NEW YORK - Eric Laster grabbed an offensive rebound at the free-throw line, turned and swished a 17-footer as the buzzer sounded to give Loyola University Maryland a 64-62 road win at Columbia University on Tuesday night.
The Lions (4-2 overall) tied the game on an Isaac Cohen three from the left side, his first 3-pointer of the season on just his third attempt, and Columbia called its last timeout with 27.2 seconds remaining in regulation.
Loyola (3-4) had three timeouts remaining and used two of them, the final with 6.6 ticks on the clock. Andre Walker took the inbound pass, drove into the lane and put up a floater that was blocked by Maodo Lo.
Laster, however, grabbed the loose ball and hit the game-winner. It was the only field goal of the game for the Loyola guard who entered the game as the Greyhounds' leading scorer at 14.4 points per game.
Franz Rassman led Loyola with a career-high 16 points, making 7-of-10 field goals. He also had a team-high seven rebounds.
Walker, a freshman making a return to the city where he played high school basketball, added 14, and Tyler Hubbard scored 12. Nick Gorski came up big off the bench for Loyola, scoring a career-best 11 points.
Lo scored 22 to lead the Lions, and Kyle Castlin had 13.
Loyola took a 35-32 lead into the locker room at halftime, but Columbia cut it to one, 39-38, on a traditional 3-point play by Cory Osetkowski.
The Greyhounds pushed their advantage up to seven, 49-42, on a Tyler Hubbard three with 12:20 left in regulation, but that was the last field goal Loyola would score for more than seven minutes.
Columbia, which had won 17 of its last 21 games at Levien Gymnasium, scored the next six points, making it a one-point game on a Lo layup with 8:27 on the clock.
Loyola's defense slowed the Lions after that, not allowing them a point for exactly four minutes, and the Greyhounds hit five free throws, and Rassman made a reverse layup off a pass by Chancellor Barnard with 4:53 remaining.
Denzel Brito, who had eight points, five assists and four rebounds, drove baseline left and scored off the glass with 2:40 left, giving the Greyhounds their largest lead of the game, 60-51.
Kyle Castlin responded with a Columbia layup 23 ticks later, but Walker hit two free throws with 1:50 to go, pushing the advantage back to nine.
Steve Frankowski hit a three for Columbia nine seconds later, and Loyola coughed up the ball on its next possession. Lo made a layup and was fouled at 1:17. His free throw cut the Greyhounds' lead to three, 62-59.
Loyola shot a season-best 47.9 percent from the field and made 5-of-10 3-point attempts. The Greyhounds were the first team to shoot better than 41.1 percent from the field and score more than 57 points against Columbia. Rassman's 16 were also the most the Lions have yielded to an opposing player this year.
The Greyhounds return to Reitz Arena on Saturday for the 170th meeting between Loyola and Mount St. Mary's University. The Greyhounds host the Mountaineers on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. in a game that will air live on MASN.