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No. 13 Connecticut Holds Off Loyola's Charge; Cormier Scores 23
Nov. 26, 2013
HARTFORD, Conn. - Loyola University Maryland cut the lead of 13th-ranked University of Connecticut to three with 16 minutes, 30 seconds left in the second half, but a two free throws by DeAndre Daniels and a Ryan Boatright layup righted the Huskies as the held off the Greyhounds, 76-66, on Tuesday night at the XL Center.
Loyola (4-1) was down by as many as 15 in the first half and eight, 34-26, at the break. However, after a Phillip Nolan dunk made it 38-28 Connecticut just over a minute into the second, Loyola scored seven-straight points.
Jordan Latham started the rally by driving baseline and converting on a layup at 18;15, and R.J. Williams had a steal and assist on a Dylon Cormier fast-break layup to cut the Greyhounds' deficit to six.
Franz Rassman then came up with a steal on the Huskies' next possession, and Cormier knocked down a three in transition to make it 38-35 in favor of Connecticut (7-0).
Two Boatright free throws momentarily halted the run, but Jarred Jones fed Cormier in the paint for a layup at 16:58, and the Greyhounds were back within three.
Daniels took advantage of an offensive rebound on a Boatright miss, laying it back in to push the lead back to five, but Loyola scored on its next possession. Williams had a shot blocked by Daniels, but Williams collected the rebound, and while falling out of bounds, he fed a crashing Jones for a layup at 16:30 to made the score 42-39.
Daniels, however, drew a foul while driving down the left side, and he hit both free throws as part of his team-high 21 points, and Boatright then scored in the paint after an Omar Calhoun offensive rebound, pushing Connecticut back up by seven with more than 15 minutes to play.
Connecticut led by at least five from that point forward, but Loyola kept the game within reach, and it was a single-digit affair with 80 seconds remaining.
Cormier led all scorers with 23 points, and Eric Laster finished with 12 points for the Greyhounds. Williams tallied 10 to go with six assists and a game-best four steals. Rassman tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds.
In addition to Daniels' 21 points ane eight rebounds, Boatright scored 13 and had eight boards. Lasan Kromah and Niels Giffey added 12 and 11 points, respectively, off the bench.
Loyola held Connecticut's leading scorer, Shabazz Napier, to just four points in 33 minutes of action. Napier entered the game averaging 16.8 in the Huskies' first seven.
The Greyhounds outrebounded the Huskies, 40-39, as five players had four or more boards.
Loyola will take the Thanksgiving holiday off from action before taking on the West Virginia University in Morgantown on Monday, November 26, at 7 p.m. The game will air live on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh, as well as MASN in the Baltimore and Mid-Atlantic areas.