Nov. 17, 2012
UNCASVILLE, Conn. - Robert Olson hit two 3-pointers during a 12-1 Loyola University Maryland first-half run, and the Greyhounds built a double-digit lead before the break in a 65-49 win over Norfolk State in the first game of the Basketball Hall Of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Loyola will play the winner of the University of Albany and the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Sunday in the Springfield Bracket Championship Game at 2 o'clock.
Dylon Cormier led the Greyhounds (3-1 overall) with a game-high 19 points, making seven of his 11 shots from the field. Erik Etherly scored 12 and had a game-best nine rebounds, while Olson and Tyler Hubbard each knocked down three 3-pointers en route to 11 a piece.
Defensively, Loyola held Norfolk State (2-2) to 35.8-percent from the field and forced 19 turnovers.
"This was a very good win for us. Norfolk State is a team that won a game in the NCAA Tournament last year, and they know what it takes to be successful," Loyola Head Coach Jimmy Patsos said. "We got a run going, and then we were able to withstand their comebacks.
"The Hall of Fame and the MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) do a great job of putting this tournament on, and we are very happy to be a part of it."
Norfolk State led 18-17 after the second of two Malcolm Hawkins free throws at 9:03, but Olson hit a three after a Loyola offensive rebound to put Loyola up two with 7:54 left in the first half. Another multiple shot possession for Loyola after an Anthony Winbush steal led to another Olson three, pushing the advantage to seven.
After the Spartans, who made the NCAA Tournament last season and scored a second round win over the University of Missouri, made 1-of-2 at the line, a Cormier jumper and an Etherly layup made it 29-19 with 4:08 on the clock.
Norfolk State, however, scored the next five points, and a Pendarvis Williams three at 3:11 made it 29-24 with just over three minutes to go in the half.
From there, however, Cormier made three free throws, Hubbard scored five and the Greyhounds held the Spartans scoreless for the rest of the half to lead 37-24 at intermission.
Norfolk State got its deficit to seven, 44-37, on a putback by Brandon Goode at 13:16, but that is as close as it would get in the second period.
Hubbard knocked down a three for Loyola just 22 seconds after Goode's layup and Loyola was up by 10 or more the rest of the game.
Williams scored 14 to lead Norfolk State, while Rashid Gaston had11 points and a team-best eight rebounds.
Of the 19 Norfolk State turnovers, 11 came by virtue of Greyhounds' steals. Winbush and Olson each had three, while Cormier nabbed two. Etherly and Jordan Latham both blocked three shots, and Jarred Jones swatted two. Olson led Loyola with three assists.