Dec. 19, 2009
BALTIMORE - Loyola recorded the second-best game shooting percentage in school history and rode a 37-5 stretch over 10 minutes of the second half while never trailing to post an 85-51 non-conference home win over Howard Saturday afternoon at Reitz Arena. Junior guard Jamal Barney made 11 of his 14 attempts from the field in scoring a game-high 28 points in just 21 minutes. He connected on three of four from three-point range and also tied for team-highs with five rebounds and four assists.
The game was played despite inclement weather conditions outside and the Loyola University Maryland campus being closed. The Bison made the trip to the Baltimore area on Friday night in advance of Saturday afternoon's game to ensure that the game would be played.
The Greyhounds (5-5) snapped a three-game losing streak by connecting on 69.6 percent (32-46) of their field-goal attempts, including a blistering 81.5 percent (22-27) in the second half when they outscored the Bison 53-28.The game shooting trailed only the school record of 70.4 percent (31-44) posted in a 79-64 win at Lehigh on January 21, 1978. Loyola's 75.0 percent (9-12) three-point shooting is also the second-best mark in school annals behind a 77.8 percent (7-9) effort in an 88-80 win over Canisius at the Niagara Falls Convention Center on January 17, 1992.
Loyola made its first six three-point attempts as it built a 29-6 advantage with 6:46 left in the first half. Senior guard Brett Harvey connected on two inside the first 2:19, Barney made a pair on consecutive possessions during the 14-minute mark and senior guard Tony Lewis and sophomore forward Shane Walker each made one. The Greyhounds would score just one more field goal as Howard (1-9) ended the half on a 14-6 run to trail 32-23 at the intermission.
The Bison would score the first six points of the second half behind four free throws from Mike Phillips and were behind by just three points, 32-29, with 18:22 remaining. The Greyhounds seized control of the game from there, scoring 24 straight points to cap a 37-5 run to take a 69-34 lead with 8:46 left. Barney scored 18 of his points during the stretch, the final two in a thunderous dunk, and Lewis tallied nine.
Mostly on the efforts of Barney and Lewis, Loyola held a significant 61-9 advantage in bench points as Lewis finished with a season-high 14 points. In two career games against the Bison, the 6-2 guard made 10 of his 11 field-goal attempts while scoring 23 total points. Harvey did not miss a shot from the field as he scored 11 points with three assists and freshman forward Julius Brooks equaled Barney with five rebounds.
Phillips led the Bison with 17 points, including connecting on nine of 13 attempts from the foul line. Paul Kirkpatrick scored 10 points and just missed a double-double, corralling nine rebounds.
It was the best shooting performance since Loyola shot 62.1 percent (36-58) in a 95-73 home victory over Rider on February 14, 2007, ironically on a day in which the Loyola campus also was closed and the city of Baltimore was pelted by a paralyzing snowstorm.
Loyola will play one more time before enjoying the Christmas holiday, traveling to Indiana's Assembly Hall Tuesday for a game with the Hoosiers. Game time is 6:30 p.m. and the game will be carried nationally on the Big Ten Network.