Men's Basketball Downs Army With Another Second-Half Comeback
BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland held the U.S. Military Academy to just one point in the game's final 5:14 on Saturday, scoring 11 of the game's last 12 points for a 79-68 Patriot League victory in Reitz Arena.
The win was Loyola's second-straight when trailing by nine or more points at halftime. Army West Point led by as many as 12 in the first half and was up 41-32 at the break, but Loyola tied the game two minutes into the second half on an Andrew Kostecka layup, and two Kostecka free throws at 17:27 gave them the lead.
On Wednesday night, Loyola overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to post a 91-88 double-overtime win at Lehigh University.
Andre Walker scored 20 points and had six rebounds to lead Loyola against the Black Knights. Kostecka added 18 points to go with four assists, four steals, two blocked shots and zero turnovers. Isaiah Hart scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half as Loyola shot 53.8 percent from the field after the break.
Dunks by Cam Gregory and Kostecka midway through first half gave Loyola a pair of one-point leads, but after Kostecka's steal and transition dunk at 10:17, Army West Point (12-9 overall, 5-5 Patriot League) scored the next eight points and led 23-16 on a Jordan Fox three.
Tucker Blackwell extended the Black Knights' advantage to 12, 31-19, with a 3-pointer at 4:32 before two Matt Staubi free throws and another steal and transition basket by Kostecka got Loyola within eight at 3:16. Army West Point went back up by 11 before the break, but six points by River Reed in just two minutes helped Loyola get within nine at halftime.
The Greyhounds (7-14, 5-5) opened the second half on a 12-1 run, and Kostecka put them ahead 44-42 with a pair of free throws at 17:27. Alex King hit a three for Army West Point at 15:55, pushing the Black Knights back in front, but Hart scored off a Kostecka assist to take the lead back for Loyola.
Matt Wilson, who matched Walker for game-high honors with 20 points, scored in the paint at 14:07, giving Army West Point what would be its last lead, 49-48.
With the shot clock about to expire, Brent Holcombe flipped a pass to Kostecka who hit a 3-pointer from the left side of the perimeter at 13:32. Chuck Champion then knocked down a three from the left corner at 12:45, and Loyola was in front, 54-49.
The Greyhounds went up by seven on two occasions in the next five minutes, the second time coming on a Holcombe three, but Army West Point rallied to tie the score at 67-67 on two Tommy Funk free throws with 5:14 to play.
Neither Loyola, nor the Black Knights scored for more than a minute until a Kostecka steal led to a Walker transition layup at 3:51. KaVaughn Scott grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the putback at 3:10, and Hart converted a pair at the free-throw line with 60 seconds left, pushing Loyola up by six, 73-67.
Scott then made the front-end of two free throws with 44.4 seconds left before Matt Wilson hit one of two at the line for Army West Point, snapping a scoring drought of 4:40. The Black Knights missed their final 10 field goal attempts in the final six minutes.
Army West Point made just six of its 24 second-half field goals (25.0 pecent), and the Greyhounds held the Black Knights to 41.2 percent from the field in the game. Loyola, meanwhile, shot 50.9 percent and also made five of nine 3-point attempts.
The Greyhounds continue Patriot League play on Wednesday, January 31 with a 7 p.m. game at Boston University.