Thursday Night Features Men's Basketball Versus Crusaders In Reitz Arena

Jan. 27, 2015

Game Information
Opponent Holy Cross Crusaders
Date Thursday, January 29, 2015
Time 7:30 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Maryland | Reitz Arena
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Hits About The ’Hounds
  • Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball hosts College of the Holy Cross in a game that has been rescheduled from its original date due to the effects of Winter Storm Juno. Tipoff is now slated for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29, a day later than originally timed.
  • Eric Laster recorded the second 20-point game of his career last Saturday at Colgate. He is averaging 14.4 points per game over the Greyhounds’ last five.
  • Andre Walker has scored 16 or more points in each of Loyola’s last four games, averaging 16.7 during that stretch, a time in which he is shooting 96.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Last Time Out
  • Eric Laster gave Loyola a 58-56 lead on a basket with 1:31 left in regulation, but Damon Sherman-Newsome made 1-of-2 free throws 20 seconds later, and he scored the eventual game-winning layup with 14.3 ticks on the clock to secure a 59-58 Colgate University win Saturday in Hamilton, New York.
  • Loyola trailed by as many as 13 with 10:09 left in the game, but a 20-5 run that was capped by Laster’s go-ahead basket brought it back in front.
  • The Greyhounds forced 17 Colgate turnovers and held it to only 11 second-half field goals. The Raiders, however, made eight of those shots. Loyola also posted a 31-28 rebounding advantage.

Patriot League Network   
  • Fans can watch every home Loyola game, as well as all Patriot League road contests in free HD this season, live on the Patriot League Network. Gary Lambrecht will provide the play-by-play for Loyola’s home games with Jim Chivers ’05 providing analysis.
  • Powered by Campus Insiders, the Network started last year and provided one of the most comprehensive digital packages of any conference nationally. Check for links to each game.

Series History Versus Holy Cross   
  • Loyola and Holy Cross will meet for the third time as Patriot League foes and the seventh time overall when the teams take the floor on Thursday night.
  • The Crusaders won both games between the schools last year and hold a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series.
  • Jordan Latham put Loyola up six, 33-27, early in the second half, but a 23-8 Holy Cross run on Feb. 26, 2014, in Reitz Arena helped the Crusaders pull away for a 65-52 victory.
  • Holy Cross knocked down eight 3-pointers in the game and made 21-of-25 free throws despite shooting only 36.7 percent from the field. Franz Rassman led Loyola with 15 points, a career-high at the time, and Malcolm Miller scored 20 for Holy Cross.
  • In last season’s first meeting, the Crusaders led by 14 in the second half, but the Greyhounds cut their deficit twice to two points, but they could not garner the lead in a 60-51 loss. A traditional 3-point play by Dylon Cormier, who was playing in what would be his final full game, capped a 23-11 Greyhounds run and drew them within 49-47 with 4:05 left in regulation.
  • Prior to playing on January 29, 2014, in Worcester, the programs last met in the consolation game of the Otis Spunkmeyer Classic in Oakland, Calif. Loyola defeated the Crusaders, 73-55, in that contest.
  • Holy Cross has won all three games played on its home court. The only time the Crusaders have played in Reitz Arena the Greyhounds dealt them a 87-73 defeat on December 6, 1984. It was the first-ever men’s basketball game played in the venue.

Walker Scores At High Clip   
  • Andre Walker has scored 16 or more points in each of Loyola’s last three games, matching his career-high with 17 against Lafayette, Boston University and Bucknell before finishing with 16 at Colgate. He has averaged 16.8 points in those four games, 15.0 in the Greyhounds’ last five, to raise his season scoring average to 10.3 points per game.
  • During the last five games, Walker has made 29-of-30 free throws (96.7 percent), and he has missed just once (against Bucknell) during this calendar year.
  • Against the Leopards and Terriers, Walker shot just 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from the field, but he was 17-of-17 from the free-throw line. He then went a career-best 7-of-12 from the field versus the Bison.
  • Walker leads the Patriot League in free-throw percentage in conference games, hitting all but one of his 34 in the last seven games. He had made 29-straight free throws before missing his second attempt versus Bucknell. Overall, he is second in the League with a 88.6 percent mark from the line, a percentage that is No. 21 in NCAA Division I through games of Jan. 26.
  • This season, Walker is the top freshman scorer in the Patriot League while averaging 10.3 points per game to go with 3.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals.

Laster Back On Scoring Track   
  • Eric Laster has returned to his form as one of the team’s top scoring threats over the past several games after averaging just 6.0 points per game in an eight-game stretch from Dec. 2-Jan. 7. Since then, a course of five games, Laster has averaged 14.4 points per outing. He is shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from behind the 3-point line in those games.
  • Laster finished the season’s first month leading Loyola with a 14.5 points per game average after scoring 13 or more points in five of six games. In the season’s first six games, he made 43.8 percent from the field and 41.4 from long-distance.
  • Over the last five contests, Laster is Loyola’s second leading scorer at 14.4 points per game, and he is second overall this year with a 10.9 points per game average.
  • He also has led Loyola in assists during the last five games with 15, a career-high seven coming against Boston University.

Rebounding Improvement   
  • Loyola finished the 2013-2014 season with a -5.1 margin in rebounds per game versus its opponents, but the Greyhounds have made good strides in that number this year. Through 19 games, Loyola is fourth in the Patriot League in rebounding margin three more overall this season than its opponents, 665-662.
  • Last year, Loyola was 328th our of 345 ranked Division I teams with its -5.1 mark.

Cleaning Up His Misses   
  • Eric Laster had four offensive rebounds last Saturday against Colgate, all off his own misses. He made the most of the second chances, scoring putbacks after all four of the offensive boards.
  • Laster is second on the team this year with 31 offensive rebounds, and his 1.6 offensive rebounds per game rank 11th in the Patriot League.

Unforgettable Finish   
  • Loyola trailed Boston University by seven with 2:36 to go in regulation and five, 74-69, after John Papale made the first of two free throws with 5.8 ticks remaining, but the Greyhounds rallied to force overtime and win, 91-86, Sunday afternoon.
  • Papale’s second free throw rimmed out, and the officials started the clock on their Precision Timing remote prior to Loyola touching the ball. This gave the Greyhounds the ball under Boston U.’s basket with 5.8 seconds left. The ball was inbounded to Denzel Brito who made a running 25-foot 3-pointer with 1.0 second left, making the margin two.
  • Franz Rassman fouled the Terriers’ Eric Fanning on the inbound play, and during the dead-ball situation, the officials were alerted to a possible flagrant foul that they later whistled on Boston U. after consulting the replay. Rassman made both free throws, and Fanning then missed two, sending the game to overtime tied at 74-74.
  • After Loyola scored five points in the final second of regulation, it outscored the Terriers, 17-12, in overtime for the win.

Overtime Success Under Smith & Beyond   
  • Loyola improved to 3-0 this season in overtime, and the Greyhounds are now 6-0 in the two seasons that G.G. Smith has been the team’s head coach.
  • More impressively, Loyola is 15-1 in overtime games since the start of the 2004-2005 season.

Further Success In Close Games   
  • In addition to Loyola’s success in overtime games, the Greyhounds are 7-2 this year in games decided by seven or fewer points with the only loss coming Jan. 14 at Lafayette. Since G.G. Smith became head coach, Loyola is 16-5 in those games.

Freshman Contributions   
  • Loyola’s five freshmen – Andre Walker, Cam Gregory, Chancellor Barnard, Colton Bishop and Matt Staubi – have combined to make large contributions to the Greyhounds this season.
  • The group, with Walker, Gregory and Barnard drawing the most playing time, has played 36.5 percent of available minutes this year for Loyola. They have taken 34.8 percent of field goal attempts, 46.6 percent of free throws attempted and grabbed 40.6 percent of rebounds.
  • Additionally, they have contributed 50.0 percent of steals and 42.1 percent of the team’s blocked shots while scoring 35.9 percent of Loyola’s points.
  • Andre Walker leads the team in steals (30), is second in assists (39), and he is the Patriot League’s leading freshman scorer, averaging 10.3 points per game.
  • Cam Gregory tops the team with 7.2 rebounds per game (137 total), and his rebounds per game mark is third-best in the conference.

Last Five Figures   
  • Loyola has split its last six games, thanks to improved all-around play.
  • During the games, Loyola is shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from 3-point range. Overall this season, the Greyhounds’ shooting numbers are 37.0 and 33.7 percent this year.
  • Loyola has also posted 11.0 assists in the six games as opposed to 9.5 in all 19 contests this year.
  • In the six contests, five Greyhounds are averaging 7.8 points or more per game: Andre Walker (13.5), Eric Laster (13.2), Tyler Hubbard (10.0), Cam Gregory (8.8) and Denzel Brito (7.8).

Threes In Last Six   
  • Loyola knocked down nine 3-pointers Jan. 14 at Lafayette, its second-best output of the season behind the Mount St. Mary’s game when it made 11.
  • Over the last five games, wins against American, at Lehigh, versus Boston University and the defeat at Lafayette, Loyola is shooting 38.3 percent from 3-point range.
  • Tyler Hubbard is 15-of-43 from behind the arc, Eric Laster has made 8-of-16 and Denzel Brito is 7-of-12 during that stretch.

At The Line Improvement   
  • In addition to its shooting from behind the 3-point line, Loyola has also been improved at the free-throw stripe of late. After a 12-of-12 performance Jan. 10 at Lehigh, the Greyhounds made 14-of-17 at Lafayette and 24-of-34 versus Boston University for a three-game percentage of 82.0 percent.
  • Overall, Loyola has shot 77.4 percent from the stripe in its last six games, raising its yearly mark to 68.9 percent. Andre Walker (88.6 percent) and Tyler Hubbard (81.7 percent) are among the top 10 in the Patriot League in free-throw shooting.
  • Prior to the games in the Lehigh Valley, Loyola was making just 65.3 percent of its foul shots this season.
  • In Patriot League play, the Greyhounds are third in the conference in free-throw percentage, making 73.5 percent of its attempts,

Hubbard To 100   
  • In the Jan. 14 game at Lafayette, Tyler Hubbard became the 13th player in Loyola men’s basketball history to make 100 career 3-pointers. With 45 this season through 19 games, Hubbard now has 108 in his career.
  • Versus Boston University, he moved into 12th all-time at Loyola for made threes, and with four more, he’ll move into a tie for 10th with Mike Morrison and Mike Powell. Hubbard is shooting 38.5 percent from behind the line this year.

Brito Brings A Little Of Everything   
  • Denzel Brito led Loyola in scoring for the first time in his career with the Greyhounds during the Jan. 7 overtime win against American, scoring 11 points to match his best in a green and grey uniform.
  • While his points and game-tying layup with 3.3 seconds left in regulation were key, Brito filled the statistics page with much more than just scoring. He matched his career-high with six rebounds and set a new personal-best with four steals. He also had three assists with just one turnover, a miscue that came on the Greyhounds’ second possession of the game.
  • He had another solid outing Jan. 10 at Lehigh posting seven points, a career-high eight rebounds along with five assists with just one turnover, and he turned in 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists versus Boston University.
  • Brito, who transferred to the Greyhounds’ program after two seasons at Loyola Chicago, is now averaging 5.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and a team-high 2.9 assists per game. He is third on the team with a 28.1 minutes per game average.

Assists Up   
  • Loyola logged a season-high 18 assists Jan. 10 at Lehigh led by Denzel Brito’s five and three each from Franz Rassman, Eric Laster and Tyler Hubbard. The 18 were four more than the Greyhounds had posted in any other game this year (14 vs. Mount St. Mary’s).
  • In the Greyhounds’ last nine games, they have averaged 11.3 helpers per game after averaging just 7.8 in the year’s first 10 contests.
  • However, Loyola has posted just 14 total assists in its last two games, losses to Bucknell and Colgate.

Winning Combinations   
  • In the Greyhounds’ seven wins this season, Loyola is shooting nearly six percent better from the field (40.5 to 34.8), but it is the Greyhounds’ defense in those games that has played the biggest roles.
  • The 12 teams that have defeated the Greyhounds so far this year have done so while shooting just a shade under 50 percent (47.7).
  • Conversely, Loyola held its foes to nearly 10 percent worse from the floor (38.5 percent) in its seven victories. The numbers are even more dramatic in defending the 3-point arc where Loyola has allowed opponents to shoot 38.0 percent in the 12 games it has lost. In their seven wins, the Greyhounds have held opponents to 35-of-136 (25.7 percent), a drop off of 12-plus percent.

Brito Steady Without Turnovers   
  • Since committing four turnovers on Dec. 6 against Mount St. Mary’s, his high during his two seasons at Loyola Maryland, Denzel Brito has coughed the ball up only nine times in 10 games.
  • In games since the Dec. 22 outing at Stony Brook, the senior who transferred from Loyola Chicago before his junior season has 31 assists with only nine miscues.

Cam Consistent   
  • After playing only 10 minutes on Dec. 2 because of foul trouble at Columbia University, Cam Gregory has picked up his play in the Greyhounds’ last five outings.
  • The freshman forward bounced back from his showing against the Lions to turn in his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds Dec. 6 against Mount St. Mary’s marking the first time in his young career he’d scored nine or more points in a game.
  • Gregory then led Loyola with 14 points, making 7-of-9 shots from the floor, and had a game-best eight rebounds Dec. 9 versus Saint Joseph’s in 30 minutes of action. For his efforts against the Hawks, Gregory was named the Lids Team Sports Patriot League Rookie of the Week on Monday, Dec. 15.
  • He posted a career-high 15 points to go with nine boards in the win at Lehigh on Jan. 10, grabbing six offensive rebounds in the process, and he matched his season-high with 12 rebounds at Lafayette. He set a new season-high with 18 points against Boston University
  • Over the first 19 games of the year, of which Gregory has started 16, he is averaging 6.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting a team-best 46.5 percent from the field.
  • Gregory is the top freshman rebounder in the Patriot League, and his 7.2 boards per game are third overall in the conference.
  • He has averaged 26.2 minutes per game, 28.8 in the Greyhounds’ last 12 contests.

To The Freshmen Go The Honors   
  • Andre Walker’s Lids Team Sports Patriot League Rookie of the Week award from Dec. 29 was the third of the season for the Greyhounds through eight weeks.
  • Cam Gregory earned the award on Dec. 15, and Walker was honored after the season’s first weekend making the Greyhounds the only Patriot League program with three awards this year at the time.
  • Gregory is the top rebounding freshman in the Patriot League (7.2 rebounds per game), while Walker’s 10.3 points per game pace League freshmen.

Scoring From The Line   
  • Loyola is one of the top teams in the nation at getting points from the free-throw line this season. The Greyhounds have scored 25.5 percent of their points from the charity stripe through 19 games, 14th most in NCAA Division I.
  • Loyola is averaging 21.5 free-throw attempts per game this season, and in its seven wins this year, the Greyhounds have averaged 23.6 trips to the line, making 116-of-165 in those games.
  • The Greyhounds had the program’s second-best free-throw performance (percentage-wise) in their win at Lehigh where it made 12-of-12 from the stripe. Only once (2009 versus Rider) has Loyola made more free throws (14) without a miss.

Perimeter Defense   
  • Along with improved rebounding numbers, one of G.G. Smith’s keys coming into the season was defending the 3-pointer, and the Greyhounds have done a good job of that through 19 games.
  • Combined, Loyola’s 19 opponents are shooting just 32.9 percent from 3-point range (108-of-328) this season. In 2013-2014, the Greyhounds’ opponents shot 8.2 percent better from behind the arc, making 40.4 percent of their shots (203-of-502).
  • Loyola’s 32.9 opponent 3-point percentage is second in the Patriot League. A year ago, the 40.4 percent was third-worst in Division I, 349th.

Back-To-Back Career Highs   
  • Tyler Hubbard’s 17 free throws were the main part of his scoring effort against Siena as he set a career-high with 23 points versus the Saints.
  • It was the second time in as many games that Hubbard has recorded a career-high in points after he tallied 21 last Tuesday at Syracuse.
  • Hubbard’s 21 at Syracuse eclipsed his previous best of 20 that came on Feb. 5, 2014, against American.
  • His 44 points in two games has raised his 2014-2015 scoring average to 11.8 points per game, and they came after he was shutout from the scoring column in games against UMBC and at Butler.
  • The junior guard went 17-of-18 from the free-throw line, tying the mark for second-most free throws made in a game by a Loyola player. He equaled the mark of Erik Etherly (2013 vs. Kent State), Maurice Hicks (1983 vs. Robert Morris) and Rodney Floyd (1973 vs. Mount St. Mary’s). Only Jamal Barney’s 18 free throws made in 2009 against NJIT rank higher on Loyola’s single-game chart.

Laster’s Career Game   
  • While it represented the bulk of Loyola’s scoring on at Butler, Eric Laster’s performance against the Bulldogs was statistically the best of his career as a Greyhound.
  • The junior guard scored a career-best 24 points, exceeding his previous high of 18 set last season at home against Boston University. He did so on 9-of-15 from the floor, setting a new high for field goals made and tying his previous high for attempts.
  • Laster also drained 4-of-6 3-point attempts, raising his season total to 10-of-19 from behind the arc. He is third in the Patriot League in 3-point field goal percentage (52.6) through Monday.

Walker’s First Weekend       
  • Andre Walker earned Lids Team Sports Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors on Monday, Nov. 17, after starting his collegiate career with averages of 14.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in two contests.
  • Walker led all scorers with 17 points on opening night at Texas Tech becoming the first Loyola true freshman to score as many points in a game since Justin Drummond tallied 22 on Feb. 13, 2010, against Canisius.
  • Walker’s points were the most by a Loyola player in his Greyhounds’ debut outing since Gerald Brown had 24 on Nov. 10, 2006, against Navy; Brown was a junior transfer from Providence.
  • The last Loyola true freshman to score 15 or more in their first regular-season game was Freddie Stanback who scored 16 on Nov. 19, 2004, at Virginia Tech.

It Didn’t Have To Be Pretty   
  • Loyola’s win over UMBC on Nov. 19 will not make any highlight reels, but the Greyhounds’ late push gave them their second win in three games. The game did set some dubious marks, however.
  • It was the fewest points scored by two teams (83) in a game that Loyola was involved since February 9, 1980, when the Greyhounds and Swarthmore combined for 80 points in a 42-38 Loyola victory.
  • Loyola’s 45 points were its fewest in a winning effort since that same game, making it the lowest winning score for the Greyhounds in the program’s Division I era (since 1981-1982).
  • The 38 points allowed by Loyola are also the fewest it has allowed as a Division I team, and it marked the lowest opponent score since that 1980 game. The last time a team scored fewer than 38 points against Loyola was on March 2, 1950, when Bridgewater (Virginia) College fell, 63-36, to the Greyhounds in the Mason-Dixon Conference Quarterfinals.

Montreal Matters   
  • The Greyhounds took advantage of the NCAA rule that teams may partake of an off-season foreign tour once every four years when they visited Montreal and Quebec City in August.
  • Loyola played four games against Canadian universities – Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Laval Universite, McGill University and Concordia University – and one versus a local club team – Brookwood Elite – going 5-0 on the tour.
  • All 14 members of the Greyhounds’ squad, including the freshmen, were able to play in the games and participate in the 10 practice sessions prior to the trip.