds own a 36-27 rebounding advantage. Junior guard Eric Laster added 12 points for Loyola.
Smith was one of three Mids to score in double figures. He made 7 of 14 shots from the floor en route to a game-high 20 point performance. Junior Will Kelly made four of seven field goal attempts and all six free throws as he scored a seasonal high 14 points. Venturini added 11 points for Navy, which swept the season series from Loyola.