Patriot League MBB Championships Start Tuesday At Holy Cross For Loyola

March 2, 2015

Game Information
Opponent Holy Cross Crusaders | Patriot League Championships
Date Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Worcester, Mass. | Hart Center
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Hits About The 'Hounds
  • Loyola University Maryland men's basketball returns to Worcester, Massachusetts, for the second time in less than a week to open play in the Patriot League Championships.
  • The Greyhounds will play at College of the Holy Cross in the Patriot League First Round on Tuesday, March 3. Tip-off is slated for just after 7 p.m.
  • Andre Walker and Cam Gregory were named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team Monday, making Loyola the only school in the League to have two players on the five-person team.
  • The Greyhounds finished the regular-season leading the Patriot League in rebounding margin with a +1.7 mark.

Last Time Out
  • The U.S. Naval Academy scored the game's first seven points and led by as many as 18 in the first half Saturday against Loyola, defeating the Greyhounds, 57-47, in Reitz Arena.
  • Loyola went on a 7-0 run of its own to open the second half, trimming a 32-21 halftime deficit to four less than three minutes into the stanza, but that was as close as the Greyhounds would draw for the remainder of the game.
  • Worth Smith scored 20 points to lead all players, and Will Kelly and Brandon Venturini added 14 and 11 for Navy.
  • Cam Gregory scored 13 points and had 11 rebounds to lead Loyola in both categories. Eric Laster scored 12.

Patriot League Network
  • Fans can watch every non-televised game of the Patriot League Championships in free HD, 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.

Championships Season
  • Loyola enters the Patriot League Championships as the No. 9 seed and will face the eighth-seeded Crusaders. The Greyhounds finished the regular-season with a 7-11 Patriot League record, coming in ninth in the conference, while Holy Cross tied for seventh at 8-10.
  • The Greyhounds are making their second appearance in the Patriot League Championships after joining the conference prior to the 2013-2014 season. Last year, Lafayette College defeated Loyola, 84-71, in the first round.

Series History Versus Holy Cross
  • Loyola and Holy Cross will meet for the second time in a week and fifth time as Patriot League foes when the teams take the floor Tuesday night. The teams split the season series, each winning on its home court, and Holy Cross holds a 5-3 advantage in the all-time series.
  • The Greyhounds won for the first time as Patriot League opponents on Jan. 29, as Loyola held Holy Cross to 30.8 percent shooting from the field in a 64-54 decision. Meanwhile, the Greyhounds shot 46.8 percent overall, 50 percent in the second half.
  • The lead changed hands twice in the game's first 17 minutes, and the Crusaders tied the contest with 3:33 on the clock, but Loyola ended the half on an 8-0 run and led for the rest of the game.
  • Andre Walker led Loyola with 16 points, and Tyler Hubbard and Eric Laster scored 13 and 11, respectively. Malcolm Miller led all players with 23 for the Crusaders.
  • When they met last week, on Feb. 25, in Worcester, Loyola took a 60-59 lead on two Franz Rassman free throws with 37.2 seconds left, but Malcolm Miller was fouled on the Crusaders' offensive end and hit both foul shots to put Holy Cross up one with 24.8 ticks on the clock.
  • Denzel Brito drove the left side of the lane on the Greyhounds' final possession and drew contact from a defender, but his shot went off the mark, Miller grabbed the rebound and hit two free throws to seal the 63-60 win.
  • Miller and Tyler Hubbard tied for game-high honors with 17 points each, while Rassman and Cam Gregory each had 12 for Loyola.
  • 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.

Rookie Honors For Gregory & Walker
  • Classmates Cam Gregory and Andre Walker were named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team on Monday, giving the Greyhounds two of the five players on the team as they joined Bucknell University's Nana Foulland, Boston University Cheddi Mosley and Lehigh University's Kahron Ross.
  • Gregory is the top freshman rebounder, and third overall, in the Patriot League, averaging 7.0 rebounds per game. He has led the Greyhounds in rebounding in 20 of 29 games this year and has also averaged 7.0 points per game.
  • Walker has led Patriot League freshmen in scoring throughout the season, checking in with a 10.4 points per game mark through the end of the regular-season. Walker is also tied for second in the League in total steals (51) and averages 4.2 rebounds per game, the third-best mark on the team.

Rassman Building On Offensive Output
  • Franz Rassman has significantly increased his scoring over the last six games, averaging 12.2 points during a stretch that has been the most productive offensively during his time on the Evergreen campus.
  • He has shot 50.0 percent from the field and made 4-of-5 3-pointers during those five games in which he has scored 13 versus Lafayette, 10 and 14 at Boston University and Bucknell, a career-best 19 against Colgate and 12 at Holy Cross.
  • The six-game stretch has raised his season scoring average to 8.1 points per game. He also ended the 2013-2014 regular-season on a strong note, scoring 15 in the Greyhounds' final two games last year (Holy Cross and at Navy).
  • Last month, Rassman was named to the Capital One Academic All-District II First Team for the second time in as many years. He carries a 3.94 grade-point average as a business administration major.

Cam Picks Up Second Double-Double
  • Cam Gregory notched the second double-double of his young career on Saturday against Navy, leading Loyola with 13 points and 11 rebounds in just 20 minutes of action. He made 4-of-6 shots from the field and 5-of-8 free throws.
  • Four of Gregory's 11 rebounds came on the offensive glass, and he converted each into points. Three of his field goals were putbacks, and he was fouled the fourth, making 1-of-2 at the free-throw line.
  • His performance against the Midshipmen comes on the heels of a 12-point, 5-rebound effort Wednesday night at Holy Cross, the first time he had scored in double figures since tallying a career-high 18 against Boston University on Jan. 18.
  • Gregory has grabbed 10 or more rebounds seven times this year, and he had seven or more in 16 of 29 games. His first double-double came on Dec. 6 against Mount St. Mary's University when he had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

In The Last Two
  • The Greyhounds lost their last two games of the regular-season by a combined 13 points, falling by three at Holy Cross and 10 to Navy. The did so, however, while shooting two percent better from the field than their overall season mark (40.4 to 38.4). They also were +5.0 in rebounding margin in the two games.
  • Loyola, however, has not shot well from the free-throw line or 3-point range in its last two. The Greyhounds have made only 6-of-24 from 3-point range (25 percent) - with Tyler Hubbard converting on 4-of-9 - and 21-of-37 (56.8 percent) at the foul line.

Hubbard Finds Shooting Range
  • After returning to the starting lineup Feb. 11 against Lafayette, following six games of coming off the bench, Tyler Hubbard has averaged 12.7 points in Loyola's last six games.
  • In the five games he was not in the opening five, Hubbard averaged just 5.8 points per game, making only 7-of-25 3-pointers and 26.5 percent of overall shots.
  • However, in his starting role over the last six, he is 13-of-33 (39.4 percent) from behind the arc and making 40.9 percent of overall shots. He has regained the team lead in points per game, averaging 11.0 this season.

Career Highs For Two
  • Andre Walker and Franz Rassman both posted career-high scoring numbers on Feb. 22 against Colgate, setting new personal standards with 21 and 19 points, respectively.
  • Rassman scored 10 of his 19 in the game's first half and then fouled out 1:11 into the first overtime. Walker entered the second half with just three points, but he tallied nine in that frame and 10 in the three overtime periods.

Triple-Overtime Treat
  • The Colgate game was the first three overtime affair for Loyola since it played 55 minutes in a loss at Siena College on Jan. 10, 2002.
  • It was also the longest game between two Patriot League teams since Valentine's Day in 2009 when Army edged Lehigh, 82-75, in triple-overtime. That game and Sunday's are tied for the longest regular-season games in League history. They match the 2008 Patriot League Tournament game between Bucknell and Navy.

Overtime Success Under Smith & Beyond
  • Loyola improved to 4-0 this season in overtime with its Feb. 22 win over Colgate, and the Greyhounds are now 7-0 in the two seasons that G.G. Smith has been the team's head coach.
  • More impressively, Loyola is 16-1 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 8-3 this year in games decided by seven or fewer points. Since G.G. Smith became head coach, Loyola is 17-6 in those games.

Clutch Time
  • In the final 10 minutes of Loyola's victories this year, Andre Walker has led the team in scoring, averaging 5.3 points in those occasions. He has also made 27-of-33 free throws in that time period.

Taking Care Of The Ball
  • Despite playing 55 minutes on Feb. 22 against Colgate, the Greyhounds committed a season-low six turnovers. Prior to the game, Loyola was averaging 13.4 turnovers per game this season, 12.2 in Patriot League play. The last time Loyola had six or fewer miscues was Feb. 19, 2014, when it committed five against Bucknell.

Laster With Bounce-Back Outing
  • While Tyler Hubbard's scoring has increased since he returned to the starting lineup, that of Eric Laster has dropped. After tallying seven against Lafayette on Feb. 11, Laster did not score at Boston University and finished with two at Bucknell. In that time, he points per game average has slipped from 11.9 to 10.7 entering the game against Colgate. He rallied against Colgate, scoring 16 points off the bench while making 3-of-4 from 3-point range, but he was held to just six at Holy Cross, playing only 24 minutes with foul trouble.
  • The junior went through a similar skid over eight games from Dec. 2-Jan. 7 when he averaged 6.0 points per outing.
  • He came back from that stretch to be the Greyhounds' best offensive player over the next nine games, from Jan. 10 through Feb. 7, averaging 15.0 while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 48.1 from 3-point range.
  • 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.
  • He is currently second on the team in scoring, averaging 10.8 points per game. He is tied for the team lead in 3-point percentage at 37.6, and Laster also has been a good distributor of the ball this year and is third on the team with 47 assists, 34 in 18 Patriot League games.

Hitting The Boards
  • Boston University outrebounded the Greyhounds by 14, 42-28, on Valentine's Day in New England, but it was an uncommon occurrence for Loyola of late.
  • The Greyhounds have averaged a plus-2.3 rebounding margin this season in 18 Patriot League games and had not been outrebounded by an opponent since Jan. 3, 2015, when Army grabbed 43 boards to the Greyhounds' 33 in the season's first meeting between the teams.
  • Loyola opened Patriot League play by being outrebounded by 15 in games against Navy and Army, but since then, it had tied three foes on the glass and posted more rebounds in eight games before the Terriers held the advantage. The Greyhounds bounced back on the boards at Bucknell, grabbing two more rebounds than the Bison and the had one more rebound than both Colgate and Holy Cross.
  • Overall this season, Loyola is outrebounding opponents by +1.7, 1,018-969 overall. It's rebounding margin is tops in the Patriot League. The Greyhounds' biggest advantage has been on the offensive glass where they have grabbed 335 rebounds to their foes' 272.
  • The rebounding margin has been even more impressive in Loyola's 11 victories this season where they have posted a +6.2 on the glass.

Rebounding Improvement
  • Loyola finished the 2013-2014 season with a minus-5.1 margin in rebounds per game versus its opponents, but the Greyhounds have made good strides in that number this year. Through 29 games, Loyola leads the Patriot League in rebounding margin with a +1.7 mark.
  • 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.

Believe In Second Chances
  • Loyola leads the Patriot League and is 110th nationally in offensive rebounds per game, averaging 11.6 per contest, the top mark in the Patriot League. As a result, the Greyhounds are averaging 10.7 second-chance points per game. In victories, that number goes up to 12.4.

Paint Points, Bench Scoring Prove Key
  • In its 11 wins this season, Loyola's bench has outscored opponents 20.6-11.5, while the Greyhounds have faced a disadvantage of over six points in losses, 19.9-13.2.
  • The Greyhounds are now averaging 29.3 paint points to their opponents' 27.3 in wins. In losses, however, the Greyhounds are being outscored 32.3-22.9 inside.

Winning Combinations
  • In the Greyhounds' 11 wins this season, Loyola is shooting more than six percent better from the field (42.1 to 36.0) than in losses. It is the Greyhounds' defense, however, that has played the biggest role in wins, limiting foes to 38.1 percent from the field, almost 10 percent less than the 4802 percent allowed in losses.
  • The numbers are just as dramatic in defending the 3-point arc where Loyola has allowed opponents to shoot 37.4 percent in the 18 games it has lost. In their 11 wins, the Greyhounds have held opponents to 59-of-220 (26.8 percent), a drop off of 10.6 percent.

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 29 games.
  • Combined, Loyola's opponents are shooting just 32.7 percent from 3-point range (161-of-493) this season. In 2013-2014, the Greyhounds' opponents shot 40.4 percent.
  • Loyola's 32.7 opponent 3-point percentage is tops in the Patriot League. A year ago, the 40.4 percent was third-worst in Division I, 349th.

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 38.3 percent of available minutes this year for Loyola. They have made 35.8 percent of Loyola's field goals and 47.3 percent of free throws and grabbed 42.8 percent of rebounds.
  • Additionally, they have contributed 49.1 percent of steals and 45.5 percent of the team's blocked shots while scoring 36.6 percent of Loyola's points.
  • Andre Walker leads the team in steals (51), is second in assists (68), and he is the Patriot League's leading freshman scorer, averaging 10.4 points per game.
  • Cam Gregory tops the team with7.0 rebounds per game (204 total), and his rebounds per game mark is third-best in the conference.

Walker Scores At High Clip
  • Andre Walker had scored 12 or more points in seven-straight games before turning in 10 on Feb. 7 against Lehigh. Walker scored 17 in three straight games, matching his career-high at the time that was set in the season-opener, against Lafayette, Boston University and Bucknell during the stretch.
  • Including a new career-high with 21 points against Colgate, he has averaged 12.5 points in the last 14 games, to raise his season scoring average to 10.4 points per game from 8.5 on Jan. 10 after the first Lehigh game.
  • During the first seven of the games, Walker made 35-of-40 free throws (87.5 percent), and he missed just three total during the month of January.
  • Walker is ninth in the Patriot League in free-throw percentage overall (79.1 percent). He had made 29-straight free throws before missing his second attempt versus Bucknell on Jan. 21.
  • This season, Walker is the top freshman scorer in the Patriot League while averaging 10.4 points per game to go with 4.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals. His 51 total steals are tied for second most in the League.

Barnard Hits Season-High
  • Chancellor Barnard made all nine of his shots Feb. 7 against Lehigh, making five field goals and four free throws against Lehigh. He finished with a season-high 14 points, improving on the 10 he scored Jan. 7 against American.
  • Over the last seven games, Barnard is averaging 5.6 points per game. During that stretch, he has made 50.0 percent of shots from the field, helping to raise his points per game average to 3.5 this year. He has also averaged 4.6 rebounds in the last seven games, bringing his season mark to 3.3 Barnard is also seventh in the Patriot League, and tops on the team, in blocked shots with 25 (0.8 per game).

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 70.4 percent from the stripe in its last 15 games, raising its yearly mark to 67.8 percent.
  • Prior to the games in the Lehigh Valley, Loyola was making just 65.3 percent of its foul shots this season.

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 64 this season through 29 games, Hubbard now has 127 in his career.
  • With three at Holy Cross on Feb. 25, Hubbard moved into sole possession of seventh-place all-time at Loyola in threes made.

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.
  • He scored a game-high 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 his first regular-season game was Freddie Stanback who scored 16 on Nov. 19, 2004, at Virginia Tech.