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Men's Basketball's Comeback Halted By Late Bucknell Three
Feb. 19, 2014
BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to lead much of the second half, but Bucknell University's Cameron Ayers hit a 3-pointer from the top right of the perimeter with less than 16 seconds left, and the Bison edged the Greyhounds, 55-53, in Patriot League action Wednesday night.
Loyola (10-16 overall, 5-10 Patriot League) took a 53-52 lead on a driving layup by R.J. Williams with 1:13 left in regulation, and Eric Laster disrupted a Dom Hoffman layup on Bucknell's possession to give the Greyhounds the ball with under 40 seconds left.
Denzel Brito was fouled with 35.2 seconds left, but both free throws rimmed out, and the had the ball with the shot clock off.
John Azzinaro swung the ball to Ayers on the right side, and he knocked down his third 3-pointer of the game, giving him a game-high 22 points, and Bucknell (13-13, 8-7) a 55-53 lead.
Loyola called timeout with 12.3 seconds left, and after the break, Jarred Jones drove the baseline from the right side to get a look at the basket. His layup attempt rolled around half of the rim before falling off. Bucknell knocked the ball out of bounds with three-tenths of a second left, but the Greyhounds could not get a shot off after the inbound pass.
The Greyhounds struggled from the field in the first half, making just 6-of-32 shots (18.8 percent). Bucknell committed 10 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, however, and the Bison lead was just 14 at halftime, 28-14.
The teams traded baskets in the second half's first 48 seconds, but Loyola then went on a 10-0 run over 2:15 that cut the Bison lead to 31-27 on a Franz Rassman layup at 16:44.
Ayers scored in transition to momentarily break the run, but Loyola then tallied the next eight points, extending the run to 18-2. Two Jordan Latham free throws with 12:53 left gave Loyola a 37-33 advantage.
After another Ayers basket in the paint 40 seconds later, Tyler Hubbard had a steal and layup for Loyola, and Jarred Jones scored in the paint, was fouled and hit a free throw to push Loyola's advantage to seven, 42-35, with 10:04 on the clock.
During the run, which ended at 26-5, Bucknell went just 2-of-10 from the field and had six turnovers, four off Loyola steals.
Azzinaro hit a three from the top, and Hoffman made two mid-range jumpers to cut the Greyhounds' lead to 44-42 before Jones pushed Loyola back up four with an offensive rebound layup at 7:10.
An Ayers 15-footer with 6:39 remaining pulled Bucknell back within two, and neither the Greyhounds, nor the Bison, would lead by more than that margin the rest of the game.
The score was tied twice, and the lead changed hands five times in the last 6:01 of action with Williams' layup putting the Greyhounds up for a final time with 1:13 remaining.
Latham and Jones led Loyola with eight points, each, while Rassman and Hubbard each had eight. Azzinaro kicked in 12 points, while Hoffman added 10, for Bucknell.
Loyola committed a season-low five turnovers in the game, while forcing 16 by Bucknell, 10 off steals.
Latham had three blocked shots, and Williams came up with three steals, while Brito, Jones and Hubbard each had two for Loyola.
The Greyhounds hit the Patriot League road for their next game, a 2 o'clock tilt on Saturday afternoon at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y.