BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland made 10 first-half 3-pointers, and the Greyhounds hit 71.4 percent of their shots before halftime, but College of Holy Cross’ tightened its defense after the break and defeated Loyola, 72-67, Tuesday night in the Patriot League Championships First Round.
Loyola hit 10-of-13 threes in the first half, one shy of their season-high for an entire game, and the 71.4 percent mark from the field was its best in a half since shooting the same percentage in the second half of a Feb. 19, 2012, game against Boston University.
The game’s first 18 points were all scored on threes, and one by Tyler Hubbard with 15:52 to play in the first half made it a 12-6 Greyhounds lead.
An Andre Walker three 4:10 later made it a 10-point Loyola advantage. Malachi Alexander scored in the paint for Holy Cross (11-19 overall) on its next possession, but Cam Gregory tallied a pair for the Greyhounds to put the lead back at 10, 23-13.
The Crusaders, however, went on an 8-0 run that saw them get within two on a traditional 3-point play by Alexander at 7:42.
Hubbard knocked down a three for Loyola on its offensive end, and an Eric Laster three at 5:37 sent the advantage up to seven, 32-25.
From there, though, Holy Cross would score 18 of the final 29 in the second half, and a Karl Charles three just before the first-half horn tied the score at 43-43.
Loyola (9-21) built a five-point lead 4:48 into the second half on a Matt Staubi three, but Holy Cross scored the next 10 points to turn its deficit into a 55-50 lead on two Charles free throws at 9:55.
The Crusaders built the lead to as many as eight, but Loyola would chip away in the final minutes.
Staubi made threes on consecutive possession for Loyola. The first came with 1:42 left to get Loyola within one, and his second with 53 ticks left in regulation tied the score at 67-67.
Holy Cross used nearly all of the shot clock on its ensuing possession, and Anthony Thompson made a three for his only points of the night with nine seconds left to put Holy Cross up for good.
Staubi finished with career-highs of 12 points and four 3-pointers made for the Greyhounds, while Laster tallied 17 points and Walker had 14. Walker also had a career-high nine assists for Loyola.
Hubbard scored 10, and his three 3-poitners in the game gave him sole possession of third all-time at Loyola with 189 in his career.
Alexander and Charles scored 24 and 23 points, respectively, to lead Holy Cross.
The Greyhounds’ 13 made 3-pointers in the game are tied for fourth-most in school single-game history.
The Crusaders move on to face regular-season champion Bucknell on Thursday in the Patriot League Quarterfinals, while the Greyhounds season is completed