March 3, 2013
BALTIMORE - Erik Etherly scored a career-high 30 points and helped Loyola University Maryland build a 13-point second-half lead and hold off Manhattan College for a 63-61 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory on Sunday afternoon in Reitz Arena.
The win secured a tied for second place in the MAAC regular-season the No. 3 seed in next weekend's MAAC Championships for the Greyhounds (21-10 overall, 12-6 MAAC), and Loyola will face a rematch with sixth-seeded Manhattan (12-17, 9-9) in the MAAC Quarterfinals. The teams will play on Saturday, March 9, at 9:30 p.m. at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass., in a game broadcast on ESPN3.
Etherly made a career-high 11 field goals to score his 30 and become the first Loyola player to hit that plateau since Jamal Barney tallied 30 on February 16, 2009, in a 69-67 loss to Canisius College.
"Erik has battled all year long," Head Coach Jimmy Patsos said. "He has seen a number of defenses, double teams, played through an injury and just battled. Today, he again came through and made plays for us when we need them."
Etherly's day started inauspiciously as he missed his first two layups, and three of his first four, from inside three feet. It picked up quickly, however, as he only missed four times in the game's final 35 minutes.
He gave Loyola its first lead of the game, 12-11, with a layup off a Dylon Cormier assist at 14:10, but Manhattan (12-17, 9-9) would regain the lead shortly thereafter. The score changed hands five times, and the game featured five ties in the first half before Cormier gave the Greyhounds a 32-30 lead with a layup at 4:18.
Etherly scored back-to-back buckets after that to push the advantage to six with 2:27 left before halftime, but Donovan Kates cut it in half with an and-one putback 26 ticks of the clock later.
The teams traded turnovers after Kates' 3-point play before Robert Olson curled to the left side of the perimeter and hit a three following an R.J. Williams feed with 75 seconds remaining, pushing the lead back to six.
Mohamed Koita made two free throws for Manhattan with 30.4 showing, and Loyola took a 39-35 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Etherly scored the first points of the second half, and Emmy Andujar responded with a layup for Manhattan at 17:44, but Loyola scored seven unanswered following that, four on Cormier free throws and a three by Olson in transition after a Williams steal.
Williams had steals on consecutive possessions during the 7-0 run that helped Loyola jump out 48-37 with 16:15 remaining.
Andular momentarily broke the run with another layup, but Ethelry hit two free throws at 14:17, and a Cormier layup pushed Loyola's lead to 13, 52-39, its largest of the game with 13:19 left in regulation.
Manhattan scored the next six points over a three-minute stretch, cutting its deficit to seven with just over 10 minutes left. Etherly, however, converted a traditional 3-point play after being fouled and making the free throw to put the Greyhounds back up by double-digits.
A Rhamel Brown dunk and a Koita three pulled the Jaspers back within five, 55-50, less than a minute after Etherly's 3-point play, but Ethelry put in a layup at 8:47 to stretch it back to seven,
Kotita again was good with a three off a baseline out-of-bounds play at 7:48, and the Jaspers were within four, 57-53.
Neither Loyola, nor Manhattan, scored for the next 3:41 until Olson hit 1-of-2 at the line at 4:07. Andujar made it a one-possession game on Manhattan's next possession, curling around the lane for a layup at 3:55.
The Jaspers came up without points on their next two possession, and Olson again made 1-of-2, and Cormier hit a pair from the line, to put Loyola up 61-55 with 1:50 remaining.
Brown grabbed an offensive rebound for Manhattan off an Andular short-corner miss, and Brown put it back in to pull the Jaspers back within four at 1:24.
Loyola took its time on the ensuing possession, and Anthony Winbush dribbled at the top of the perimeter with less than five seconds on the shot clock. He found Etherly open on the right block, and Etherly put away a dunk with 17.1 on the clock to give Loyola a six-point lead.
In addition to Etherly's 30, Cormier scored 14, and Olson had 10 for Loyola. Cormier led the Greyhounds with seven rebounds, and Olson had a game-high four assists, while Williams led all players with three steals.
Brown led Manhattan with 14 points, and he tied Kates for game-high honors with eight rebounds.