Dec. 3, 2011
ALBANY, N.Y. - Loyola University Maryland jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the game's first five minutes, and the Greyhounds moved to 2-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the first time in 23 seasons in the league with a 66-59 victory over host Siena College on Saturday night.
The Greyhounds' 6-1 start to the season is the best in school Division I history (since 1981-1982), improving on the 5-1 mark during the 2005-2006 season.
Cormier scored 15 points in the first half, knocking down his final field goal of the first half with a three at 6:38 to put the Greyhounds (6-1 ovearll, 2-0 MAAC) up 30-17.
The Saints (2-5, 0-2) scored the game's first basket 16 seconds in, but then Walker knocked down a three from the top of the perimeter, igniting a 13-0 Loyola run that would stretch to 16-1 on Cormier's second three of the night at 13:48.
After Siena made it a 10-point game on two occasions, Cormier answered, first with a traditional 3-point play at 7:46 and later with a trey at 6:38.
Justin Drummond made a jumper with 15:11 to go in the second half, giving the Greyhounds another 13-point advantage, 39-26, but Siena went on a 7-0 run of its own.
Evan Hymes, who had a team-high 21 points for the Saints, made a pair of free throws, and Davonte Beard knocked down a three before O.D. Anosike scored in the paint, closing Siena within two possessions, 39-33, with 12:23 to play.
Cormier answered quickly for Loyola, taking a Walker pass and knocking down a three 12 ticks later to put Loyola back up by nine.
Hymes made a three for Siena two possessions later, cutting it to six again with 11:26 to play, but following an Erik Etherly steal, one of Loyola's 19 on the night, Robert Olson sliced to the basket and scored for the Greyhounds.
Minutes later, after empty possession on both ends of the floor, Hymes tipped-in a missed shot to pull the Saints back within six, 46-40, but Anthony Winbush drove into the paint and kicked to an open R.J. Williams who knocked down a three 20 seconds later, at 7:49, for Loyola.
Loyola built its advantage back to double digits on its next possession and kept it at seven or more for the next few minutes. Rob Poole made a pull-up jumper, however, for Siena at 2:22 to cut their deficit to 58-52.
On the ensuing possession, Cormier missed a layup, but he got his own rebounds and laid it in with 85 seconds on the clock. He was fouled on the play, missed the free throw, but he battled four Siena players to grab the rebound for Loyola, virtually sealing the game.
Olson made 4-of-4 free throws, and Williams added another, in the last minute for Loyola.
Etherly added 11 points, and Olson scored 10, for the Greyhounds. Williams tallied six points to go with four assists and a career-high five steals. The Greyhounds caused 20 Siena turnovers, and their 19 steals
R.J. Williams scored six, had four assists and a career-high five steals. Drummond finished with seven points.
Loyola caused 20 Siena turnovers, and the 19 steals were the second-most in school single-game history, just one off the record of 20 set on February 28, 1996, against St. Mary's.
In addition to Williams' five, Etherly, Cormier and Olson each had three, and Walker had two.
Hymes finished with 21 for Siena, while Anosike had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
The Greyhounds return to play on Wednesday night when they play at George Washington University at 7 o'clock.