Loyola Tops Iona In Overtime Thriller, 88-85

Jan. 30, 2011

Final Stats

BALTIMORE, MD. - Sophomore guard Robert Olson knocked down crucial shots at the end of regulation and overtime while senior guard Brian Rudolph tied a career high with 19 points to help the Loyola University Maryland men's basketball team pull out an thrilling overtime win over Iona on Sunday, 88-85.

Loyola (11-10, 7-4 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) recorded six players in double figures and outshot and outrebounded Iona (13-9, 7-4 MAAC) in the win.

Trailing by three with seven seconds to play, Robert Olson knocked down a three-pointer from the corner left in front of the Loyola bench to even the game at 78-78 with 7.2 ticks remaining and the contest continued into the overtime when Iona's Rashon Dwight missed a jumper as time expired on regulation.

Olson reprised his role as the Greyhounds' hero in the extra period, scoring a layup with 41.4 seconds left to give Loyola an 86-84 lead. After Iona'sScott Machado missed the second of two foul shots, sophomore forward Erik Etherly snared his 11th rebound of the afternoon and Loyola called timeout. The Greyhounds inbounded the ball to Olson, who was fouled and calmly sank both free throws for a three-point lead. Iona pushed the ball up the floor and opted to get the ball down to leading scorer Mike Glover, but he fumbled the ball and freshman guard Dylon Cormier came up with it and dribbled out the clock.

After the game, Greyhounds seventh-year head coach Jimmy Patsos sang the praises of his senior captain. "My captain Brian Rudolph has been great all year. Rudolph figured out that if you play hard, good things will happen and he has been doing that for us all season," Patsos said. "We knew without [junior forward] Shane [Walker], other guys had to step up. For us to play small and play defense that well just shows that this team has a lot of heart."

Leading scorer Walker sat out the game. He experienced sickness during Friday night's game.

Several Greyhounds put forth milestone performances on Sunday afternoon. Brian Rudolph led Loyola with career-tying 19 points playing a career high 44 minutes, equaling a previous best of 19 set against Rider on Feb. 26, 2009. Josh Wiegand made his first start of the season and played 19 minutes en route to a new career high in that category as well.

The Greyhounds went 28-for-58 from the floor for 48.3 percent, while Iona shot 45.5 percent after going 25-for-55. Loyola also enjoyed a 40-32 rebounding advantage.

J'hared Hall (15 points), Justin Drummond (14), Dylon Cormier (12), Olson (12) and Etherly (12) joined Rudolph (19) in double figures. Etherly led the team in rebounds, with 11, while Drummond recorded 10 rebounds as both earned double-doubles in the win.

Iona's Mike Glover led all scorers with 22 points and Scott Machado tallied 19.

Loyola fell behind to start the overtime but recovered quickly, as the teams entered the final minute tied 84-84 thanks to points from Hall, Erik Etherly and Justin Drummond.

Scott Machado scored all of Iona's seven points in overtime but missed a free throw at the 20-second mark and Loyola retained an 86-85 lead.

A pair of Olson free throws sealed the win and Loyola emerged victorious, 88-85.

Loyola opened the second half looking to build on a 38-33 first half lead and carried the play early on, grabbing a 49-40 lead in the first four minutes.

Iona responded from behind the arc immediately after, however, draining three three-pointers to spark an 11-0 run and take a 51-49 lead.

The Greyhounds retook the advantage thanks to a three-point play from J'hared Hall and a see-saw battle for the lead ensued, part of a total 13 lead changes in the game.

Loyola clung to a slim lead midway through the frame after going ahead with 12 minutes left to play, but Iona's Kyle Smyth knocked down a three-pointer with 6:45 remaining to make the score 64-63 in favor of the Gaels.

Iona held its lead down the stretch, but the Greyhounds clawed back to within a basket after J'hared Hall drained a three-pointer to trail 74-73 with only 36 seconds left in the game, eventually leading to Olson's heroics to force overtime.

The game began with a tight first half that saw seven lead changes in the first 14 minutes. The Greyhounds seized a lead they would carry into halftime behind a Brian Rudolph three-pointer with 5:52 left in the first half and entered the break ahead, 38-33.

Rudolph led the team in first-half scoring with 10 points, while Drummond and Cormier added seven apiece. The Greyhounds outshot the Gaels in the opening 20 minutes, going 12-for-29 from the floor for 41.4 percent while the Gaels shot 36.7 percent with an 11-for-30 clip.

Both teams battled for an advantage as the Greyhounds answered every Iona basket with help from all over, as five Loyola players scored at least five points in the first half.

Coaches for both teams sported sneakers paired with suits to promote Coaches Versus Cancer and raise awareness for the fight against cancer.

The Greyhounds hit the road next for a pair of games at Rider and Siena. Loyola faces Rider on Friday, February 4, at 7 p.m. before taking on Siena on Monday, February 7, at 7 p.m.