American, Men's Basketball Play Wednesday In Nation's Capital On ASN

Feb. 3, 2015

Game Information
Opponent American Eagles
Date Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Time 8:00 p.m.
Location Washington, D.C. | Bender Arena
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Hits About The ’Hounds
  • Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball makes the quick trip down Interstate 95 on Wednesday, Feb. 4, for an 8 o’clock game at American University.
  • The game will air live on the American Sports Network and will air in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. markets, as well as throughout the entire Mid-Atlantic region on MASN2.
  • Loyola has outrebounded its last two opponents by 33, 84-51, an average of +16.5. In doing so, six players have averaged four or more boards in those contests.
  • The Greyhounds have also shot 49.1 percent from the field against Holy Cross and Army.

Last Time Out
  • Loyola shot 70 percent from the field in the second half, and 50.8 percent overall, on Saturday and erased a halftime deficit to defeat the U.S. Military Academy, 77-71.
  • The Greyhounds trailed by three at the break, but they outscored Army, 48-39, in the second period.
  • Eric Laster scored all 19 of his points in the second half when he made 9-of-13 field goals.
  • Franz Rassman finished with a career-best 18 points, and Andre Walker scored 12 for the Greyhounds.
  • Loyola controlled a 41-26 advantage on the boards with five players grabbing five or more rebounds.

Live On ASN   
  • Wednesday’s game will be Loyola’s second this season on the new American Sports Network, a venture of Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting.
  • The game will be shown in markets nationwide and will air in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., markets, as well as throughout the majority of the Mid-Atlantic region on MASN2. Check for a complete list of channels that will carry the game.
  • Jason Knapp will call the play-by-play, and Emmett Davis will handle analysis duties.

Patriot League Network   
  • In addition to the television broadcast, Wednesday’s game will be shown digitally on the 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.
  • 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 American   
  • American is Loyola’s most-played Patriot League opponent, as Wednesday’s game will be the 88th all-time installment in the series.
  • The Eagles, who are Loyola’s seventh most-played opponent in program history, and Greyhounds were former Mason-Dixon Conference opponents prior to each joining NCAA Division I.
  • With Loyola’s win in the second 2014 meeting of the teams and last month’s victory, the Greyhounds lead the all-time series, 44-43.
  • The Greyhounds led American by 10 with 6:42 left in regulation on Jan. 7, 2015, but the Eagles used a 13-2 run to go up 46-45 on two Jesse Reed free throws with 53 seconds to go. Loyola came up empty on its next possession, and Pee Wee Gardner converted on 1-of-2 at the line for American, making the Eagles’ advantage two with 14.9 seconds showing.
  • Denzel Brito used a high perimeter screen to get free down the left side and score on a layup with seconds remaining to force overtime. In the extra period, Eric Laster scored five of his seven points to help the Greyhounds pull away for a 56-53 win.
  • Loyola hosted the Eagles on Feb. 5, 2014, with American riding an 11-game winning streak and receiving votes in The Associated Press Top 25, but Tyler Hubbard scored a then-career-high 20 points and the Greyhounds handed American its first Patriot League loss of the year, 62-57.
  • Hubbard went 6-of-7 from 3-point range and made two free throws with 25 seconds remaining in the contest after American had pulled within a pair. Loyola was 8-of-10 from the stripe in the game’s final minute to secure the win.
  • Prior to last season, American and Loyola last played November 13, 2007, the third year in a row that the teams had met on the hardwood.

Hitting The Boards   
  • Loyola pulled 43 rebounds, two off its season-high, last Thursday night against Holy Cross, 18 more than the Crusaders had, and the Greyhounds posted a plus-15 in the rebounding column at Army on Saturday, grabbing 41.
  • The 18 rebound margin against Holy Cross is the largest Loyola has posted since grabbing 20 more than Manhattan on Feb. 26, 2012, on the road in The Bronx. Loyola’s plus-33 in the last two games marks its best two-game rebounding advantage since November 2010 when it combined to outrebound UMBC and Dartmouth by the same margin in a pair of wins.
  • Cam Gregory led the way for Loyola with 17 rebounds in the two games, but it was an overall effort. Five players grabbed four or more rebounds.

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 21 games, Loyola is second in the Patriot League in rebounding margin with a +1.7 mark, 749-713.
  • Last year, Loyola was 328th our of 345 ranked Division I teams with its -5.1 mark.
  • The Greyhounds’ +6.8 improvement from last year is one of the 15th-best turnaround in rebounding margin among NCAA Division I teams.

New Lineup Shows Promise   
  • Loyola started a new lineup for the first time on Jan. 24 at Colgate, resulting in a one-point loss to the Raiders, and Head Coach G.G. Smith followed the same opening five against Holy Cross and at Army: Denzel Brito, Andre Walker, Eric Laster, Franz Rassman and Chancellor Barnard.
  • The group has played 20 minutes, 12 seconds in the last three games, most of any combination the Greyhounds have used int hat stretch, resulting in a +13 in the points column, the most successful quintet the Greyhounds have put on the floor.
  • The starts have been the fourth and fifth of both Barnard and Walker’s careers.

Shooting In The Second   
  • Loyola put together its best shooting half of the season Saturday at Army, hitting 19-of-27 field goals after halftime, a 70.4 percent clip. Eric Laster led the way against the Black Knights after the break, making 9-of-13 shots for 19 points, the most in a half this season by a Loyola player.
  • In the past two games, Loyola has shot 60.8 percent from the field. It has done so by attempting only nine 3-pointers (making four). They Greyhounds are 27-of-42 (64.3 percent) on 2-point attempts in those 40 minutes.
  • Prior to the Holy Cross and Army games, the Greyhounds were shooting just 34.5 percent in the second halves of their first 19 games.

Paint Points, Bench Scoring Prove Key   
  • Loyola’s last two wins win illustrated the importance of points in the paint and scoring from non-starters for Loyola. The Greyhounds outscored Holy Cross in both categories, 28-22 in the paint and 23-15 off the bench, and they then held 46-26 and 20-13 advantages in the categories at Army. Loyola’s plus-20 in points in the paint is its largest this year.
  • In its nine wins this season, Loyola’s bench has outscored opponents 20.8-11.9, while the Greyhounds have faced a disadvantage of nearly 10 points in losses, 22.6-12.8.
  • With its big positive differential in the paint against the Black Knights, the Greyhounds are now averaging 29.1 paint points to their opponents’ 27.6 in wins. In losses, however, the Greyhounds are being outscored 34.9-20.2 inside.

Defense Does Its Work   
  • Loyola’s defense held Holy Cross to its second-worst shooting performance of the season last Thursday night as the Crusaders shot 30.8 percent from the field, 18.2 percent on 3-pointers. Their lowest output of the season was a 30.0 percent effort in December at Pittsburgh.
  • It was also the second lowest field-goal percentage a team has posted against the Greyhounds this year, following the 26.4 percent that UMBC had on Nov. 19.
  • Loyola’s field-goal percentage defense is fourth in the Patriot League this year, allowing opponents to shoot 43.7 percent from the field, a year after allowing teams to hit 45.9 percent, eighth in the conference. The Greyhounds lead the League in 3-point defense, holding foes to 32.6 percent from behind the line, a vast improvement over last year’s 40.4 percent, worst in the Patriot League.

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 seven games, Laster has averaged 14.6 points per outing. He is shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 55.6 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 seven contests, Laster is Loyola’s leading scorer tied with Tyler Hubbard for the team-lead this year at 11.9.

Walker Scores At High Clip   
  • Andre Walker has scored 12 or more points in each of Loyola’s last six games, matching his career-high with 17 against Lafayette, Boston University and Bucknell before finishing with 16 at Colgate and 14 versus Holy Cross. He has averaged 15.5 points in those six games, to raise his season scoring average to 10.5 points per game.
  • During the last six games, Walker has made 33-of-36 free throws (91.7 percent), and he missed just three during the month of January.
  • 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 is third in the Patriot League in free-throw percentage overall (87.4 percent) and first in conference games, hitting all but three of his 42 in League games (92.9 percent). He had made 29-straight free throws before missing his second attempt versus Bucknell. Overall, he is tops in the League with a 88.0 percent mark from the line, a percentage that is No. 27 in NCAA Division I through games of Feb. 1.
  • This season, Walker is the top freshman scorer in the Patriot League while averaging 10.5 points per game to go with 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals.

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 37.1 percent of available minutes this year for Loyola. They have taken 34.4 percent of field goal attempts, 44.8 percent of free throws attempted and grabbed 41.1 percent of rebounds.
  • Additionally, they have contributed 49.5 percent of steals and 44.4 percent of the team’s blocked shots while scoring 35.6 percent of Loyola’s points.
  • Andre Walker leads the team in steals (30), is second in assists (46), and he is the Patriot League’s leading freshman scorer, averaging 10.5 points per game.
  • Cam Gregory tops the team with 7.3 rebounds per game (154 total), and his rebounds per game mark is third-best in the conference.

Last Eight Figures   
  • Loyola is 5-3 in its last seven games, thanks to improved all-around play.
  • During the games, Loyola is shooting 42.8 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from 3-point range. Overall this season, the Greyhounds’ shooting numbers are 38.2 and 34.1 percent this year.
  • Loyola has also posted 11.3 assists in the six games as opposed to 9.7 in all 21 contests this year.
  • In the eight contests, six Greyhounds are averaging 7.4 points or more per game: Eric Laster (13.6), Andre Walker (13.4), Tyler Hubbard (9.9), Cam Gregory (8.3), Franz Rassman (7.8) and Denzel Brito (7.4).

At The Line Improvement   
  • In addition to its shooting from the field, 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 74.1 percent from the stripe in its last eight games, raising its yearly mark to 68.5 percent.
  • 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 71.6 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 49 this season through 21 games, Hubbard now has 112 in his career.
  • At Army, he moved into a tie for 10th all-time at Loyola for made threes with Mike Morrison and Mike Powell, and with three more, he’ll tie Kevin Anderson for ninth.

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 11 games, they have averaged 11.5 helpers per game after averaging 7.8 in the year’s first 10 games.

Winning Combinations   
  • In the Greyhounds’ nine wins this season, Loyola is shooting more than seven percent better from the field (42.4 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 almost 10 percent worse from the floor (38.2 percent) in its nine 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 nine wins, the Greyhounds have held opponents to 49-of-182 (26.9 percent), a drop off of 11.1 percent.

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 21 games of the year, of which Gregory has started 16, he is averaging 6.9 points and 7.3 rebounds.
  • Gregory is the top freshman rebounder in the Patriot League, and his 7.3 boards per game are third overall in the conference.
  • He has averaged 26.0 minutes per game, 27.9 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 24.8 percent of their points from the charity stripe through 21 games, 19th most in NCAA Division I.
  • Loyola is averaging 21.5 free-throw attempts per game this season, and in its nine wins this year, the Greyhounds have averaged 23.0 trips to the line, making 143-of-207 in those games.
  • The Greyhounds had the program’s second-best free-throw performance (percentage-wise) in a win at Lehigh where it made 12-of-12 from the stripe. Only once (2009 vs. 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 20 games.
  • Combined, Loyola’s 21 opponents are shooting just 32.6 percent from 3-point range (122-of-374) this season. In 2013-2014, the Greyhounds’ opponents shot 8.4 percent better from behind the arc, making 7.8 percent of their shots (203-of-502).
  • Loyola’s 32.6 opponent 3-point percentage is tops 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.

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.

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 with all 14 members of the Greyhounds’ squad, including the freshmen, able to play.

Up Next   
  • Loyola returns to Reitz Arena to host Lehigh on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m.