Men's Hoops Hosts Lehigh Saturday Night At 7 In Reitz Arena

Feb. 6, 2015

Game Information
Opponent Lehigh Mountain Hawks
Date Saturday, February 7, 2015
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Reitz Arena
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Hits About The ’Hounds
  • Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball starts a two-game homestand on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. in Reitz Arena where the Greyhounds will host Lehigh University.
  • The Greyhounds have gone 5-4 on their home floor this season, 3-2 in Patriot League play.
  • Loyola is averaging 11.2 more points per game in Reitz Arena than it is in 12 true road contests this year.
  • Over the last seven games, Andre Walker has raised his season scoring average by more than two points. He was averaging 8.5 per game through 15 games, but by posting 15.1 a contest since Jan. 14, his average is up to 10.6 for the year.

Last Time Out
  • American University shot 73.7 percent from the field in the first half, missing just five of its 19 field goal attempts, and the Eagles built a 42-25 halftime lead Wednesday night in Washington, D.C.
  • Loyola scored the second half’s first eight points, cutting its deficit to nine with 14:33 left in regulation, but that is as close as the Greyhounds could draw before falling, 64-49.
  • The Eagles opened the game with an 18-4 lead, holding Loyola to just one point over a stretch that covered six of the first 10 minutes.
  • Eric Laster tied for game-high honors with 17 points for Loyola.

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 call the play-by-play, and Jim Chivers ’05 will add the 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 Lehigh   
  • Lehigh and Loyola will meet for the 13th time on the basketball court and second time as Patriot League opponents Saturday when the teams take the floor. The teams have evenly split the previous 12 meetings after the Greyhounds won the first meeting of this season, 65-60, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, leading nearly wire-to-wire in a game that they made all of their free-throw attempts.
  • Lehigh took a two-point lead, 50-48, on a Tim Kempton bucket with 6:51 left in regulation, but Loyola converted its next trip down the court into six points – Andre Walker hit two threes, separated by an off-ball foul during the flight of his first shot. Eric Laster finished with a game-high 17 points in the contest for Loyola, and Tyler Hubbard added 16, while Cam Gregory scored 15 and grabbed nine rebounds.
  • The teams split their 2014 meetings as Lehigh led wire-to-wire on Feb. 8, 2014 when the Mountain Hawks defeated the Greyhounds, 66-52, in Bethlehem.
  • Both teams struggled from the field in the game at Stabler Arena, each making just 33.3 percent of their shots, but Lehigh outrebounded Loyola, 45-30, and converted on 26-of-30 free throws.
  • Loyola won the first 2014 meeting between the teams, 72-68 as five Greyhounds scored seven or more points, led by Dylon Cormier’s 25. Cormier sparked an 11-0 run that put Loyola up by 14 with just under 14 minutes left in the game.
  • The Greyhounds first played the Mountain Hawks in 1912-1913, the fifth year of varsity basketball on the Evergreen campus. Lehigh won that game, 41-19, and the Mountain Hawks were again victorious the following year. Loyola’s first win in the series came during the 1915-1916 season.
  • Following that game, the programs did not meet again until January 21, 1978, when Loyola scored a 79-64 win in Bethlehem, Pa.
  • Prior to last year, the teams most recently met in the consolation game of the 1988 Lobo Classic at The Pit in Albuquerque, a game that the Mountain Hawks won, 86-72.

Walker Scores At High Clip   
  • Andre Walker has scored 12 or more points in each of Loyola’s last seven games, matching his career-high with 17 against Lafayette, Boston University and Bucknell during the stretch. He has averaged 15.1 points in those seven games, to raise his season scoring average to 10.6 points per game from 8.5 on Jan. 10 after the first Lehigh game.
  • During the last seven games, Walker has made 35-of-40 free throws (87.5 percent), and he missed just three total during the month of January.
  • Against Lafayette and Boston University, 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 Bucknell.
  • Walker is third in the Patriot League in free-throw percentage overall (85.7 percent) and second in conference games, hitting all but five of his 46 in League games (89.1 percent). He had made 29-straight free throws before missing his second attempt versus Bucknell. His 85.7 percent mark this season ranks 45th in NCAA Division I.
  • This season, Walker is the top freshman scorer in the Patriot League while averaging 10.6 points per game to go with 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 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 eight games, Laster has averaged 14.9 points per outing. He is shooting 49.0 percent from the field and 50.0 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.
  • Laster is again the team’s leading scorer, averaging 11.5 points per game.

Hitting The Boards   
  • Loyola pulled 43 rebounds, two off its season-high, on Jan. 29 against Holy Cross, 18 more than the Crusaders had, and the Greyhounds posted a plus-15 in the rebounding column at Army last 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 those 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 22 games, Loyola is second in the Patriot League in rebounding margin with a +1.9 mark, 749-713.
  • Last year, Loyola was 328th our of 345 ranked Division I teams with its -5.1 mark.
  • The Greyhounds’ +7.0 improvement from last year is one of the 15th-best turnaround in rebounding margin among NCAA Division I teams.

Scoring Points In Reitz   
  • In nine home games, as opposed to 12 true road game, this season, the Greyhounds are averaging 10.2 more points per game in Reitz Arena, 64.7-54.6. Defensively, they are giving up virtually the same amount, 67.7 at home and 67.6 on the road, but their shooting has been considerably better on the Evergreen campus.
  • In home games, the Greyhounds have shot 40.5 percent from the field, as opposed to 36.3 percent on the road. While 3-point shooting has been almost the same, Loyola is making 43.2 percent of 2-point attempts at home versus 37.7 on the road.

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 and American: Denzel Brito, Andre Walker, Eric Laster, Franz Rassman and Chancellor Barnard.
  • The group has played 27 minutes, 39 seconds in the last four games, most of any combination the Greyhounds have used int hat stretch, resulting in a +18 in the points column, the most successful quintet the Greyhounds have put on the floor.
  • The starts have been the fifth and sixth of both Barnard and Walker’s careers.

Shooting In The Second   
  • Loyola put together its best shooting half of the season last 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.

Quick Start Second Stanzas   
  • In each of its last two games, at Army and American, Loyola has opened the second halves with 8-0 runs, and in the last three games (including the Jan. 29 home contest against Holy Cross), it is outscoring foes 25-5 in the first five minutes of the second halves.
  • Eric Laster has been the leading scorer in those charges, contributing 11 of the 25 points.

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 on Jan. 29 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 44.2 percent from the field, a year after allowing teams to hit 45.9 percent, eighth in the conference. The Greyhounds is second in 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.

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 37.4 percent of available minutes this year for Loyola. They have taken 35.1 percent of field goal attempts, 45.4 percent of free throws attempted and grabbed 41.1 percent of rebounds.
  • Additionally, they have contributed 49.2 percent of steals and 45.3 percent of the team’s blocked shots while scoring 36.1 percent of Loyola’s points.
  • Andre Walker leads the team in steals (33), is second in assists (47), and he is the Patriot League’s leading freshman scorer, averaging 1065 points per game.
  • Cam Gregory tops the team with 7.2 rebounds per game (158 total), and his rebounds per game mark is third-best in the conference.

Last Nine Figures   
  • Loyola is 5-4 in its last nine games, thanks to improved all-around play.
  • During the games, Loyola is shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from 3-point range. Overall this season, the Greyhounds’ shooting numbers are 38.3 and 33.7 percent this year.
  • Loyola has also posted 10.7 assists in the six games as opposed to 9.5 in all 22 contests this year.

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 73.7 percent from the stripe in its last nine 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 71.4 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 50 this season through 22 games, Hubbard now has 113 in his career.
  • At American, he moved into 10th place all-time at Loyola for made threes, and with two more, he’ll tie Kevin Anderson for ninth.

Winning Combinations   
  • In the Greyhounds’ nine wins this season, Loyola is shooting nearly seven percent better from the field (42.4 to 35.2) than in losses, but it is the Greyhounds’ defense in those games that has played the biggest roles.
  • The 13 teams that have defeated the Greyhounds so far this year have done so while shooting just a shade under 50 percent (48.4).
  • Conversely, Loyola held its foes to more than 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 37.8 percent in the 13 games it has lost. In their nine wins, the Greyhounds have held opponents to 49-of-182 (26.9 percent), a drop off of 10.9 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 22 games of the year, of which Gregory has started 16, he is averaging 6.9 points and 7.2 rebounds.
  • Gregory is the top freshman rebounder in the Patriot League, and his 7.2 boards per game are third overall in the conference.

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 24.3 percent of their points from the charity stripe through 22 games, 27th most in NCAA Division I.
  • Loyola is averaging 21.0 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 22 games.
  • Combined, Loyola’s 22 opponents are shooting just 32.6 percent from 3-point range (125-of-383) 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 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.

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 plays Lafayette College in a 7:30 p.m. home game on Wednesday, Feb. 11, that will air live on MASN.