Dec. 5, 2012
BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland trailed by 10 points with 4:13 to play in regulation, but the Greyhounds came back to tie the score with less than two minutes on the clock, only to see Niagara University pull away for a 61-60 victory on Monday in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action.
Two Juan'ya Green free throws with 4:13 on the clock gave the Purple Eagles (3-5 overall, 1-1 MAAC) a 56-46 lead, but Loyola (7-3, 0-1) cut its deficit to six in just two possessions after a Robert Olson 3-pointer and a Dylon Cormier free throw.
Niagara again went up by eight, 58-50, on two Antoine Mason free throws at 2:25, but Tyler Hubbard was fouled on a 3-point attempt at the Greyhounds' offensive end, and he made all three a the line to cut the deficit to 58-53.
Loyola pressed the Purple Eagles on the inbound pass, and Franz Rassman came up with a steal near halfcourt and was fouled just one second after Hubbard free throws.
Rassman made the first free throw, but his second came off the rim no good. Hubbard tipped the rebound, and Rassman controlled it, and the freshman went to the basket down the right side of the lane.
He laid in the ball, was fouled and made the free throw for the conventional 3-point play at 2:02, pulling the Greyhounds within a point, 58-57.
Green lost his handle on the ball on the defensive end, and Olson was the first to dive on the floor for Loyola, and a scrum with nearly all 10 players on the court ensued near the midcourt line. Hubbard came out with the ball, but he was fouled and went to the line with 1:41 left.
He made 1-of-2 and tied the game at 58-58, the first time that Niagara was not leading since there the 4:19 mark in the first half.
Green committed another turnover on the Niagara possession, as Cormier came up with a steal and looked to run transition. Ameen Tanksley blocked his layup attempt, however, and the ball went out of bounds in the Purple Eagles' favor.
After a Niagara timeout, Green drove down the left side of the lane and made a runner with 56 ticks remaining, but he was fouled and missed the ensuing free throw attempt that would have made it a three-point Purple Eagles lead.
On the offensive end, Hubbard missed a three, and Niagara got the defensive rebound. The Greyhounds' press caused another turnover, as Mason caught the ball on the Niagara side of halfcourt and was whistled for an offensive foul while trying to clear space between a Loyola trap.
The Greyhounds took possession after a timeout with 28 second left, but Green picked off a Cormier pass with six seconds left, and he made two free throws to ice the game after being fouled.
Anthony Winbush made a three for Loyola with less than a second remaining, but it would only pull the Greyhounds within one, 61-60.
Green led all players with 19 points, while Mason added 14 for Niagara. Cormier had 17, and Olson 10 for Loyola.
Loyola led by as many as eight in the first half, going up 25-17 on a Hubbard three with 7:50 on the clock, but that was the last basket the Greyhounds would score until a Cormier layup with just one second left in the first half, and the Purple Eagles led 28-27 at the break.
"Don't mistake this for us losing by one late in the game, we lost this because we (Niagara) was the better team for 40 minutes," Loyola Head Coach Jimmy Patsos said. "I was not pleased by our energy tonight. We stopped having energy on defense, and they took advantage of that. We had been playing well on defense, and that was allowing us to score on the offensive end."
The Greyhounds are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they play Saint Peter's University at 12 noon in a MAAC game at the IZOD Center in the Meadowlands Complex in East Rutherford, N.J.