Dec. 28, 2011
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Loyola University Maryland's Erik Etherly led four Greyhounds in double figures with 18 points, and Loyola snapped Bucknell University's 18-game home-court winning streak on Wednesday night, defeating the Bison, 72-67, in Sojka Pavilion.
Bucknell (8-6 overall) won its last 13 home games a year ago and then won its first five at home this season and had the 11th-longest current streak in NCAA Division I. The Bison's last loss in Sojka was on November 29, 2010, to Wagner, a stretch that covered 394 days.
The Greyhounds (9-3) held the Bison to just three points in the final four minutes of the game and none in the last 2:20.
"That is a very tough place to play, and they defend their home court with a lot of intensity," Loyola Head Coach Jimmy Patsos said. "We did a nice job defensively in the last couple of minutes, and we made some shots when we needed them. This is a great game for us to play against a tough opponent that is not that far away from Baltimore. It is good preparation for (Metro Atlantic Athletic) Conference play next week."
Loyola's nine wins are the most in program history during the months of November and December.
Bucknell, which was picked to repeat as Patriot League champions, led 64-61 after a Steven Kaspar free throw with 4:10 on the clock, but Loyola pulled within a point 14 seconds later on a Justin Drummond basket.
Neither team led by more than five in the game, and Loyola was not behind by more than three points.
Loyola held the lead for the majority of the game until Bucknell went up by a point on the back end of two Mike Muscala free throws with 6:53 left in the clock.
Drummond scored on Loyola's next possession to give the Greyhounds the lead back, but Muscala tied it by going 1-of-2 at the line on the next Bison possession. He then made a jumper to give Bucknell a 60-58 advantage with 5:59 to go.
It was Drummond again on the offensive end, responding with two free throws to tie it for Loyola, but Kasper's layup put Bucknell back in front with 5:37 on the clock.
After Drummond made 1-of-2 at the line for the Greyhounds, Muscala and Kasper each were 1-of-2 for the Bison, which held Loyola scoreless for two possessions. Kasper's free throw put the Greyhounds down 64-61, their largest deficit of the night.
Drummond capped a stretch of scoring nine in a row for Loyola with a layup at 3:56, and he then pulled down a defensive rebound that led to Cormier's buck to give Loyola the lead permanently.
In addition to Etherly's 18, Drummond and Cormier each had 14, and Walker added 10. The Greyhounds outrebounded Bucknell, 36-25, led by Etherly's eight. He also tied his career-high with a team-leading four assists, and he blocked four shots, his season-high.
Muscala, the reigning Patriot League Player of the Year, led all players with 24 points. Bryan Cohen and Cameron Ayers each contributed 11 for the Bison.
Loyola shot 59.3-percent from the floor in the first half, but it could not mount a lead of more than five points. R.J. Williams gave the Greyhounds a 25-20 lead with a steal and fast-break layup just over nine minutes before the half.
The Greyhounds went up by five twice more in the first half, but each time Bucknell rallied to close the gap. The Bison then scored the first four points of the second half to tie the game at 34-34 just over a minute in.
Loyola finished the night shooting 52.9-percent from the field, its best shooting night of the season.
The Greyhounds return to Reitz Arena, after a six-game road trip on which they went 4-2 with their only losses at St. Bonaventure and at No. 3 Kentucky, for the first of three home games in a row when they host Niagara University at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, January 2, 2011.